Learn how to get older with a healthy brain

Your brain changes as you get older but there are ways to minimize any negative impacts

Public health nurse Crystal Wadlegger gives a presentation on getting older with a healthy brain.

Public health nurse Crystal Wadlegger gives a presentation on getting older with a healthy brain.

Your brain changes as you get older but there are ways to minimize any negative impacts, according to public health nurse Crystal Wadlegger.

Speaking to a gathering of nearly 20 local seniors and others at Dutch Lake Community Centre on Nov. 3, Wadlegger laid out a number steps to take in order to get older with a healthy brain. Free radicals caused by such things as chemicals in our environment or from stress can cause damage, but can be controlled by eating foods containing anti-oxidants.

Wadlegger compared the process to an apple turning brown when cut. Lemon juice spread over the cut apple acts as an anti-oxidant and stops browning, she said.

Vitamins C and E are among the best anti-oxidants.

Good sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, brussels sprouts and any fruit or vegetable that’s orange or red.

“Eat a rainbow a day,” Wadlegger said.

Almonds are among the best sources of Vitamin E. Others include olive oil and papaya.

According to a handout given out during Wadlegger’s presentation, ways to keep your brain young include:

1.  get mental stimulation;

2.  get physical exercise;

3.  improve your diet by keeping the calories in check, eating the right foods, and getting enough of the three B vitamins;

4.  improve your blood pressure through such things as regular exercise, staying lean, and reducing stress;

5.  improve your blood sugar, again by staying lean, exercising regularly and eating right;

6.  improve your cholesterol;

7.  avoid tobacco;

8.  don’t abuse alcohol;

9.  care for your emotions;

10. protect your head; and

11. build social networks, because strong social ties have been associated with lower blood pressure and longer life expectancies.