Whilst there are still area’s of the human brain that remain a mystery, there are few things that we know for certain – like fact that it is possible to maintain good brain health well into our old age.

Here are a few tips to keep the brain active and healthy for as long as possible

1. Mental exercises: The human brain responds to challenges and mental stimulation much like muscles respond to training. Simple exercises like crossword puzzles and sudoku a few times a week can go along way in keeping the brain sharp. One of the reasons for a person’s brain health to deteriorate after retirement is due to lack of mental stimulation and social interaction.

2. Make sure you have a good Vitamin intake: Vitamin deficiency decreases memory and reduces cognitive ability. Consume foods rich in complex B, which improves concentration and memory. Examples of food that are high in B vitamins are strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and products containing omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Avoid excessive sugar intake: Brain cells need a constant supply of glucose for fuel, but in excess, this can lead to impaired cognitive function and emotional instability, especially with refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. You can get all your glucose needs from fruits, whole grains, vegetables.

4. Moderate alcohol consumption: If you are going to consume alcohol then moderation is essential, more so when you get older. Over consumption wreaks havoc with the brain, regular over consumption can lead to irreversible damage to both the brain and body.

5. Quit smoking: Prolonged smoking can cause brain damage. If stopping is not an option, at the very least cut down as much as you can.

6. Rest: Lack of sleep affects the brain’s ability to store and retrieve memories. Poor sleep patterns also have a direct impact on cognitive function.

7. Reduce Stress: Meditate or practice yoga to clear your mind, even a few minutes of deep breathing every morning can be very effective in reducing your stress levels.

8. Keep Active: Staying physically active not only keeps your body in shape but also goes a long way in maintaining a healthy brain. It does not need to be anything too extreme, a simple 15 minute walk every day is all it takes.

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