As we age, our brain health deteriorates. Our memory might lapse from time to time, we are less able to focus for long periods of time and our mental processing slows right down. Generally our brain health is at its best when we’re in our mid-twenties before leveling off and beginning to decline around middle age.
Whilst ageing itself is inevitable, we can mitigate mental decline by making some changes to our lifestyles. Taking the right supplements , doing the right kinds of physical exercise , and keeping your brain energised by learning and trying new things, are all things that can help.
If you want to improve your concentration, achieve better focus, sharpen your thinking and increase brain power, start by taking these simple steps:
1. Learn something new every day
You’ve heard the saying “use it or lose it”: treat your brain as you would your body and exercise it regularly to keep it fit and working in your favour as you age. Taking up new hobbies, reading regularly, trying new things: these are all things that can help your brain to forge new connections.
As you build new connections in the brain, you are inadvertently strengthening your brain’s neural pathways. This is important because it is the strength of these neural pathways that ensures efficient communication between areas of the brain and keeps distant brain areas connected and functioning in harmony. When translated into lived experience, these improved connections show up as improved memory, focus and attention, and feeling more mentally alert.
Several studies, including a recent one carried out at Harvard University, confirm the notion that making a conscious effort to learn new things and to seek novel experiences can slow cognitive ageing and prevent mental decline.
2. Put on your dancing shoes
A few years ago, scientists looked into the impact of different forms of exercise and movement on age-related cognitive decline. Their results were surprising: dancing, it seems, was the only form of movement to have a discernible impact on improving the brain health related behaviour of the participants. Other forms of exercise resulted in improved brain scan results, but dancing was the only exercise that translated into a noticeable difference in behaviour.
It was concluded that not only could regular dancing slow the ageing of the brain dramatically, but it could also reverse signs of ageing that already existed. Dancing, it seems, has an anti-aging effect on the hippocampus. Scientists attributed the superiority of dancing as cognition-enhancer to the combination of physical exertion and mental processing (following the steps, learning the choreography) that are involved.
Dance therapy may soon be prescribed by medical experts in the hope that it could prevent, reverse, or at the very least ease the symptoms associated with dementia and forgetfulness and keep the brain younger for longer.
3. Supplements for brain health
As we age, the part of our brain responsible for forming and storing new memories - the hippocampus - visibly shrinks and loses capacity. The myelin sheath that protects the brain’s nerve fibers wears out with age, and thus the speed of communication between neurons is slowed. Furthermore, the neurons that enable communication between different zones in the brain begin to wither and may not function as well as they once did. All of these things can have an impact on your brain’s ability to assimilate new information into your memory, and also on your ability to retrieve old memories.
LYMA contains Cognizin®, the world’s leading nootropic. Cognizin®, as formulated at 250mg in the LYMA formula, has been extensively trialled in relation to age-related mental decline. Supplementing with Cognizin® has been shown to improve memory and mood in older people and can help to slow cognitive impairment. It may even support dementia prevention. In addition, supplementing with Cognizin® is associated with enhanced mental performance, improved concentration and a longer attention span.
Studies have demonstrated dramatically improved recall ability after supplementing with Cognizin® for just four weeks. In LYMA, Cognizin® is coupled with powerful anti-inflammatory HydroCurc™ which, when taken together, can also protect your brain against free radical damage. Free radical damage, oxidative stress and inflammation, are leading causes in the age-related cell-breakdown that leads to reduced brain power - supplementing with LYMA is a great way to slow down the process and prevent mental decline.
A leading cause of mental decline is diminished blood flow in small vessels that have calcified and become blocked with age. The potent combination of Vita-algae D3™ and K2 VITAL® in LYMA work together to help protect against this calcification and keep blood flowing normally to all areas of the brain.
4. Shine a light on your nutrition
To keep your brain healthy you need to load up on antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and micronutrients. There is recent clinical evidence to suggest that being deficient in specific vitamins and minerals can lead to reduced brain health and contribute to dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Vitamin E is one nutrient you want to be loading up on for brain health. Studies have demonstrated that vitamin E deﬁciency leads to increased levels of brain damage from oxidative stress. Walnuts, almonds, leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are all great sources of vitamin E.
Foods rich in vitamin C have been proven to help protect the brain against the damaging effects of oxidative stress and inflammation that accumulate over a lifetime. Vitamin C helps to protect blood vessels; compromised blood vessel health has been linked to Alzheimer’s development in older people. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges and orange juice, red and green peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, parsley and potatoes.
Omega-3 is also a key nutrient for brain health. This fatty acid found naturally in fish oil fish oil can improve brain function in people with cognitive impairments, such as those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Sources of omega-3 include fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, mackerel and sardines and flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Memory loss, age-related mental decline and slower cognitive processing don’t have to get the better of you as you age. By adopting some of these strategies for keeping your brain healthy and functioning as well as it did in your twenties, you can take back control. LYMA can help you to stave off many of the less desirable aspects of growing older, improving not only your brain health, but keeping you looking and feeling younger too . At LYMA, we are dedicated to the certain knowledge that, no matter your age, there is no better feeling than feeling your best .
Originally published Sep 3, 2020.