The brain is much like a newborn baby. It is fragile and needs all of the proper care and nutrition to help it grow into a strong organ to carry us throughout our lifespan. We are sharing four important steps to better brain health that you can start today.
No. 1: Volunteer with today’s youth – A science-based initiative through Johns Hopkins University and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), called Experience Corps, found that older adults who volunteer in urban schools improved the educational experience of children AND the older volunteers also experienced meaningful improvements in their own mental and physical health. Why? Because they were increasing their daily socialization and they had a reason to get moving early in the day – all things the brain loves.
No. 2: Eat the catch of the day – Well, only if the catch of the day is a fatty fish high in DHA omega-3. This specific omega-3 makes up about 30 percent of the structural fats in the grey matter of the brain. What’s more, it is responsible for 97 percent of the total omega-3s in the brain. If salmon, tuna, mackerel or herring do not grace your table at least twice a week, you should talk with your doctor about taking a DHA omega-3 supplement. It will help to fill in the gaps when fatty fish is not the catch of the day.
No. 3: Drink to better brain health – In this case, we are not talking about raising a glass of bubbly or toasting with your favorite ale. We are talking about hydration in the form of good old-fashioned H2O. Your body needs to stay hydrated to function properly and this includes your brain.
Memory and fitness expert, Nelson Dellis, shares his tips for staying hydrated throughout the day.
No. 4: Put one foot in front of the other – That’s right, get moving for better brain health. According to research published in the Journal of Aging Research, regular aerobic exercise (the kind that gets your heart pumping and sweat oozing from your glands) may increase the size of the hippocampus in the brain. The researchers found that resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.
Are the foods on your plate helping you stay healthy through the years? We know what foods are ‘good’ for us, but did you know that what’s on your plate today could affect the way you age?
A recent study, by DSM and Groningen University, looked at why some populations age healthier than others. The researchers found evidence that a lack of nutrients can have long-term health effects. The results of the study support what we already know about the importance of a balanced diet throughout our lives.
It’s not always easy to ensure we’re getting proper nutrition, particularly as we age and need fewer calories and our bodies may absorb less nutrients. To help you stay healthy, try following these five rules: Continue reading “5 tips to help you age healthier”
As we enter 2016, many of us are thinking about our health and nutrition. After the indulgences of the holiday season, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s on our plate. When it comes to getting essential nutrients through food, it’s not enough to add the right foods to your menu, you also need to look at how often and how much of those foods you are eating.
Do you regularly eat a whole cup of sautéed spinach or get three weekly servings of salmon or other fatty fish? Research shows that Americans aren’t making the nutritional grade and, therefore, can lack important vitamins and minerals like folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin K and even vitamin C.
Data on dietary intake from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which used the USDA’s Healthy Eating Index to compare what people say they eat to recommended dietary guidelines, found that children and adults scored 56 points out of a possible 100 (equivalent to an “F” grade), while seniors fared only slightly better at 65 points (equivalent to a “D” grade). The American Heart Association agreed with those findings in its 2013 report on heart disease and stroke, concluding that poor diet and lack of exercise are two of the main factors contributing to the high prevalence of heart disease in the U.S.
While many of us are falling short on meeting recommended dietary guidelines, it’s clear from the sheer amount of healthy lifestyle articles, diets, methods and tips out there that we are striving to be healthier.
Here are a few easy to ways to add extra nutrition to your meals:
- Add a cup of spinach or other leafy greens to your next smoothie. You won’t taste the spinach at all and your drink will be a pretty shade of green.
- Add finely chopped veggies to your pasta sauce, soups and casseroles.
- Swap out white pasta and bread and cereals for whole grain (aim for low-sugar and high-fiber options too).
Do you aim to meet the recommended dietary guidelines? How do you get your get your essential nutrients?
83 Million Americans are living with heart disease or the after-effects of stroke. The numbers are scary, but we can do our part to help improve them by making simple lifestyle changes and focusing on heart-healthy nutrition – specifically omega-3 fatty acids, oat beta-glucan and vitamin D.
Click on the infographic below to expand it and read more about heart health and nutrition. For more information, visit www.vitaminsinmotion.com
Two of the most beloved holiday icons are leveraging their celebrity this season to bring attention to heart disease – the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. Mrs. Claus is inviting American families to join her in making the same, heart-healthy lifestyle changes she and Santa are taking on this year to raise awareness for nutrition’s role in heart health.
Find out more and hear Mrs. Claus’ important message from her and Santa here: www.clausnutrition.com
Food is a big part of our lives. We celebrate with special meals, we connect with friends over lunch, we plan a week’s worth of dinners for our families. But at it’s root, food is fuel to help our bodies work. We need the energy, nutrients and vitamins food provides. “The foods we eat should make us feel good,” says Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of Eat Your Way to Sexy and other titles. “These days, the typical American diet contains too many foods that have the opposite effect – making us feel tired, stuffed and uncomfortable.”
Below, Somer shares some of the foods that she defines as unsexy foods – foods that make us feel badly. “Put these foods on the ‘rarely’ list,” she says. “Indulge occasionally if you must, but take note of how these foods make you feel.”
- Refined grains: “People who eat refined grains are more likely to be overweight,” says Somer. Try replacing white carbohydrates, like bread, pasta and flour with whole-grain alternatives to get a feel-good dose of fiber.
- Commercial snack foods: Chips, cookies, crackers, candy, granola bars, baked sweets are all included here. “Too much processed foods and sugar will you leave you feeling seriously unsexy,” says Somer.
- Meat and full-fat dairy: You don’t need to cut out meat, but you should be wise about what cuts of red meat you choose. “Focus on lean meats (7% fat or less), smaller portions and try substituting fatty fish once in a while,” says Somer. “If you don’t like fish, be sure to take a supplement to get those essential omega-3s.” As for dairy, stock up on low-fat cheese and milk. Add homemade fruit puree to plain low-fat yogurt to avoid a sugar rush.
Tell us, what foods make you feel great? What foods do you avoid?
Next time you break for lunch during work or a study session, consider ordering a meal with fatty fish or pack a lunch with foods fortified with DHA omega-3.
The “Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic Acid [DHA] Study” (MIDAS), found that a diet rich in DHA can improve memory in adults 55 years of age and older. Healthy people who took 900 mg of algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on tests measuring learning and memory performance, a benefit equivalent to having memory skills of someone three years younger.
DHA is naturally found throughout the body and is most abundant in the brain. Just as calcium is essential for building strong bones, DHA ensures that the cells in the brain develop and function properly through all stages of life. DHA is a structural fat making up about 30 percent of the structural fats in the gray matter of the brain and 97 percent of the omega-3s in the brain.
Fatty fish and fortified DHA products are packed with DHA to help support brain health. Visit life’sDHA to find food and beverage products fortified with DHA, such as Gold Circle Farms Eggs and Omega Orange juice.