It’s something that will inevitably happen as we get older – our bones and muscles lose mass, as well as the heart and brain, even though these things aren’t as apparent. As we age, our bodies essentially begin to deteriorate, even though we might still feel 35 in our minds, just with the added wisdom and knowledge that comes along with having lived life for as long as you have. Either way, we need to care for our bodies, take up good habits, and eat certain foods that have been known to be the best for seniors.
Researchers have connected a link between the diminishing of brain size and the development of dementia. To help keep your brain healthy and retain brain size as much as possible as you age, you will need to eat more B12 and foods high in healthy proteins. Sea foods are high on the list of containing high amounts of vitamin B12 – crustaceans, octopus, mussels and most fish, including lamb, cheese and eggs.
Just like the rest of your body, you need to challenge and exercise your brain to keep it strong and healthy. Playing certain games have been known to keep the brain sharp and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers. Games that involve getting to the bottom of a problem and ones that make you use memorization are the best.
Exercising your body will help your bones and muscles from losing mass and strength, as well as keep your heart and lungs strong, and will even keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk of dementia. A European study found that seniors who exercised had lowered their risk of vascular dementia by half, and their risk of cognitive impairment was decreased to as much as 60%.
It makes sense – by getting your blood pumping, you are working your heart and lungs, and getting even more oxygen rich blood throughout your body. This is extremely important for your brain, since the brain by itself uses about a quarter of the total oxygen out bodies bring in. Every cell in your body needs oxygen, and exercise keeps your existing cells healthy and prevents them from dying off, or lowers the rate at which they are dying off. You should get about 20 minutes of cardio three times a week, as well as 15 to 20 minutes of strength training. Check with your doctor to make sure this is safe for you.
You need more iron, protein, calcium, potassium and vitamins C and D to help keep your muscles and bones in top shape. You should be eating more bananas, almonds, dried cooked beans, sweet potatoes, cooked spinach, eggs, cheese, strawberries, green peppers and tomatoes. You should also be getting around 15 minutes of sunlight each day, unless you have a condition where this would be a bad idea. The vitamin D we absorb from sunlight helps our bodies to more effectively absorb the calcium from the foods we eat.