9 Ways to Maintain a Young, Healthy Brain

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to resign yourself to declining brain function as you get older. To keep your mind feeling sharp, there are steps you can take right now. Read on to discover 9 healthy brain tips that can stop memory impairment from creeping up as you age.


Go Mediterranean

Researchers have found that people who eat a Mediterranean style diet are less likely to develop dementia. The diet puts the spotlight on fresh produce, healthy fats such as olive oil, and lean proteins like fish and chicken.

Cut Out Alcohol and Tobacco

You already know that alcohol and tobacco aren’t good for your health. But it turns out that drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day is a huge risk factor for developing dementia. And smoking, in addition to causing cancer and emphysema, starves the brain of oxygen.

Avoid Falls

Falls are scary at any age, but especially as you get older. Any head injuries can increase your risk for memory loss and impaired brain function, so consider adding strength and flexibility exercises to your daily routine.

Watch Your Blood Pressure

Studies have shown that people with high blood pressure are more likely to experience decreased brain function as they age. Fortunately, you can control your blood pressure by following many of the tips on this list. Eat a healthier diet, exercise more, and cut down on alcohol and salt—but check in with your doctor before making any major changes, okay?

Be Mental Health Savvy

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as physical health. Anxiety and depression can develop at any age, but older adults are especially at risk as they transition to retirement and an empty nest.

Stay Social

One way to stay healthy and engaged is to be social. Spending time with friends, family, or even like-minded strangers can lower your risk for dementia and help you live longer, too.

Tame Blood Sugar

Dementia and diabetes go hand in hand. You may be able to regulate your blood sugar naturally by choosing whole foods and vegetables over simple carbs and processed foods, in addition to regular exercise. But if you’re struggling, you should talk to your doctor about medication.

Try a Low-Dose Aspirin

Here’s another tip that you should run by your primary care physician. Some studies have drawn a link between a daily low-dose aspirin and a decreased risk of vascular dementia. Many people already take a low-dose aspirin for heart health, and a similar principle applies to maintaining a healthy brain.

Stay Sharp and Keep Learning  

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy brain is to keep those neurons firing with puzzles and brain teasers. A daily crossword is a great start—or sudoku, if you’re more into math. Taking a class will not only increase neuroplasticity (your brain’s ability to store and access information) but also help you meet new people.