Learning how to get older with a healthy brain

Your brain changes as you get older but there are ways to minimize any negative impacts

Public health nurse Crystal Wadlegger gives a presentation on getting older with a healthy brain to local seniors and others on Tuesday evening

Public health nurse Crystal Wadlegger gives a presentation on getting older with a healthy brain to local seniors and others on Tuesday evening

Your brain changes as you get older but there are ways to minimize any negative impacts, according to public health nurse Crystal Wadlegger.

Speaking to a gathering of nearly 20 local seniors and others at Dutch Lake Community Centre on Nov. 3, Wadlegger laid out a number steps to take in order to get older with a healthy brain.

Free radicals caused by such things as chemicals in our environment or from stress can cause damage, but can be controlled by eating foods containing anti-oxidants.

Wadlegger compared the process to an apple turning brown when cut. Lemon juice spread over the cut apple acts as an anti-oxidant and stops browning, she said.

Vitamins C and E are among the best anti-oxidants.

Good sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, brussels sprouts and any fruit or vegetable that’s orange or red.

“Eat a rainbow a day,” Wadlegger said.

Almonds are among the best sources of Vitamin E. Others include olive oil and papaya.

According to a handout given out during Wadlegger’s presentation, ways to keep your brain young include:

1.  get mental stimulation;

2.  get physical exercise;

3.  improve your diet by keeping the calories in check, eating the right foods, and getting enough of the three B vitamins;

4.  improve your blood pressure through such things as regular exercise, staying lean, and reducing stress;

5.  improve your blood sugar, again by staying lean, exercising regularly and eating right;

6.  improve your cholesterol;

7.  avoid tobacco;

8.  don’t abuse alcohol;

9.  care for your emotions;

10. protect your head; and

 

11. build social networks, because strong social ties have been associated with lower blood pressure and longer life expectancies.