Many brain experts use the phrase "what's good for the heart is good for the brain" as the watchword for good mental health. People who have heart disease struggle with memory and cognition. The longer someone has had heart disease, the worse their cognitive abilities. Taking care of the heart takes care of the brain. Focus on:
- Controlling high blood pressure
- Controlling cholesterol levels
- Controlling blood sugar
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Not smoking
Stopping smoking improves the heart's health, which is related to the brain's health, but it also might have a direct impact on memory. Middle-age smokers have been shown to have worse memories than their nonsmoking peers, regardless of other lifestyle factors.
Controlling cardiovascular risk factors, or heart attack and stroke-related risk factors such as obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, diabetes, is also good for the brain.