If you think that memory loss and cognitive decline as you age is a “normal” part of the ageing process, you're very mistaken. Just because a large number of elderly people suffer from poor brain health definitely doesn't mean that it's normal…
Current research is now uncovering that what we believed to be degenerative changes in the brain linked to the ageing process could actually be a result of years of chronic inflammation in the brain.
Essentially what this means is that as you get older, when daily tasks seem more difficult and moments of confusion and forgetfulness occur more often, you need to consider symptoms of neurodegeneration of your brain.
Keep reading to understand how inflammation affects your brain health plus three key ways to reduce inflammation for improved brain health in the long run.
Understanding how inflammation can take a toll on your brain health
Your microglia is responsible for removing and collecting debris and pathogens from your brain. These innate immune cells do this by initiating a temporary inflammatory response to attack the foreign substance and then returning to their normal resisting state after removing the danger.
But if your body has suffered too many assaults – through chronic stress
, infection or a physical or mental trauma, for example – your microglia lose their ability to downregulate and remain in attack mode.
The result? Chronic inflammation in your brain that spreads like wildfire! And what’s just as scary is that things as simple as a poor diet and exposure to toxins can also trigger and worsen brain inflammation.
Furthermore, as you age and your microglia have a longer history of activation, they move into an even more inflammatory state as their resisting state. Over time, this state eventually damages the neurons in your brain, causing cognitive function and memory problems.
However, there is some good news – your brain is a resilient organ and by simply giving it the chance, it can overcome to effects of chronic inflammation.
Is it just a bad memory? Or the early signs of Alzheimer's disease?
You know what it’s like to forget a name, misplace your keys, or lose your train of thought. It happens to everyone every so often.
But if you find yourself often repeating a question, forgetting your friends’ names or where you parked your car, it’s important you take five minutes to read this urgent alert NOW…
Three lifestyle changes to help reduce or reverse inflammation in your brain
#1: Do aerobic exercise
A 2013 study compiled by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers revealed that people who increased their heart rate with daily moderate exercise
improved their memory performance and showed enhanced neural efficiency while engaged in memory retrieval tasks.
Researchers suggested that this is because aerobic exercise increases blood flow to your brain, which helps your brain improve neural connections and create new neurons.
You should try and squeeze at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise – even if it’s just walking or running – into your schedule each day. This small effort will do wonders for your brain!
#2: Eat omega-3-rich foods
You should already know that your diet plays a crucial role in your brain health. A body of research confirms that essential fatty acids like omega-3s, for example, are great for your brain. If your DHA (a form of omega-3) levels are low, you’re more likely to suffer from neurodegenerative conditions.
What’s more, omega-3s help scavenge free radicals that attach to your brain tissue and destroy it.
Since your body cant produce these fatty acids itself, you need to make sure you’re getting enough of them through the food you eat. Foods like sardines, salmon, mackerel, shrimp, walnuts and almonds are omega-3 powerhouses that should make a regular appearance on your plate.
#3: Meditate every day
Believe it or not, meditation is neuroregenerative. In fact, a Massachusetts General Hospital study found that mindfulness meditation over a short period of eight weeks increased the amount of grey matter in regions of the brain involved in memory and learning, regulation of one’s emotions and self-awareness. Amazing!
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