Cognitive health is important because it determines your ability to clearly think, learn, and remember.
Your brain’s job starts well before you are born. In the womb, it controls your body's functions and makes instinctive decisions that keep you alive. As you learn and experience new things throughout life, your brain evolves. In a healthy brain, new connections continually develop, and broken ones are repaired.
As you get older, particularly from middle age onwards, changes can start to occur within the brain that trigger a gradual decline in mental capabilities. This is known as age-related cognitive decline, and it typically results in people becoming more forgetful and less mentally sharp.
When cognitive function is impaired, it can have a profound impact on your overall health and wellbeing4. So, although brain health is important at every age, it becomes even more critical as you get older.
Cognitive decline can range from mild impairment to dementia; a form of decline in abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life (which most commonly appears in the form of Alzheimer’s disease).
The emotional, physical, and economic toll that poor brain health and cognitive decline takes is huge. And, as life expectancy increases and the population ages, the toll on people and societies is only increasing.
In Europe alone, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect around 10 million people. By 2030, this number is expected to increase to 14 million5, and the societal and economic cost is estimated to increase to over €250 billion – equivalent to the entire GDP of Finland6.
In the United States, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are among the most expensive diseases to treat, with direct care expenses greater than those for cancer and equal to heart disease7.
Clearly, maintaining a healthy brain and moderating the effects of cognitive decline is desirable not just for you and your family members, but also for society at large.
Lifestyle has a profound impact on your brain health. What you eat and drink, how well you sleep, the amount of exercise you do, your social connections, and the way you manage stress all play a role. Here are some ways you can start taking care of your brain now to maintain cognitive function well into older age.
Regular exercise isn’t just good for your muscles. It can also strengthen the network of blood vessels that supply the part of your brain responsible for thought, learning and mood. Exercise also helps you control your weight and protects against diabetes and lower blood pressure, so it can protect your brain in several different ways.
You know that a balanced diet can nourish your body, but it works just as well for your mind. Eating fresh, natural produce with lower levels of sugar and avoiding processed food and saturated fat can prevent a decline in brain health. Food rich in antioxidants can help defend against the harmful effects of oxidation in your brain, which damages brain cells.
Sleep is your body’s opportunity to rest and repair the damage inflicted by daily life. It energizes you, improves your mood and helps strengthen your immune system. It may also reduce buildup in the brain of an abnormal protein called beta-amyloid plaque, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep a night to operate at their cognitive peak.
This important aspect of self-care was often taken for granted until Covid-19 imposed unprecedented levels of social isolation on all of us. People with strong social connections tend to have lower blood pressure, a decreased risk of dementia, and a longer life expectancy. Studies have shown that those with high social interaction in their community often experience a slower rate of memory decline. Staying connected with family and friends isn’t just enjoyable – it’s good for your health.
Use it or lose it, as the saying goes. Keeping your brain fit and healthy with mental exercise is just as important to your general health as a body workout. Mental exercises may improve your brain’s functioning and promote new brain cell growth, decreasing your likelihood of developing dementia. Sudoku, crosswords, learning an instrument or having a healthy debate with a friend – anything that gets your brain whirring can support your cognitive health.
Brain health enables thought, planned action and emotional connections that impact the daily lives and progress of people, families and communities. Maintaining good cognitive health for as long as possible is beneficial for not just your overall health and wellbeing, but that of your family members and society at large.
Many people think of cognitive decline as something that only affects the elderly, but it can begin developing in younger age groups too. Although some people maintain excellent cognitive function well into older age, it's important to start taking care of your brain as early as possible.
Boosting NAD+ levels can strengthen your body’s ability to protect itself and help support important processes, including cognitive health. Pursing lifestyle choices that benefit your brain is also an easy way to defend against age-related cognitive decline. Although everyone’s biology and behavior are unique, maintaining a healthy brain at every stage should be a universal goal in pursuing lifelong wellbeing and healthy aging.
Optima chewable NMN-C® tablets deliver the extra NMN your body needs to replenish NAD+, which has been shown to support brain health and cognitive function.
• Maintain mental energy
• Support daylong focus
• Promote balanced mood and quality sleep
• Optimize body and mind health
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