Dr. Green’s Favorite Brain Workouts

In a recent interview by Bottom Line/Health, our own Dr. Cynthia Green was asked to suggest her best brain workouts. It’s not what most of us think. Crossword puzzles, online classes and other such activities are not necessarily the best for improving memory and preserving overall cognitive function. The latest research reveals that it takes more than quiet puzzle-solving and streaming lectures.

In fact, some activities that we once thought were time wasters may actually help build intellectual capacity and other cognitive functions.  And, the most important steps to keep your brain performing at optimal levels are lifestyle choices.  Brain workouts that include getting aerobic exercise (at least 150 minutes per week), maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking and eating a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables (low in refined sugar and white flour)

However, research now tells us that there is more to a healthy brain workout. 
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World Kindness Day

Did you wonder how the Paris attacks could actually create a stronger “World Kindness Day?” True human kindness was shown, at its best, in the days following the attack as witnessed by many of us in the numerous media stories. Tweets, during the attacks, showed how ‘kindness spreads faster than hate.’ Tributes were laid to victims of the Paris attacks at the foot of the Monument a La Republique, in many cases by strangers for strangers.

Dr. Stephen Post, author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving, discusses kindness in his lectures across the globe.
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Food As Medicine

Buckwheat honey for a cough, peppermint for IBS, turmeric for arthritis, Chia seeds for high cholesterol, salmon for inflamation…“I think most people think food can’t possibly be as potent as drugs, but I see the powerful direct benefits all the time,” said Dr. Melina Jampolis, in a recent discussion with CNN and posted in an article on Fox8.com. A small, growing number of physicians are “prescribing” foods not only for weight management, but also to prevent and treat chronic diseases and CNN spoke with medical nutrition experts to unearth the specific foods they recommend. And you don’t have to be a chef or nutritionist to take advantage of these healthy choices.
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February Is Heart Month: Share the Love for the Heart-Brain Connection

February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to once again focus our thoughts on what is without doubt the brain’s favorite valentine, the heart.

Why does heart health matter so much to our intellectual wellness? The relationship between cardiovascular function and our brain health is well established. Numerous studies have shown over and again that the same factors known to impact cardiac health, such as physical activity, weight and stress, also play a significant role in determining dementia risk. The robustness of this relationship is strong and clear, and many of us know that what is good for our heart is good for our brain as well.
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Dr. Cynthia Green’s 2014 Brain Health Gift Guide

Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be difficult, so we are sharing Dr. Cynthia Green‘s “2014 Brain Healthy Gift Guide” to keep your holidays stress-free. She is always on the look out for cool and fun ways keep you, your family and friends brain healthy, and what better way to celebrate the season than with a gift to boost the brainpower of those on your list? From your boss to your spouse, mom or mom-in-law, kids, grandkids and all those folks in between, each can use a way to maximize their intellectual potential.

Here’s this year’s “top 10” list for brain healthy gifts, plus a few extras for good measure.

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Living Through Loss – Five Steps to Coping with Preparatory Grief

by Elaine Sanchez

Recently when visiting with my friend Joyce, after inquiring about her husband’s latest cancer treatment,  I asked, “And how are you doing?” She said, “You know, I’m okay.  Three years ago when Mark got the diagnosis, I was overwhelmed with grief.  I couldn’t get past the idea that my husband was going to die.  And then our lives were taken over by doctors’ appointments and hospital stays and the dreadful side effects he suffers as a result of all the treatments.  A few weeks ago, I finally accepted the fact that he is going to die before I do,  I cannot continue to put my life on hold until his is over, so I’ve decided that I am going to keep on living. 
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Boost Your Brain Health

Here are the top 10 things everyone should know about improving brain health- they might just surprise you!

1. Take a Walk. Getting off the couch and onto your feet is the best thing you can do for your brain! Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise (the kind where you can keep up but can’t keep up a conversation) boosts daily intellectual performance and significantly lowers the risk for dementia. Even walking at a vigorous pace at least 30 minutes a day 5-6 times a week will do the trick.

2. Lose that Spare Tire. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight with a low ratio of “belly fat” can significantly lower the risk for a memory disorder.
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Brain Science from Dr. Cynthia Green

The focus on this month’s brain science report, from Dr. Cynthia Green, features the benefits of keeping busy, both at work and online:

BRAIN SCIENCE: Your Brain @ Work: Challenging Work May Reduce Dementia Risk
German researchers conducting a review of the literature found that a work environment that offers a rich intellectual experience, engagement with others, work with data as well as a high degree of job control may lower risk for dementia later in life. A systematic review of the literature resulted in 17 studies qualifying for inclusion in their analysis. Their findings, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine,suggest that our work environment may play a protective role in brain health.
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Dr. Stork Discusses Mindful Eating And Its Impact On Your Health

We’ve all done it: eaten something so fast that we don’t even taste it! In his latest NY Times best-selling book: The Doctor’s Diet, Dr. Travis Stork offers 10 Food Prescriptions for Optimal Health. Number 1 on his list is mindful eating.

If you can’t remember what food you had at your last meal, you probably ate it mindlessly, without thinking or noticing how it tasted or how your body reacted to it!  If you can open your mind and become fully aware of food and its impact on your health and your life, everything else you do will be easier.
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Dr. Travis Stork “Addicted To Sugar Quiz”

The Doctor's Diet Dr. Travis Stork
Dr. Travis says he is not sure if it’s because of genetics or just the way we’re raised, but it definitely seems that some people are more likely to become addicted to sugar than others. How do you rate? Are you someone who wakes up in a sweat after dreaming of chocolate cream pie? Are you immune to sugar-can you easily say “no thanks” to candy, cookies, and desserts? Or are you, like most people, somewhere in the middle? Take this quiz to find out where you stand. Select the answer that most closely fits each questions.
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