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An Active and Healthy Brain

October 1, 2015 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Keeping your brain healthy may help reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and help you manage symptoms.


While our bodies experience many changes as we age, our minds can remain the same. Dementia is not a part of normal aging, and there are things you can do to reduce your risk of dementia, including:

1. Give your brain a daily workout. Brain stimulation can help to maintain your memory and delay dementia.

  • Stay social and engage in stimulating conversations with friends, family, or neighbours.
  • Play various games that make you think like Sudoku, cards, board games, chess, and word games.
  • Watch question-and-answer game shows and play along.
  • Read the newspaper and books to give your brain a workout.

2. Boost your brain health with physical activity. Regular physical activity can:

  • Lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Increase blood flow to your brain, bringing oxygen and nutrients, keeping your brain healthy.
  • Improve your mental well-being through social physical activities and taking part in community events or programs.

3. Eat smart for a healthier brain. Follow Eating Well With Canada's Food Guide. Include:

  • A variety of vegetables and fruit, grain products, lean meats, fish, nuts, beans, and lower fat dairy products or alternatives.
  • Foods rich in B vitamins: whole grain cereals, breads, pastas, rice, dairy, beans, meats, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fish, many nuts and seeds, and other foods.
  • Lower fat foods, vegetables and fruit to reduce the risk of heart and other diseases that may affect brain activity.

4. Keep stress under control. Excess stress hormones, such as cortisol, can be harmful to the brain. Keep stress under control with activities like gentle yoga, Tai Chi and meditation.

Did You Know?
What’s good for your heart is good for your brain. The same things that put you at risk for cardiovascular disease - such as smoking, high blood pressure and obesity - also put you at risk for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

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