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5 Ways to Optimize Your Brain Health

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According to physician, psychiatrist, best-selling author and all-around brain expert Dr. Daniel Amen, the brain is the largest organ in the body, but we spend so little time working on it to keep it healthy. Although we can certainly make our brains worse, we’re not stuck with the brains we have. In fact, there are things we can do daily to improve our brain function now and as we age. In his new book, “Feel Better Fast and Make it Last,” he says the best place to start is with falling in love with your brain and then doing the following activities daily:

  1. Exercise: Hitting the gym daily isn’t just good for physical fitness; it’s also critical for mental fitness as well. Exercise gets the blood flowing through your body, including your brain. The better your blood circulates, the healthier your brain will be.
  2. Learn something new: Learning isn’t just for children and college students. Committing to learning something new, such as a new language, skill, musical instrument, even reading up on a topic you’re curious about, keeps your brain active and flexible.
  3. Load up on brain-healthy nutrients: Power nutrients like the Omega 3s found in seafood, vitamin D and gingko biloba feed your brain and help it maintain optimal performance.
  4. Phone a friend: Loneliness is the top risk factor for Alzheimer’s. To minimize your risk, get in touch with your favorite people: family, friends, mentors, neighbors, etc. Invite them to coffee or dinner, organize a neighborhood craft or hobby night, participate in a book club, and more.
  5. Fuel your mind with brain-healthy foods: In addition to foods that deliver power nutrients to your brain, nosh on foods like chocolate and mushrooms that help release feel-good chemicals in the brain. In fact, chocolate boosts a chemical in the brain that alerts you that something fun is about to happen (however, enjoy it in moderation).

Want to learn more to help you boost your brain power? Listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life” and listen to expert advice from Dr. Daniel Amen. Click here to listen.

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