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.