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As a wife and a mom to four, you can imagine how obsessive it can be to make sure that your family is healthy-at all times. Sometimes it may mean that I drag everyone to the park to have some outside time, while other times it means me strictly monitoring what everyone puts in their mouths. With me just having had a baby four months ago, I've been increasingly worried about brain health, with not only mine--but my young baby's as well. (I mean let's be honest-I'm over 35 with a new baby.) In case you’ve wondered, brain volume and cognitive function naturally decline as we age, but we may be able to reduce the risk of age-related memory loss with good nutrition, excercise, and an overall healthy lifestyle. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"] As a way to combat getting mentally older, I’ve decided to do several things, starting with getting daily exercise. So for an hour a day I walk--sometimes with the kids, but more often I’m by myself. The second thing I've decided to do is to “clean” up what I eat, starting by taking away all red meat and eating more seafood--especially salmon. Salmon has DHA Omega 3- a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is important for many aspects of optimal health. DHA omega-3 is found primarily in fatty fish like salmon.  I also combine my new love for seafood with vegetables which I have learned contain a lot of Lutein, a member of the carotenoid family that is found in many green leafy plants, such as kale and spinach, and other colorful fruits and vegetables. It has important antioxidant functions in the body.  I know that it’s important for me to get these nutrients because I breastfeed, but I’m even stricter with my kids to make sure they eat their vegetables.On top of the exercise and food, I’ve been forcing myself to go to bed at a reasonable time so that I’m alert and ready for a full day the next day. After doing this for the past month, I can excitedly say that I feel 100% better. I’m no longer sluggish and tired- instead I feel reenergized! It’s like my brain has stretched to increase my mental skills, language and memory.
Just within the last two weeks, I’ve decided to start some additional vitamins, like Vitamin E, which may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, possibly due to its antioxidant properties.  Through my research I’ve also learned that there was a Harvard University and Association of Schools of Public Health study that suggested that there may be as many as 72,000-96,000 preventable deaths each year in the states because of the lessening amount of Omega-3 intakes.So as I go into the fall, I’m focusing on my health. I’m continuing taking my vitamins, I'm getting enough rest, exercising and eating right so that in 8 months I can be a healthy size and my mind can be clear. This post includes my own personal opinions, and should not be taken as medical advice.
 The Four Dimensions of Brain Health. Beautiful Minds. www.beautiful-minds.com.  Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The Nutrition Source. Harvard School of Public Health. 2015.  What the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies Mean for You. National Eye Institute. 2015.  Vitamin E — Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. 2013.  Johnson E. J. Emerging Science on Lutein in the Brain. Sight & Life. 2014; 28(1):22–26.  Yurko-Mauro K, Alexander DD, Van Elswyk ME (2015) Docosahexaenoic Acid and Adult Memory: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0120391. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0120391 (2015).
 Johnson, E. J. Role of lutein and zeaxanthin in visual and cognitive function throughout the lifespan. Nutrition reviews, 72(9), 605-612. 2015.  Johnson E. J. Emerging Science on Lutein in the Brain. Sight & Life. 2014; 28(1):22–26.