Improving Your Mental & Cognitive Health
Currently, there is a rise poor mental health and cognitive challenges. Consider that our brains are involved in everything we do and when our brain works well, we work well! Consider this, roughly speaking our brains only account for 2% of our body weight; however, it uses 20-30% of the calories we consume and 20% of our bodies oxygen and blood flow.
Now that we know our brain is incredibly important to our lives; we need to know that there are things that we have the ability to take control of our lifestyle and health to maximize our mental health and strengthen our cognitive health.
Considerations to Improve Mental and Cognitive Health:
- Sleep 7-9 hours nightly (medications can negatively affect sleep quality)
- Improve your thinking (what you think), feeling (what you feel), relating (how you interact with others) and existing (live your purpose)
- Stimulate and challenge your brain through mental work/practice
- Move daily through physical activity and exercise (begin slow and progress over time)
- Eat more color (consume whole plant foods rich in color and vitamin E) such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds
- Improve blood flow by consuming a low-fat diet (avoid or drastically limit saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol)
- Stay mindful of metal consumption (you need a little but not too much) – Metals to consider include: Copper (healthful sources include: beans, green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains and mushrooms), Iron (healthful sources include: green leafy vegetables, beans, whole grains and dried fruit), and Zinc (healthful sources include: oatmeal, whole grains, brown rice, peanuts, nuts, beans, peas and sesame seeds).
- Avoid use and consumption of aluminum due to growing research identifying the connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease
But there is good news!
We can improve and change our lifestyle and behaviors to improve our mental/cognitive health. We need to understand that poor mental health/cognitive impairment are not a natural part of aging. Daily lifestyle matters for risk reduction and prevention.