There is a lot of information to be had about how leading an active lifestyle can benefit cognitive abilities over the course of a lifetime. But did you know that there is actually a link between mental health and gut health?
- Salmon is packed with heart and brain-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. A good portion of the brain is comprised of fat, so it is important to consume good fats that support the brain’s functionality.
- Fermented options like yogurt and kimchi contain probiotics, which help promote and maintain gut health. Having a healthy, balanced gut flora contributes to overall health.
- Leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in vitamin B, which positively affects mood chemicals in the brain.
- Beans and legumes are slowly digested and therefore stave off cravings for poor, sugar-laden carbohydrates that may lead to mood swings.
- Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation as it is a central nervous system depressant.
Of course there is no single food or meal that can eliminate the blues, but developing a comprehensive approach to healthy brain habits today contributes to a healthier tomorrow.
- Lead an active lifestyle. The American Heart Association provides recommendations for activity levels in adults and children.
- Give your eyes and mind a break from overstimulation. Unplug and disconnect from electronic devices.
- Exercise your mind by reading, doing crossword puzzles, solving math problems, or getting creative with painting or crafts.
- Get a good night’s sleep. How many hours of sleep are needed for good health? The Mayo Clinic provides some insight.
- Manage stress. Surround yourself with positive relationships and a supportive network of family and friends.
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bike or scooter, rollerblading or skateboarding.
- When playing sports, remember to wear all protective equipment.
- Wear a seat belt while riding in a vehicle.
- Avoid riding in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking alcohol.
- Always walk into the water with feet first, never dive in head first.
- Do not vape or utilize electronic cigarettes, traditional cigarettes, or any tobacco product.