Do you ever forget where you left your keys? Everyone forgets things from time to time, but commonplace experiences like these can serve as a reminder of why it’s so important to protect the health of your brain.
Just like every other part of your body, your brain benefits from healthy choices like regular exercise and good nutrition. Age-related changes in memory and cognitive function, described as cognitive decline, are often detected in people who are in their 20s and 30s (1). This means that it’s never too early to start thinking about your brain health. No matter your age, you can help maintain the health of your brain now and for years to come with these healthy lifestyle choices.
1. Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is vital for both cognitive function and memory. Research shows that people who don’t get adequate rest perform poorly in thinking and memory skills (2, 3). Even without the backing of scientific research, you probably already know that you can’t perform at your best when you’re feeling tired.
Research suggests that, over time, poor sleep might also be related to the health of your brain. Studies have identified a relationship between poor quality sleep in midlife and signs of increased brain aging in older adults (4). While the need for sleep varies depending on factors like age and activity level, experts recommend adults 18 years and older aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night (5).
2. Make exercise a habit.
There are many reasons why you should include exercise in your daily routine. But there is one reason to hit the gym that you may not have considered: better brain health. Scientific research has linked regular physical activity to reduced signs of aging in the brain. For example, adults who are physically active are more likely to maintain a youthful level of cognitive function and memory than sedentary adults (6).
Physical activity supports your brain in a number of ways, but one important benefit of exercise for brain health is improved cardiovascular fitness. A strong heart and healthy blood vessels can effectively supply blood flow to all parts of the body including the brain, helping you to maintain good health from head to toe (7). Current guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, but it’s best to work up to this goal gradually if you are new to exercise (8).
3. Support your brain with the right nutrition.
Healthy, balanced nutrition provides benefits for every part of your body, including your brain. In addition to the overall benefits of good nutrition, there are a few foods that have extra benefits to brain health. Scientists have identified a variety of components from plants that can help support some aspects of brain function. For instance, turmeric root is a common ingredient in Indian and Thai cuisine that contains the active compound, curcumin. This compound is an antioxidant that can support brain health (9). Other brain-loving nutrients include alpha lipoic acid and carnitine to support energy metabolism in the brain and citicoline to help support normal communication between brain cells (10, 11, 12).
4. Don’t forget your Brain and Sleep Support System.
Brain Boost & Renewal™ is a blend of nine nutrients that combine to support healthy brain function and healthy aging †.
This comprehensive formula includes ingredients like turmeric, green tea extract, ginkgo biloba, alpha-lipoic acid, and citicoline. The combination is designed to provide the brain with antioxidant protection, promote mental focus and concentration, and support memory and overall cognitive function.
Because sleep is also an important component of brain health, Brain Boost & Renewal is combined with Sleep Support & Renewal™ as a complete Brain and Sleep Support System.
Don’t forget to make healthy lifestyle choices like proper rest, regular exercise, and good nutrition part of your routine. These lifestyle choices help to support good health from head to toe.
- Singh-Manoux A, Kivimaki M, Glymour MM et al. Timing of onset of cognitive decline: results from Whitehall II prospective cohort study. BMJ 2012;344:d7622.
- Killgore WD. Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. Prog Brain Res. 2010;185:105-29.
- Cassé-Perrot C, Lanteaume L, Deguil J, Bordet R, Auffret A, Otten L, Blin O, Bartrés-Faz D, Micallef J. Neurobehavioral and Cognitive Changes Induced by Sleep Deprivation in Healthy Volunteers. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2016;15(7):777-801.
- Altena E, Ramautar JR, Van Der Werf YD, Van Someren EJ. Do sleep complaints contribute to age-related cognitive decline? Prog Brain Res. 2010;185:181-205.
- Watson NJ, et al. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: A joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2015;11:591.
- Zhu W, Wadley VG, Howard VJ, Hutto B, Blair SN, Hooker SP. Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Cognitive Function in Older Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Aug 30.
- Duzel E, van Praag H, Sendtner M. Can physical exercise in old age improve memory and hippocampal function? Brain. 2016 Mar;139(Pt 3):662-73.
- Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, Franklin BA, Lamonte MJ, Lee IM, Nieman DC, Swain DP; American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Jul;43(7):1334-59.
- Aggarwal BB, Sung B. Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: an age-old spice with modern targets. Trends Pharmacol Sci 2009;30:85-94.
- Maczurek A, Hager K, Kenklies M et al. Lipoic acid as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2008;60:1463-70.
- Ames BN, Liu J. Delaying the mitochondrial decay of aging with acetylcarnitine. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Nov;1033:108-16.
- Arenth PM, Russell KC, Ricker JH, Zafonte RD. CDP-choline as a biological supplement during neurorecovery: a focused review. PM R 2011;3:S123-S131.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.