Staying sharp of mind is important as we age. Referred to as our cognitive health, there are things that can be done to improve brain function and keep us feeling well equipped for the challenges of our day.
While not all elements of cognitive function decline are within our control, there are lifestyle factors that individuals can consider to maintain or improve cognitive functioning.
Before we get into how you can maintain cognitive health, including cognitive health supplements like inositol, this article will go over the causes and potential symptoms of cognitive decline.
Causes and Symptoms of Poor Cognitive Health
Poor cognitive health encompasses a number of things. From poor mental health to confusion and brain impairment, cognitive health is vital to our cognitive ability, happiness, and daily function.
There are different causes and elements of cognitive impairment. The most common is cognitive decline. Cognitive decline can refer to symptoms of memory loss, confusion, loss of proper cognitive function, cognitive impairment, and more.
Many people think of cognitive aging and refer to older adults with Alzheimers disease and dementia. Age related cognitive decline can start with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and this can include judgement problems, trouble thinking, and issues with language.
Poor cognitive health, as an older adult or not, can impact our mental health. Cognitive performance problems like concentration, trouble paying attention, or the inability to listening, might cause mental health and social problems.
Unfortunately, poor cognitive function can significantly disrupt work and your daily life. Consider behavior changes and cognitive health supplements like inositol.
6 Tips for Maintaining Good Cognitive Health
Whether you want to maintain cognitive function to prepare for the aging brain or for mental health, there are simple tasks you can perform regularly to improve brain health.
In fact, most of these fall under the 6 pillars of healthy brains identified by the Cleveland Clinic:
Look At Your Health Holistically
Good brain health comes from whole-body health. Therefore, looking at your health holistically can play a huge role in maintaining good cognitive health. Changing your lifestyle, and your mind-body health can keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp.
So what does this mean?
Holistic health centres around multi-dimensional wellness. This perspective encourages individuals to look at their whole person, including the physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual self, in order to maintain balanced whole-bodied health.
A holistic perspective might mean that you look at your nutrition, your physical activity, but also your emotional self, your relationships, and common behaviours to see how they might impact your health.
If ignored, these things might impact your brain health negatively. You could therefore be doing a whole lot of work for good brain health but not addressing the root of the problem.
Maintain Physical Exercise
Of course, a huge player in positive cognitive health is your physical health. Maintaining good physical health is a lot easier said than done. After all, there could be genetic, natural, or physical barriers to this and we don’t want to suggest that perfect physical health is always attainable.
When looking at good cognitive health or brain health, we want to remind individuals to stay active, to consider techniques for improving cardiovascular health, and to consider physical activity when possible.
Aerobic exercise is the best for brain health. Get out for walks, go for swims, or ride a bike. You can even consider moving your body by doing chores. Also consider strength training, flexibility, and any activity that gets your heart rate up!
Manage Stress and Physical Reactions
Stress often plays a larger role in our overall well-being than we realize. Higher levels of chronic stress are more likely to cause social tension, poorer sleep, and negative thoughts.
Physically, stress leads to elevated stress hormones, and can easily lead to poor physical health. You might experience a faster resting heart rate, high blood pressure, rapid breathing, insomnia, depression, heartburn, high blood sugar, weaker immune system, headaches, and risk of heart attack (among many other physical symptoms). Consider the gut-brain connection as well.
Maintain stress through breathing techniques. Consider yoga and meditation to keep physical and mental stress reactions low. If stressors remain high in your life, consider removing them. If this is not possible, then consider the ways in which you can cope effectively with these stressors.
Eat Healthy Foods
What you eat plays a direct role in your body health. As your body’s fuel, healthier foods will nourish your body and provide oxygen to your brain. When eating irregularly or eating foods with no nutritional value, you might find you have decreased energy levels and negative mental health.
We encourage healthy foods but not necessarily dieting, as dieting can introduce caloric restrictions, negative mental health, and a negative outlook on the body. There are some scientific trends that suggest that eating healthy foods when your body craves it is also more effective at maintaining a healthy weight as the stress around food diminishes.
Consider these best foods for healthy brain health:
- Fatty fish
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
You can also add in these top foods to fight dementia:
- Raw leafy greens
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low Fat Dairy
- Olive Oil
Take Cognitive Health Supplements and Brain Vitamins
When all is said and done, we know that it can be difficult to maintain a lot of these healthy habits within our normal lifestyles. Financial restrictions, health concerns, and family problems, among so many other things, can get in the way. Therefore, we highly recommend taking vitamins and supplements to support your body’s functioning and to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs.
There are supplements for brain health, including:
- Vitamins B6, B9, B12
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamins A & C
- Vitamin D
- Ginkgo Biloba
Stay Connected and Social
Cognitive health can decline if you isolate yourself and limit yourself from having positive social interactions. Therefore, you want to stay social and connected as much as possible.
This can not only boost serotonin levels but also give you a great sense of purpose. You’ll want to stay social as you age to limit cognitive decline but also to maintain healthier thoughts and keep an open mind.
Tips For Mental Fitness and Building Core Cognitive Skills
In addition to these lifestyle changes, you’ll also want to consider brain activities for brain health. These will help you maintain the 8 core cognitive skills that all humans have:
- And paying close attention
As our cognitive reserve declines, we will notice a drop in many of these core cognitive skills. However, by completing cognitive training, you can improve these skills and keep your brain sharp.
Studying, Even After Secondary School: Studying and memorising is good for your brain health. Keep learning through online classes, getting another degree, or going to adult continuing education. You’re never too old to learn a new skill, and your brain will thank you for it.
Keep Learning, Even a New Hobby or Skill: In addition to going back to school or continuing education, consider taking a fun class, learning a new hobby like crafting or pottery, or playing online games. New activities can help your brain make cellular connections and strengthen old ones. If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language or try a musical instrument, go for it!
Enrol in an Art Program: Art and creativity elevate the spirit. Consider creating art, like enrolling in an art program, adult colouring, or doing paint by numbers. Even if you’re not artistically inclined, consider attending art galleries and theatres.
Play! Healthy Brain Games: Brain games stimulate the brain. Consider playing chess, card games, online games, electrical brain games, and crossword puzzles.
Cognitive health is important as we age and lifestyle changes, exercise, eating right, and taking supplements for cognitive health can improve brain function and mental wellbeing.
Making these changes can be challenging, but with cognitive health supplements, you can better maintain cognitive health. Studies suggest that inositol can improve depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. It also helps stimulate the production of the “feel-good” serotonin and dopamine hormones.
Consider supplementing your cognitive health routine with powder Inositol.
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What is Holistic Health? What is Holistic Health? – Institute for Holistic Health Studies. Wcsu.edu. (2022). Retrieved from https://www.wcsu.edu/ihhs/what-is-holistic-health/.
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