Good Sunday morning, everyone! These days with all us of being pulled in many different directions, and life being so busy, we need to make sure we take care of our minds.

I think when we start forgetting to do things or can’t remember a name of someone we have met before, it worries us that we might be developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

So, I recently ran across an article that gives you foods to eat and things to do to keep your mind sharp. You may be glad to see that being busy is actually good for your mind. I know I was happy to see that.

First, Omega-3. You are most likely aware of the benefits of the oils from fatty fish such as salmon. Omega-3s are widely known to reduce both inflammation and blood pressure, but it has been proven by a study done at Harvard Medical School to reverse the decline of memory. You can buy these in a pill form, but salmon is one of the 50 best brain food of all times.

Second, exercise. According to another study, through Harvard, if you learn something new and then exercise within four hours, at an intensity of about 80 percent, the part of your brain responsible for remembering things, will experience more activity, helping your brain absorb that new material.

Third, don’t skip the morning coffee. According to the Radiological Society of North America, a mere two cups of coffee per day will boost your short-term memory function.

Fourth, pack your calendar. In a study by Harvard again, individuals with little down time have higher brain function when it comes to episodic memory. That’s the type of memory involved in recalling times and places … so everything.

Fifth, adopt a heavy protein diet. For those who work out and like their protein shakes, you are helping more than your body. According to research, a high protein diet, because of the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine, is directly connected to an ironclad memory.

These days our healthy minds are so important. I have often said we are what we eat and, unfortunately, eating the things that do our bodies good aren’t cheap. So it is no wonder so many individuals are struggling with mental health issues.

You don’t have to join a gym to exercise, although the friendship you build there can also do your mental health some good. Coffee, if made at home or the office, isn’t expensive and if you don’t like fish, you can buy Omega-3 at most stores. Do yourself, as well as your family and friends, a favor and adopt some new healthy habits.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone: 442-3512

Recommended for you