How Focusing on Heart Health Can Protect Your Brain
Don’t Underestimate the Link Between These Two Vital Organs
The human brain is supposed to change over time. For middle-aged adults and seniors, it’s completely normal to experience some cognitive decline, especially when it comes to how our memory functions.
Not all brain change is inevitable, however, and there are steps that can be taken to improve brain health. Reach for a sudoku puzzle and read more books if you’d like, but don’t underestimate how taking care of the heart can improve brain health.
A Healthier Heart for a Resilient Brain
According to AARP, the brain relies heavily on blood flow to function at it’s very best. For optimum blood flow, blood vessels need to be healthy.
What choices keep blood vessels healthy? Managing blood pressure and cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. When these factors aren’t kept under control, they slowly damage blood vessels which hinders their ability to pump blood to the brain.
Adopting Heart Healthy Habits
The link between heart health and brain wellness is good news because there’s one set of guidelines for keeping both vital organs functioning at their very best.
All adults should be seeing their primary care physician yearly to monitor important levels like blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, eating a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains is important to all lifestyles and health goals.
Beyond this, exercise should be a part of daily life. This doesn’t have to be complicated or strenuous. Add a walk with your partner or pet after dinner each night or join the pool in your area and visit before work.
Add Good Fats for Heart and Brain Health
Adopt specific dietary changes to target brain and heart health. Healthy fats are foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and monosaturated fats. Research has found these foods to lower LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. These same nutrients are linked to better brain function, according to Harvard Health.
Olive oil, salmon and nuts are all high in healthy fats and considered to promote both heart and brain health. Avocados, chia seeds and eggs are also good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
If adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle feels overwhelming, try to start small. Visit a nutritionist or read up on reliable blogs. Even one small change a week will add up to improved heart and brain health over time!
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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