Giving your Child’s Brain a Boost

. November 2, 2014.

A recent study by the Alzheimer’s International Conference in Copenhagen, the FINGER Study, revealed a strong correlation between brain health and reducing Alzheimer’s risk. Promoting good brain health, a priority among all families, is easily done. “The more you can exercise, the better, because it helps increase blood flow to the brain and generally helps to keep your body well,” said Samantha West, communications director at the Alzheimer’s Association – Michigan Great Lakes Chapter. Nutrition also makes a difference. “A brain healthy diet is rich in dark vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants and can protect your brain cells,” said West. “Low cholesterol is important as well.”

Social interaction is beneficial and parents should make it a point to schedule playdates throughout the month. “It is important to have social outings and to have activities planned because it reduces stress and helps maintain healthy connections between brain cells,” said West. Mentally-stimulating activities are equally advantageous. “You can do online games, puzzles, learn a language or play an instrument to keep neurons firing and keep you mentally and physically healthy.”

Most of the things that are good for your body are good for your brain. “Play is important for kids and they should be learning new things constantly,” said West. Talk to your kids about why brain health matters. “It is all about making smart choices, staying active and alert and enjoying your health,” said West. Every child will keep his brain healthy in a different way. “Find something you love and get excited about it whether it is riding your bike, walking in the evening or dancing,” said West. Now is the time to begin. “It is never too late to take care of your brain and people of all ages should start now.”