health spotlight

Have You Cared for Your Brain Today?

The Body’s Command Center Controls Quality of Life with Age

By Carrie Weidenbach

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We don’t think about brain health as much as caring for the other parts of our bodies, like the heart, gut or even skin. However, to live a quality long life, taking good care of the brain is critical. Consider how long you’d like to live. Quality of life can be planned for rather than left to chance.

The brain is the body’s command center, controlling various bodily functions, processing information and maintaining cognitive abilities. Protecting and enhancing brain health are essential for maintaining optimal memory function, reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and promoting a higher quality of life with age.

Stimulating the brain, such as by reading, learning new skills, solving puzzles and participating in mentally challenging tasks, can help preserve cognitive function and promote neuroplasticity. Regular physical exercise has also been linked to improved brain health, as it enhances blood flow to the brain and promotes the growth of new neurons. Additionally, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet rich in nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, provides essential nourishment for brain health and protects against oxidative stress and inflammation. Foods that cause inflammation and therefore damage brains are sugar, gluten and dairy.

Lack of proper brain care can also be problematic for mental health. A nine-year study published by Yujie Zhao and colleagues in Nature Mental Health has shown that people who neglect their brain health are at a higher risk of developing depression. This is because the brain is responsible for regulating emotions, and poor brain health can disrupt these processes. A brain in decline from neglect can make nearly everything in life more difficult.

Another form of brain neglect is poor sleep. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker, Ph.D., is a world-renowned expert on sleep and the author of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Walker says, “Sleep is not a disposable luxury—it’s a non-negotiable biological necessity.”

During sleep the brain organizes memories and things learned. Getting eight hours of this restorative process is necessary to maintain good brain heath. Recent findings show that sleep also plays a housekeeping role, removing toxins in the brain that build up while awake.

It’s never too late to be intentional about how to live the latter half of life. However, the sooner the brain gets attention and care, the better the chance of a quality life.

Carrie Weidenbach is a certified longevity coach, brain tech and owner of Cereset Clarkston, which is located at 5649 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston. For more information, call 248-605-0533 or visit ALifeOfAppreciation.com.  

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