Maintain a Healthy Brain

Maintain a Healthy Brain

Your Life-Style Choices Do Count

The four F's of Memory Care:
Food, Fitness, Facts & Fun

By Patricia Hagen, CTRS, B.S., MBA/MHA
Director of Memory Care Programs at Charles E. Smith Life Communities

Brain HealthAccording to the Alzheimer’s Association, your brain may lose some agility as you get older. It can deteriorate even more if you don’t take care of it. Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of keeping your memory healthy and strong.

Make Brain-Healthy Choices

FOOD - Increase your intake of protective foods; limit foods high in fat and cholesterol.

  • Include dark skinned fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Choose cold-water fish. Examples: tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines, rainbow trout and anchovies.
  • Eat one ounce of nuts each day: walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and non-hydrogenated nut butters.
  • Vitamins may be helpful - speak to your healthcare provider for recommendations.
  • Adopt an overall food lifestyle, rather than a short-term diet.
  • Eat in moderation, shoot for the right balance of nutrients.

WebMD says, "Add these 'superfoods' to your daily diet, and you will increase your odds of maintaining a healthy brain for the rest of your life":

  • Blueberries
  • Wild salmon
  • Nuts & seeds (as listed above)
  • Avacados
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Freshly brewed tea
  • Dark chocolate

FITNESS - Physical exercise is good for blood flow to the brain and may help produce new brain cells.

  • Exercise can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other related dementias.
  • Physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or even require a lot of time.

FACTS - An active brain seems to increase its strength, build a reserve of brain cells and help increase the connections between those cells.

Keep your brain active every day. You don’t have to make extreme changes to achieve benefits.
  • Commit to lifelong learning.
  • Attend lectures, plays, and musical events.
  • Read, write, work on puzzles of all kinds.
  • Play games.
  • Garden.
  • Enroll in courses at community centers or colleges.

FUN - Stay socially active and find enjoyable activities.

  • Volunteer.
  • Square Dance, play cards or join social groups.
  • Consider participating in a cooking class, exercise group, or swimming club.
  • Travel.
  • Stay active in the workplace if retirement is not your thing.
Try to stimulate the body and mind at the same time.
  • Laugh – smile – tell a joke.
  • Visit with friends.
  • Get together for coffee with a neighbor.
  • Share a story.
  • Sit outside, enjoy the sunshine, meditate.
  • Introduce yourself to someone new.


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