St. Mark's Hospital - June 21, 2019

If you’re scared of losing your marbles as you age, here’s some peace of mind: healthy habits like these may fend off memory loss and dementia.

Eat healthier. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and lean protein give your brain the nutrients it needs to stay sharp. Limiting salt and sugar also protects the brain.

Catch your z’s. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night lowers risk for dementia and other brain diseases.

Relax. Cortisol—the hormone produced by stress—can cause shrinking in parts of the brain connected to memory and learning. De-stress with exercise, deep breathing and mindfulness.

Challenge yourself. Taking classes, trying new hobbies and reading about unfamiliar subjects stimulates your brain and improves focus.

Watch your numbers. High blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar can damage arteries in your brain and lead to cognitive decline.

Thinking about taking supplements for brain health? A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association warns that no supplements are proven to prevent dementia, despite claims by supplement sellers.