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31. Teach your brain new tricks
Your brain loves novelty and variety. Keep your brain stimulated through mentally engaging activities because learning helps build new neural connections, even in adults. Sites like Anti AgingGames.com feature brain stimulation games and there are many things offline that you can do to engage your brain: play chess or bridge, learn a new instrument or language or complicated dance. You dont even have to be good at the activity. The best learning activities for your brain are mentally engaging, interactive, enjoyable, and new for you. Make lifelong learning and brain stimulation a priority in your life starting today.
32. Eat more colorfully
The diet that has been most strongly connected to the best health benefits is the Mediterranean Diet. Researchers determined that people who followed the Mediterranean Diet most closely were 36% less likely to have stroke related brain damage and 28% less mild cognitive impairment compared to those who followed the diet least closely. Even those who only moderately followed the diet had a 21% lower risk of brain damage and 17% less mild cognitive impairment, compared with the lowest group. The Lyon Heart Health Study concluded that after an average of 46 months on the Mediterranean diet, people who followed the diet had a 50 70% lower risk of recurrent heart disease. The Mediterranean Diet is a colorful diet and involves eating 7 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, eating whole grains instead of white bread, using herbs instead of salt, and using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. Vegetables and fruits that are dark green (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and collard greens), orange (squash, yams), dark blue or red (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) are particularly good for you. If you eat dairy, choose low fat or skim varieties. Beans, peas, lentils, and sunflower seeds are good sources of folate, which is essential to make and repair DNA.Fish is one of the best foods to eat and is recommended twice a week. Salmon is preferred because it has a lot of Omega 3s and wild salmon is recommended because many farmed salmon are said to contain PCBs, a type of toxin. Sardines are also recommended and are a good source of calcium. A number of studies have shown that regularly eating a small handful of raw nuts (especially walnuts and almonds) may have a protective properties against cardiovascular diseases. Try to get plain nuts, not roasted or salted or ones with hydrogenated oils. Also remember that nuts are high in calories so youll need to decrease the same number of calories by cutting down on fat and sugar from other parts of your diet. Remember to check with your doctor before you change your diet since some foods can cause irritation for some medical conditions and may even interfere with certain medicines.
33. Kick back and relax
Too much stress can actually rewire the brain, impairing memory and decision making capabilities, increasing anxiety and reducing the ability to regulate mood. Thats because chronic stress causes an increase of certain brain chemicals and hormones, like cortisol, that in large quantities can negatively affect parts of the brain that are essential to memory. Find something you enjoy that helps you relax, like a hobby, reading a book or doing yoga. The brain is resilient if you give it a chance! Sleeping enough is also important. Researchers found that people who sleep less than six hours per night or more than nine hours per night tend to have lower cognitive scores than people who slept between 7.5 8 hours per night.
34. Partner with your doctor
Consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise regime because changes, including supplements and foods may interfere with your medicines or aggravate certain conditions. For example, one study suggested that eating broccoli and cauliflower twice per week was linked to at least 20% less cancer (for some types of cancer) but both broccoli and cauliflower may not be good for some people with thyroid problems. Its not enough to have a nice doctor or one who has been your doctor for a long time. A good doctor is proactive, understands the role of nutrition, stretching, exercise, and doesnt rely on symptom covering medicine and surgery only. Find a doctor who really understands preventative medicine, never skip your annual checkup, and always check in before making changes to your diet, exercise, or lifestyle.Your doctor can also help you sort through the numerous health fads and studies that grab the medias attention every month, and figure out which ones will actually benefit your health.
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