The brain is the control center for all the body’s functions, such as walking, talking, swallowing, breathing, taste, smell, heart rate and so on. It also controls all our thinking functions, our emotions, how we behave and all our intellectual (cognitive) activities, such as how we attend to things, how we perceive and understand our world and its physical surroundings, how we learn and remember and so on.
The brain works like a big computer. It processes information that it receives from the senses and body, and sends messages back to the body. But the brain can do much more than a machine can: humans think and experience emotions with their brain, and it is the root of human intelligence.
The brain stem relays information between the brain, the cerebellum and the spinal cord, as well as controlling eye movements and facial expressions. It also regulates vital functions like breathing, blood pressure and heartbeat.
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It ALL starts with the BRAIN!
Why is Brain Health Important?
Maintaining a healthy brain will help your mind stay clear and active, so that you can continue to work, rest and play.
The importance of heart health has long been promoted, but brain health is just as crucial for our ability to think, act and live well.
Brain health is about reducing risk factors, keeping your mind active and getting the very best out of your brain as you get older.
The brain changes throughout life, adapting to things we have learned and experienced. In a healthy brain, new connections continually develop and broken ones are repaired. As we get older, particularly from middle age onwards, changes can start to happen within the brain so that there's a gradual decrease in mental capabilities. This is known as age-related cognitive decline, and it typically results in people becoming more forgetful and less mentally sharp. So, although brain health is important at every age, it becomes more imperative as we grow older.
Mental decline is one of the most frightening aspects of aging, but it is not inevitable, by working to improve brain health you can help maintain your memory, understanding, communication and quality of life.
Health Life, Healthy Brain
Every day there's a new health scare. Sugar, fat, cooking pans and pollutants have all at some stage been highlighted as public health enemies. It can be difficult to know which guidance to follow. The truth is that a number of different things can influence whether you develop cognitive decline, MCI or dementia.
Here are some tips to keep your brain fit and firing, whatever your age:
Get Quality Sleep - Sleep is a chance for our bodies to rest and repair the damage inflicted by daily life. It can be difficult to concentrate and function when we're sleep deprived, with most adults needing between seven and nine hours to perform at their cognitive peak.
Control Chronic Conditions - High blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can impair your brain health. Have regular health checks to screen for any problems and ensure any medication keeps these conditions under control.
Stay Social - Friends and family can be good for your brain health. People with strong social connections tend to have lower blood pressure, a decreased risk of dementia, and a longer life expectancy. Studies suggest that hearing loss, and the isolation associated with it, can be a significant contributor to cognitive decline.
Enjoy Alcohol In Moderation - Too much alcohol can increase the risk of dementia, but a little of what you fancy may actually do you good. Moderate levels of alcohol, under the government recommendation of 14 units a week, may help prevent memory loss.
Give Up Smoking - Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer's disease. In research, people who smoked between ten and twenty cigarettes a day had a 44 percent greater risk of getting dementia. Giving up cigarettes is difficult, but it can really help your brain stay sharp and healthy.
Eat Well - A balanced diet can nourish your mind and your body. The Mediterranean diet can prevent a decline in brain health. Choose fresh, natural producec with lower levels of sugar, processed foods and saturated fats. Fruit, vegetables, lean protein and healthy oils from olives, fish, nuts and avocados will help protect the brain.