The Connection Between a Healthy Heart and a Healthy Brain

What benefits your hearth health can also benefit your brain health. This has always been known to some degree, such as the fact that reducing heart-related illness and disease can also lower the chances of suffering from a stroke, which in turn can have a drastic effect on your brain’s health.

Recent studies continue to discover more connections between a healthy heart and a healthy brain, and there is growing evidence to suggest that by promoting a heart-healthy lifestyle we can achieve a healthier brain too.

For example, in 2016, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association concluded that heart and brain health are affected by each other, noting that a sound heart can help preserve brain processing and cognitive functions in the long run.

The study reviewed over 1,000 subjects (both male and female), and looked at lifestyles that promoted a healthy heart, including not smoking cigarettes, keeping a healthy body weight, being physically active, eating a balanced diet, and ensuring normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

This was done to determine whether heart health impacted each person’s cognitive abilities, which turned out to be the case. Brain tests related to memory and the brain’s processing abilities were conducted on each subject, with a six-year period passing before being tested again.

Researchers then found that having a healthier heart was in fact linked to better mental abilities and brain functions, as well as being linked to less declines in cognitive abilities such as memory, focus, and time management.

So, with an obvious connection discovered between the heart and the brain, what does it mean for those who want to keep their brain healthy by maintaining a healthy heart?

Eat Right

Your diet is one of the best places to start when it comes to improving your heart. What you eat can either increase or reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

These diseases can also cause damage to your brain, such as injuring the white matter of the brain, and increase the rate of cognitive decline, which is directly linked with decreased thinking ability.

A healthy balanced diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables is therefore strongly recommended for a healthy heart and brain. Foods such as these offer nutrients that prevent damage to arties and offer safeguard against early stages of cognitive problems.

An example of a diet that promotes a healthy heart is the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fish, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil.

Taking dietary supplements like multivitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, or natural brain supplements is also a good idea to provide your body with essential nutrients that support the functioning of both your heart and brain.

Exercise

Keeping active not only reduces the risk of being overweight, it also helps to prevent much of the diseases associated with poor heart health. You will also feel better and look better too, increasing your mental well-being and mood at the same time.

Furthermore, physical activity will offer a range of health benefits for the brain, such as increasing the size of the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that deals with memory and learning.

Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. In addition to that, it can also slow down cognitive decline and keep you feeling mentally sharp throughout your life. So, get moving!

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