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Cognitive health: How to keep your mind sharp

Our brain is a powerful organ, responsible for every thought, feeling, and action we make. That’s why it’s important to keep it in tip-top shape. 

Here are some scientifically-backed strategies for enhancing cognitive help – including boosting your memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. 

Eat brain-boosting foods

According to Harvard Medical School, a balanced diet not only benefits your physical health, but your mental health as well. Certain foods are rich in nutrients that can support cognitive function. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts help build brain and nerve cells, essential for learning and memory. Antioxidants in berries and dark chocolate can delay brain aging and improve memory. Meanwhile, turmeric, broccoli, and pumpkin seeds have compounds that can protect the brain and support its health. 

Get active

According to research, regular physical exercise is another proven way to enhance cognitive health. It boosts blood flow and oxygen to your brain, encourages the development of new brain cells, and aids in maintaining existing brain connections. Plus, it helps manage stress and improves mood, contributing to better mental health overall. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, mixing cardio exercises with strength training for optimal benefits.

Keep your mind active

Keeping your mind active is just as important as physical activity. Engage in activities that challenge your brain and build new neural pathways. These could include reading, puzzles, painting, playing a musical instrument, or learning a new language. Such activities stimulate your mind, enhancing memory and cognitive abilities. 

Not quite sure where to start? Here are 10 examples from Psychology Today.

Ensure quality sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in cognitive health. During sleep, your brain consolidates memories and removes toxins that build up while you're awake. On the other hand, poor sleep or sleep deprivation can affect your thinking, memory, and mood. So, ensuring you get about seven-to-nine hours of quality sleep each night is essential for optimal cognitive function.

Foster social interactions

Humans are social creatures, and maintaining healthy social interactions can support cognitive health. Social activities stimulate our brains, enhance our mood, and provide a sense of belonging and wellbeing. Regularly connect with family and friends, join a club or group that interests you, or volunteer in your community.

Seek professional help

Your cognitive health is an essential part of your overall wellbeing. By adopting these simple strategies, you can keep your mind sharp, regardless of your age or life's challenges.

And remember, it's always wise to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.