3. Eat right and eat less.
Avoid sugar and processed foods, and you might want to switch to a Mediterranean diet. The brain shrinks as you age, but a study published last year in the journal Neurology found people in their mid-70s who consumed a Mediterranean diet (more fruits, veggies, olive oil, and less meat and cheese) lost less brain mass than people who ate a diet more typical of their country, Scotland. A bigger brain later in life is beneficial and could protect from diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Experts say the best brain diet is comprised of foods like leafy greens, whole fruits and vegetables. While you shouldn’t obsess over counting calories, try to aim for 2,100 calories a day.
4. Get your blood checked every year.
“Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes is a way towards Alzheimer’s disease … Know your blood pressure, know your fasting blood sugar, know what your cholesterol is,” Isaacson said.
Keep your brain challenged, TODAY correspondent Maria Shriver noted. Shriver recommended the website BrainHQ, which features many brain exercises that have been linked to dramatically lower rates of dementia in seniors.