• Strong Connections Between Heart and Brain Health Made Simple

    Strong Connections Between Heart and Brain Health Made Simple

Losing brain function as you age is a common worry, and understandably so. However, one of the best ways to prevent cognitive degeneration is awareness. Memory loss and cognitive decline don’t have to be a part of your aging journey. Learn more about how your brain health is tied to the health of other important organs, particularly heart health. Your heart and brain health are closely tied and learning how they are connected will help you age better.

Hearth and Brain Health Connectivity

Vascular, or blood vessel, problems are numerous and vary by levels of severity. But when it comes to your brain, atherosclerosis is what you want to pay close attention to. This is a condition when fatty plaque builds up in the arteries. Another condition to keep track of is arteriosclerosis, the process of arteries stiffening as you age.

Both conditions are well-known contributors to cardiovascular disease, but these same issues can also damage your healthy brain function as you age. As the arteries stiffen and plaque builds up in the bloodstream, less oxygen is available in the bloodstream to fuel proper brain function. When your brain is deprived of appropriate levels of oxygen, cognitive function will decline and sufferers may experience symptoms from brain fog to brain damage. If left untreated, this can cause a condition known as vascular dementia.

Additionally, there is a connection between the buildup of plaque in the bloodstream and Alzheimer’s. As protein deposits, known as beta-amyloids, accumulate in the brain, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s will arise. This protein buildup is called hypoperfusion and means the brain isn’t getting sufficient blood flow over a long period of time. Due to this similarity, there is diagnostically no difference between Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

Awareness As Prevention

Much like your overall health, awareness is the key to preventing heart disease-related cognitive decline. This means that keeping your brain healthy starts with your heart. To keep your heart healthy you should regularly practice the following:

Make the Connection Between Brain and Heart Health

As we said, everything that is bad for your heart is also bad for your brain, so the more you take care of your cardiovascular health, the better you are taking care of your cognitive health.

Eat Better

If you are trying to preserve your cognitive function, eating well is a great place to start. A diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables can work wonders for a healthy heart. These are foods that help give your body the nutrients it needs to work efficiently, but also seem to help prevent injuries to arteries which can help prevent early mental decline.

Flex Your Cognitive Muscles

A surprising impact exercise can have on your brain is in the region that controls memory and learning. Aerobic activity is the type of workout that raises your heart rate to the point of sweating. This type of exercise appears to increase the size of your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain that controls memory and learning. This is because aerobic exercise increases the release of growth hormones that affect the production of healthy brain cells and the development of new blood vessels in the brain.

Get Better Sleep

Sleep is important and it seems as though everyone skips out on it. But for healthier hearts and minds, it is vital to your long-term health. Some doctors believe that sleep is the brain’s opportunity to practice some good cleansing and clears out the toxic beta-amyloid buildup that occurs with protein deposits and is associated with Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

Looking for some other new secrets to living a healthy lifestyle? With this FREE A-Z guide on Living and Aging the Way You Want you can learn the ABCs of aging successfully. Download your PDF and start living the lifestyle you want.

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services, and more. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

More Resources We Think You'll Enjoy!

Fight the Causes of Fatigue From the Inside-Out
9 Spectacular Destination Books to Cure Your Wanderlust
The Hidden Benefits of Movement as Medicine