The Blueprint for Cognitive Health Mirrors Body Wellness

Cognitive health is a common concern as we age, as it plays a role in memory, awareness, judgment and mental acuity. Several factors are out of our control, but focusing on five areas within our control can reduce the risks of cognitive decline. Fortunately, the key to preserving cognitive health aligns closely with what’s beneficial for our bodies, so starting these now can help maintain a sharp mind.

1. Nutrition – Fueling Your Mind
Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, with limited added sugars, sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and alcohol not only support heart health but also nourish the brain. The Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet are proven to promote cognitive health by reducing inflammation and providing essential nutrients that support brain function.

2. Exercise – Boosting Brain Power
Physical activity is a powerful tool for preserving cognitive function. Research indicates that aerobic exercise and resistance training stimulate neuroplastic changes in the brain, counteracting cognitive decline associated with aging. Aim for at least 45 minutes of exercise, twice per week, to reap the cognitive benefits and maintain overall brain health.

3. Sleep – Restoring Mind and Body
Adequate sleep is essential for cognitive health, as it allows the brain to consolidate memories and recharge. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to cognitive impairments, mood disorders and an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Both sleep quantity and quality play crucial roles in cognitive functioning and the rate of decline. Prioritize good sleep hygiene habits to ensure restorative sleep and support optimal cognitive function as you age. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night.

4. Stress Management – Protecting Your Brain
Chronic stress can take a toll on cognitive abilities, leading to accelerated cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia. Finding effective stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, spending time in nature, reading, or listening to music, can lower the risk of cognitive decline and promote overall well-being. By reducing stress, you can protect your cognitive function and promote mental clarity.

5. Social Connections – Nourish the Mind and Soul
Human connection is essential for cognitive health. Engaging in social activities, maintaining meaningful relationships, and participating in community events can stimulate cognitive function, improve mood, and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Prioritize social interaction as a vital aspect of your cognitive health regimen.

Since the blueprint for maintaining cognitive health in aging closely mirrors the principles of overall wellness for the body, you can essentially achieve two important health goals in a single lifestyle plan. By focusing on a nutritious diet, regular physical activity, quality sleep, effective stress management, and vibrant social interactions, you can support your cognitive function and enjoy a fulfilling life with a sharp mind and a healthy body. Remember, aging gracefully is not just about longevity—it’s about living life to the fullest, with clarity, vitality, and joy.

Should I see a Registered Dietitian?

should I see an RD

Are you pregnant, looking to become pregnant, or postpartum? Need to maintain health in your older years? Are you an athlete looking to increase performance? Do you want help managing your weight? 

When it really boils down to it, eating right can be a real challenge. From the messages we see on TV, read in magazines, and hear from peers, it sometimes feels like our food choices become more limited one day to the next. Many people become overwhelmed when they begin to overhaul their eating plan. 

It doesn’t have to be that way! Registered Dietitians are also known as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN) are the food experts. 

Not only that, they have the knowledge to motivate and safely guide you to eat mindfully.

It’s the work schedule, accessibility, budget, tolerances, and so much more.

Registered Dietitians are credentialed providers who have completed education and training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. All RDs or RDNs must:

  • Have at least a four-year degree which includes a specially designed, accredited nutrition curriculum.
  • Complete at least 1200 hours of supervised practice at a healthcare facility, foodservice organization and/or community agency.
  • Pass a board exam.

Many RDs and RDNs hold graduate degrees and many have certifications in specialized fields, such as eating disorders, sports, pediatric, renal, oncology or gerontological nutrition.

BNs Dietitians can help you discover strategies to make positive behavior change. Need to find a Registered Dietitian near you? Check out the link:


Train Your Brain!

Have a hard time choosing healthy foods? If we can train our brains to achiever academic and physical goals, who says we can’t train our brain achieve behavioral and habitual goals. We all have time, a budget, and resources. Most often, we fail because we prioritize preference and convenience over making the right choice.
Here are a few tips to train your brain to make better choices:


Try new things with an open mind: Convince yourself you like healthy food beforehand and it will go much better. This applies when trying a new food, if you think you aren’t going to like it, chances are you won’t. So think with an open mind.
Develop positive associations with healthy practices and negative associations with unhealthy ones: For example, Mcdonald’s associates themselves with happiness, joy, “good food”, and a great place to save money. We all know Mcdonald’s isn’t a good place for our health. Instead, attach it to pictures of diabetes feet or becoming ill in your brain. Picture how well your jeans will fit when you think about exercising or eating vegetables.
Keep your eyes on the prize: Strategically place post-it notes, pictures or inspirational quotes around your home, refrigerator or in your car to remind you why your health is so important. Whether you want to achieve a former weight, improve blood glucose control, or being able to keep up with your grandchildren, remember that nothing tastes as good as achieving those goals will feel.