Brain Health Comes From Heart Health

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A recent study shows if you maintain a healthy heart, your brain will benefit as well. Risk factors that affect your heart health such as hypertension, smoking, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol will undermine your brain functions. People with hypertension are at much greater risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia. But many Canadians with high blood pressure don't even know it because they do not necessarily feel unhealthy. The factors most consistently cited as protecting against dementia include higher education level, higher socio-economic status, emotional support, more physical exercise, moderate alcohol use, and use of vitamin supplements, specifically antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Increased mental activity throughout life, such as learning new things and regularly doing crossword puzzles and reading newspapers, seems to help the brain remain healthy. Walking a mile a day will prevent mental decline by up to 50%.