Humans spend a lot of time trying to slow down aging from the outside—we buy expensive face creams, spend hours primping in the mirror, and even turn to plastic surgery. But the fact is our brains age just like our bodies do—only the mental side effects can significantly erode our quality of life. And according to Reader's Digest, our brains start slowing down at the tender age of 30. On the bright side, the magazine also offers up some tips for delaying or even reversing this aging process, as informed by various doctors, psychologists, neuropsychologists, and more. To stave off memory loss and cognitive decline, make a point to do the following three things for brain health every day:
Hit the Gym
"The best advice I can give to keep your brain healthy and young is … exercise," said Donald Stuss, PhD, neuropsychologist and research director at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto. Aerobic exercise in particular reduces brain-tissue loss in aging humans, and can it actually sharpen your brain after years of sedentary living.
Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods
"Another path to a better brain is through your stomach," writes RD. Antioxidants in particular have been shown to fight cancer, neutralize harmful free radicals, and improve overall brain health. Bring on the goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans, and artichokes!
Exercise Your Mind
Believe it or not, the brain is highly adaptable, or "plastic" in the words of neurologists. No matter what your age, you can train your brain to be faster, more nimble, and, in effect, younger. Neurologist Michael Merzenich, PhD, even developed a program called the Brain Fitness Program, but activities like chess, sudoku, or some video games can have a similar effect.
For more, read up on the anti-aging mind games everyone should practice, and share your tips for brain health below!