- 1.Excercise most days. 30 mins. Work up a sweat. It makes your body produce a hormone called BDNF that makes brain stem cells grow and makes brain cells make new connections and makes your hippocampus (where memory is stored) stay healthy and not shrink. Of course consult your Dr. before starting an exercise program as some people could have underlying health issues.
- 2. Stop ALL food with sugar (sucrose, which is made up of glucose and fructose ) except a couple of whole fruit servings a day. (Berries have been shown to be beneficial). This means all processed foods with sugar, including fruit juices (which is basically just the sugar) , also refined grains break down quickly to glucose in the body. High sugar (glucose) in the blood is toxic to our brains. Like seriously toxic.
- 3. Don't hit your head. Stop all sports that can do this. Its very bad for our brains.
- 4. Eat a wide variety of plant foods across the rainbow. Your diet should be mainly plant based like a Mediterranean diet. Don't bother with basic vitamins to start until.you get your diet cleaned up (except vitamin D3 to start) because its the plant foods you need with their millions of micronutrients for your brain. You can worry about fat, carb, protein ratios later. Its small print for you now. The priority is to increase your veggies and stop all refined carbohydrates and sugar. This will automatically make the protein content of your diet smaller. Most of us are shooting for about a 15 to 20% protein in our diets. Oily fish 3 times a week is shown to be protective. That's salmon, sardines. The fish itself is probably better than the oil extracted. Nuts yes. Avocado yes. Seeds yes. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) yes. Other plant oils no no no (its the omega 6s they cause inflammation.) Red meat very seldom and very small portions and try make it grass fed. Chicken sometimes (again small portion) and try make it free range, ditto eggs.
Classic Mediterranean diet is a good start. Every meal is heavily plant based.
- 5. Prioritize sleep. Our brains repair in sleep. Do not take sedating antihistamines to sleep. They are very bad for our brains ( they are part of a group of meds called anticholinergics that block stuff our brains need to function). Sleeping pills are probably not safe either. Melatonin is safe and probably beneficial. Use meditation to sleep if this isn't enough. You can also get blue light blocking spectacles to make your brain make its own melatonin at night. Works brilliantly.
- 6. Get your BMI into the healthy range if its not.
- 7. Keep your mind active, do something cognitively hard like try make sense of the forum!, learn a language, learn an instrument, learn line dancing. ..anything that makes new pathways in your brain. Stay connected socially with family and friends and new friends.
edited January 12th, 2018 by Stavia, as the original link to a wiki article from 2014 no longer exists. Here is our main wiki page, and here is a current Primer for new members