Your brain needs both physical and mental exercise, plus the proper nutrients to stay fit. As a person ages, memory and the decision-making process slows down and sometimes fails, especially if that person does not have an active life and a healthy diet that can supply the body with the resources needed to thrive in the senior years. Taking care of the daily tasks of living can become a problem. Click image to enlarge photo.
The proper amount of nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids (fats and oils), vitamins, minerals, and water are essential for seniors as they age. Although the aging can’t be stopped, it can be slowed down considerably with a good diet and exercise.
For example, the B vitamins B-1 and B-12 can improve mental attitude, concentration, memory, and reduce stress. Decreased levels of Folic acid (B-9) and B-12 have been found in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Low levels of folate may also contribute to depression in the elderly. Vitamins B-6, B-12, and B-9 have been used to improve symptoms of depression in this age group.
Zinc is necessary for a number of activities, including proper brain function. Tests with children found that the group which took zinc had better “recall, short-term memory, and concentration.” You can find B-complex vitamins in Sundown’s B-complex, 100 percent daily value at Publix grocery stores or other outlets.
I take 2 pills with meals, three times a day, for injuries I received over the years. Any excess is released into the urine, noted by its bright yellow color. I can verify that the B- complex supplement is also a mood enhancer-a positive attitude. (NOTE: Check with your doctor before using any product, especially if you are on any medication.)
Foods good for the brain include complex carbohydrates. For example: oat bran, dried apricots, yogurt (if you aren’t lactose intolerant), and antioxidants (apples, raisins, and prunes). See “things to avoid if you want a good memory.”
Physical exercise is important for improving your brain power. When you’re physically fit, your body functions better, sending oxygen rich blood to your brain. Two popular exercises for seniors are brisk walking and aerobics, water aerobics if you have access to a pool. Physical exercise and a good diet can also develop your strength to do chores around the house and be independent.
Another way to boost your brain function is through mental exercise. Take a class at your local college, learn a foreign language, join a writer’s club, or develop your artistic talent.
Become active in the community. Interact with others through social clubs, political groups or charities. In a “study of 800 men and women aged 75 and older, those who were more physically active, more mentally active or more socially engaged, had a lower risk for developing dementia. And those who combined these activities did even better.”
[Always consult a physician before taking anything that may interact with your medicine.]
Filed under: Seniors' Corner