We all want to age gracefully, but your brain doesn't always cooperate. The parts that help you remember things and make decisions can become less effective as you get older, making it hard to stay mentally sharp and in control of your life.
Fortunately, scientists are learning more about how the brain works every day, and there are some simple ways to keep your brain working at peak efficiency throughout your life. Here's what happens to your brain while aging and some tips on beating the decline.
The Aging Process
The process known as neuroplasticity affects the brain in several ways. One effect is that you might start to forget things more quickly because your hippocampus - the part of your brain that stores memories - becomes less effective with age. It might also affect your attention span, causing you to be more easily distracted by background noises or other people talking nearby.
While all this may seem discouraging, it doesn't mean you can't slow down the aging process. Eating foods with antioxidants and plenty of B vitamins will help keep your brain sharp. Also, there are anti-aging supplements for your brain for those who want to keep their diets manageable.
When looking at these supplements, make sure they're coming from a reputable company that can provide an evidence-based list of ingredients in each product.
The Effects of Aging on the Brain
As you get older, your brain changes in the following ways:
- Synapses between neurons (connections) begin to weaken.
- Neurotransmitters used for communication between different brain parts begin to break down.
- The amount of gray matter in your brain decreases.
- Your hippocampus shrinks and is less able to form new memories.
- The frontal lobe also begins to shrink and slows your thinking process.
- It becomes harder to focus on one task at a time, leading to more distractions and interruptions in everyday life.
- Some people experience depression or mood swings from sudden changes in hormones.
- Because it takes longer for messages to get from the back of the brain to the front, cognitive skills like reasoning or problem-solving can be slowed or decreased with age.
In addition, many older adults experience conditions like dementia which can reduce their cognition even further.
Other effects of aging on the brain include:
- Slower reaction time
- Less elasticity
- Slower metabolism
- Reduced blood flow
All these contribute to a reduced quality of life for the individual experiencing them.
Strategies For Maintaining Brain Health As You Age
It is essential to stay mentally active and keep up with the latest research on brain health. Here are some ways that you can maintain your brain health as you age:
Stay Mentally Active
Staying mentally active includes reading, writing, playing games such as chess or checkers, doing crossword puzzles, and having stimulating conversations. Reading fiction has improved people's ability to empathize with others. Join a book club or take a class at a local college for something new and exciting.
These activities will help build new connections in your brain while challenging it at the same time.
Use Anti-Aging Supplements
You can't go wrong with anti-aging supplements to maintain your brain health. These pills contain critical ingredients like Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Biotin, which have been proven to improve memory and brain function.
Juvenon® Cellular Health - Tablets have been clinically proven to improve brain power
Ensure they come from reputable manufacturers so you know they are safe to use. Many studies also show how taking Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease inflammation, which is one of the leading causes of cognitive decline later in life.
Avoid Certain Drugs
Some drugs can be extremely harmful to the brain, including tranquilizers, sedatives, pain medications, sleeping pills, and antidepressants. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor about any possible interactions between these drugs before you start taking them.
If there are no interactions, then make sure you stick with only using these medications when necessary since they can slow down mental processes if used too often. Avoid smoking, illegal drugs, and excessive drinking because they all cause damage to your brain cells.
Regular exercise is another excellent way to stay healthy mentally and physically. Just thirty minutes of brisk walking three times per week will lower your risk of developing dementia. You don't need to do intense workouts or go to the gym daily.
Start by walking around the block and gradually increase your speed until you're going full force. If you don't feel comfortable out in public alone, get a dog or sign up for a gym near your house so that you'll always have company on days when motivation isn't enough.
Avoid a High-Sugar Diet
It is essential to avoid a high-sugar diet. Eating lots of sugar not only leads to weight gain but can also lead to diseases like diabetes and heart disease. In turn, it can worsen the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's Disease.
Avoid sodas, sugary beverages, cookies, cakes, candy bars, and other junk foods. Instead, opt for fruits and vegetables that won't give you a sugar rush but still pack a powerful punch of vitamins and minerals.
Drink Lots Of Water
Drinking lots of water daily to stay hydrated and keep your body healthy is essential. Medical specialists recommend drinking eight glasses of water per day, with an extra glass for every hour of strenuous activity you do in a hot environment. Drinking water can also help your brain function better.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting plenty of sleep is essential for mental and physical health. We have a natural internal clock that helps us keep track of our circadian rhythm or the biological process of sleep/wake cycles. If we don't get enough sleep, it throws off our internal clock, making it more challenging to stay awake during the day and more difficult to fall asleep at night.
When we're born, our brains are still developing. It means that the brain is constantly changing and adapting to its environment. As we age, the neural pathways that are used most often become stronger, while those that aren't used as often will eventually deteriorate. It's why when you're young, your brain has a hard time remembering names, but when you're old, it has a hard time remembering where you put your keys.Many people worry about losing their memories with age, but the above strategies can keep your brain functioning properly throughout life.