When you think about "brain health," what comes to mind? What does it truly mean?
While brain health encompasses many elements, it's partly about being able to think clearly, experience great, quick recall and always feel clear-headed.
You may have experienced "brain fogginess" where you can't remember where you put your keys or you forget someone's name 10 minutes after being introduced.
Are these instances simply a clarity issue, or could they be an indication that dementia and even Alzheimer's is not far behind? This becomes especially concerning, considering the latest statistics indicate that by age 65 one in 10 people will have some form of dementia.
When should YOU start worrying?
Well, you shouldn't wait until you have symptoms of cognitive decline before you start thinking seriously about your brain health. If you DO start to see some symptoms, get in to see your doctor as soon as you can.
What are some things that can contribute to poor brain health -- and which you can avoid?
Smoking, excess alcohol, certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and exposure to pesticides can all play a role. If you reduce your intake of any or all of these, you're taking a great first step.
Stress also becomes a key factor in how your memory performs, as does nutrition.
Recent research indicates that vitamin D deficiency is linked to dementia and Alzheimer's. Another study linked chronic insomnia to Alzheimer's, particularly in women.
What are some key nutrients for preserving and improving brain health?
Acetyl L-Carnitine and Lipoic acid have been shown to improve brain fog and reverse memory decline, as have blueberry and curcumin.
Doctors and scientists used to think that when brain neurons were destroyed they were lost forever; but new research has shown that they can be regenerated.
Lorna Vanderhaeghe, MS, has degrees in nutrition and biochemistry, and has been researching nutrition for over 30 years. In this segment, she joins Andrea to share effective ways to boost brain health, as well as the latest research on crucial brain nutrients.