Zombies, witches, machete-wielding maniacs, the typical horrors of Halloween have nothing on your shrinking brain. That’s right. SHRINKING BRAIN. Prepare to be scared.
You may feel perfectly healthy, but your brain is shrinking and you are losing as much as 0.4% of your brain mass every.single.year. Obviously this isn’t good news. A shrinking brain means loss of memory and mental sharpness, severe depression and even premature death (cue the sound of that machete-wielding maniac).
Take heart on this darkest of days. There are things you can do to prevent your brain from shrinking further and improve your brain health!
- Get a good night’s sleep (every night). This is critical. Every hour of reduced sleep duration= a 0.67% decrease in cognitive function!
- Don’t smoke. I don’t think we need to go into much more detail about this one, but we’ll just add that smoking is associated with faster brain shrinkage and poor brain health.
- Feel free to indulge in a little light alcohol consumption (this is our favorite tip), but don’t overdue or you’ll only make things worse for your brain (not to mention your liver…) A standard drink= 14.0 grams or 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol.
- Supplement with B vitamins, specifically a combination of folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. B vitamins regulate homocysteine, which if unchecked, can lead to significant brain shrinkage and dementia.
- Indulge in Omega 3 fatty acids. Salmon, walnuts, sardines, beef (specifically grass-fed), soybeans, flaxseeds, tofu, shrimp, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are some of the foods that are rich in Omega 3’s.
- Have a daily dose of pomegranate. Studies have demonstrated significant improvements in cognition and memory among those who consume 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily!
- Find a way to get Resveratrol (a major component of red grapes and other dark fruits) into your body, whether you like to drink red wine in moderation, or you can simply take a Resveratrol supplement.
- Cognitive stimulation and training helps grow more brain cells which counteracts against brain shrinkage.
So, while there is no denying that you should be worried about your shrinking brain, at least now you know that there is hope when you take the proper steps to maintain better brain health!
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