Tips On Keeping Your Brain Healthy… From Dr. Oz…

Image:http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/5-tips-to-keep-your-brain-young#cmpid=em052113

Who doesn’t love Dr. Oz and all the information he shares?? His television show DR. OZ covers a myriad of topics, most of which affect us personally or someone that we know. When I go to the healthy grocery stores (EarthFare, Whole Foods) I hear customers asking about certain products that were shown on a recent episode of Dr. Oz. Everyone wants to be healthy so they can age gracefully. If you haven’t signed up for the Dr. Oz Newsletter, I highly suggest it! Lots of great info delivered to your inbox… for free! Here is one of those topics that most people truly care about… this came from a post of his called “5 Tips to Keep Your Brain Young” – click the link for the entire article, but here is the gist of it…

Take FISH OIL – it contains high levels of Omega 3 which is known to help heart health, and more recently cognitive health… Studies show that those who take Omega 3 have less age-related brain shrinking. Omega 3’s also can lower blood pressure, which is good for the brain.

Eat a handful of ON THE GO ANTI-AGING TRAIL MIX – they suggest  a mixture of walnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, along with dried goji berries, apricots and blueberries. Mix those together and put in a container. Have a handful each day to bump up your Omega 3 for the day.

Eat MICROALGAE – good for the brain – try adding blue green algae, chlorella and spirulina to your smoothie. These are high energy, high protein supplements that support cognitive function.

USE your brain – and use it differently… challenge yourself. In addition to puzzles, reading, games, learning a new language or how to play an instrument, try using your non-dominant hand to do everyday functions. I can tell you from experience, you can feel the pathways in your brain opening up… for about a month I had to use my left hand to do everything because of a wrist injury. Talk about slowing down! I was fortunate that my left handed writing is surprisingly legible (I think I may really be left handed’ish!), but tasks like eating and brushing my teeth took actual THOUGHT. You take for granted how easily everything is with your dominant hand, but widen those brain pathways and use your other hand on occasion! Bonus… when you eat with your non-dominant hand you will slow down significantly and you might even get full before you finish, woohoo!

EXERCISE – now I knew exercise was very good for your brain (and basically every other body part) – its kind of like insurance that you will live a healthier life as you age, you have a better chance if you exercise (not occasionally) but always, make it part of your daily routine. If you can possibly do it earlier in the day, that’s best so that you actually get it done… here’s the blip from the Dr. Oz blog:

More good news about exercise: New studies suggest that exercising your body can help fuel your brain. During exercise, we’re rapidly activating and stimulating neurons in our brains, which send and interpret the messages that enable our bodies to move. Also, new studies with animals have suggested that when starved of blood sugar, neurons are actually able to maintain their energy levels by absorbing glycogen, a stored carbohydrate, from helpful neighbor cells. In these studies, after rats worked out on treadmills, they immediately ate, and the food seemed to go right to their brains – asometimes increasing brain glycogen levels by 60% in the areas of the brain associated with learning and memory. After 24 hours, the glycogen levels returned to normal, unless exercise was repeated every day. In the rats that ran for four weeks, these special stores of glycogen built up in the parts of the brain that support memory and learning.

Translation: You may be developing a sharper brain by increasing your glycogen stores through regular exercise that is immediately followed by carbohydrate consumption. What this looks like: Exercise daily, and after your workout, feed your brain with a healthy carb, like a banana. Then reap the brain benefits!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

IMAGE via Dr Oz Blog

Charleston Photo: Hop on and take a spin…

Charleston, SC… a great place to live. We do move a lot around this area. You always see people out walking, running, biking, skateboarding or in their cars with surfboards or kayaks strapped to the roof. It’s a great thing to get out and move. My nephew who was here for one day visiting from MI noticed that people are out and moving a lot! It’s what we do… if you can walk, run, bike to the store, do it!

Then come home and either jump in the pool, the sprinkler or the shower, at least for the next few months, it’s going to get a tad warmish… look at it this way…

F R E E   S A U N A !

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Keeping your memory sharp – a game!

Image: DoctorOz.com 

Who doesn’t love Doctor Oz? I appreciate his information, and there’s tons of it! If Alzheimer’s is a concern for you, I highly suggest you visit his website, there are amazing video’s, tests you can take if you suspect you may have Alzheimer’s as well as plenty of suggestions to help PREVENT it from occurring in the first place! One of his suggestions to PREVENT it in the first place is to not only exercise your body, but EXERCISE YOUR MIND. Click HERE to go to Doctor Oz’s website where you can easily print this game above.

From DoctorOz.com: Studies have shown that keeping your brain challenged and engaged can actually help to prevent Alzheimer’s. Try games like crossword puzzes that work both the visual and language areas of your brain while combining decision-making and motor coordination. You can also try brain games like the card above. As fast as you can, read out loud the color that each word itself is printed in – not the word itself.

Whoa, that’s a challenge. Do things that are foreign to you, drive a new route to work, learn another language, learn another type of puzzle if you’ve mastered the sudoku or crossword. Learn to knit, crotchet, paint, play the piano, the possibilities are endless. What we don’t want to do is sit in front of the TV and become zombies.

Keep this little puzzle handy, use it until it becomes easy and fast, then move on to something else!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Eat for a better memory… 7 Ways to get sharp, and WHO doesn’t need this?

Image: rd.com

I ran across a great article from Reader’s Digest magazine. You know, that oh so conveniently sized magazine that easily slips into your purse in case you get stuck somewhere and need something to read!? Some of us don’t want to constantly look at our phones. I prefer the actual paper magazine… same with books, but that’s me. Reader’s Digest has fantastic articles, one being EAT FOR A BETTER MEMORY – 7 WAYS TO GET SHARP. I would like to know anyone who doesn’t need to know this information. None of us wants to suffer mental decline. It happens to the best of us, it’s part of aging, BUT there ARE things you can do to become “sharper”… From Reader’s Digest:

Boost brainpower with blueberries. 

Studies have shown blueberries help prevent and reverse age-related memory loss.

Did you read that… PREVENT and REVERSE?!!!

When I looked into this further there was a study that included blueberries, but a few other things I thought I would share… From ABCnews.com

Scientists published a study adding more fuel to the growing belief that exercise boosts brain health. She said research has long shown that exercise is beneficial for brain function and memory – this study helps show why.

John Grohol, a clinical psychologist and founder of the online mental health resource PsychCentral.com, said that exercise is one of the best things you can do to keep your brain healthy. “This study just adds to the evidence that physical activity can enhance and keep our brains healthy,” he said.

Regarding blueberries… here’s what they had to say:

This week, scientists published research suggesting that antioxidant-rich blueberries could improve memory in older adults.

The study, involving scientists from the University of Cincinnati, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Canadian Department of Agriculture, included volunteers in their 70s. One group drank the equivalent of 2 to 2.5 cups of blueberry juice every day for two months. The control group drank a blueberry-less juice.

The scientists said the group that drank blueberry juice demonstrated improvement on memory and learning tests. “These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration,” the report said.

Diet – A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January 2009 found a definite link between caloric restriction and mental function.

Meditation – “People who meditate, research has shown, have a better ability to cultivate positive emotions,” Grohol said. “In doing so, they help maintain their own emotional stability which helps with overall wellbeing and brain health.”

In May, Psychological Science published a study indicating that a certain type of meditation may help the brain hold on to images for short periods.

New Experiences – “The brain seems to really benefit from novelty and new experiences,” said Grohol. But instead of paying money for so-called brain games that may or may not be effective, Grohol suggests people can just do crossword puzzles or play Sudoku games. Learning new languages and other similar pursuits are also good for the brain.

So have a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries on it (I never thought that sounded good until I tried it and ohmygosh!!!), take a walk or jog around the block, learn something new and then sit down and meditate.

That’s a lot to absorb, but every little change we make can help, right?! Ok, instead of talking the talk, I’m going to walk the walk… headed to make some oatmeal & blueberries now!

Catch you back here tomorrow, and again next Thursday for the next installment on foods to eat to stay sharp!