Aging with all my marbles
We are all getting older
Many Canadians are in the process of becoming the kind of older we think of as Old.
Heck, I’m already post-menopausal, so I feel it’s time to consider things a little differently. I feel like I’m in the prime of life, but soon I’ll be accepting the title of crone. I am certainly no longer a mademoiselle.
Many friends and family members that I love and care for are in their sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. Luckily, they have all their marbles. I wonder if I will be so sharp at their ages.
It occurs to me that with the current levels of mental illness among youth (can you even think of a student these days withOUT anxiety?) it could be a disaster to leave the care of ME to one of THEM when I’m older.
HA. Joking, kindof.
I mean, I do seriously worry about the mental health of younger generations, and I do worry about leaving my care to others.
We are talking about Millennials here – the generation famous for not being able to adult.
Although I admit I love most Millennials and feel that they have an undeservedly bad reputation… If they can’t iron their own clothes, or even pick them out without a Pinterest wardrobe capsule as a guide, can I trust them to dress me when I’m senile…or am I destined to spend my old age frumpy?
Joking aside, I may not enjoy the results if I cannot dress myself, make my own choices and communicate them. I had better keep my ability to think and communicate!
These concerns (among some more serious, such as, can you write into a Living Will that people had better only play good music near you, if you’re semi-conscious? I don’t want to be played Musak while semi-conscious), keep the importance of preserving my mental health top of mind.
So when I hear things like “brushing your teeth 3 times per day reduces your chance of dementia by 80%” I really take notice. I take notice AND I take a toothbrush to the office. It’s not just fresh breath that’s at stake.
Yes, that’s right. Its SCIENCE. Good quality studies corroborate the statement.
Brush your teeth.
No not the dance move my son keeps doing, (heck, that ALL the kids keep doing), but the thing that the Lululemon bags keep telling you to do while you Dance, Sing, and Travel.
Oral Care Protects your Brain
Take care of your oral health and you too can keep your marbles. That way we can have some challenging games of Balderdash together, even when we are old old, and grey.
The reason this works is that you protect your brain from bacteria travelling up the brain stem.
It’s about the microbiome, again.
Another easy way to protect your brain and mental health is through Intermittent Fasting, or Time Restricted Eating.
Intermittent Fasting for Brain and Mental Health
Many animal studies show that intermittent fasting can help improve their cognition (ability to think). When mice fasted on alternate days for 6-8 months, they performed better in several learning and memory tests, compared to mice that were fed daily. This improvement even happened in mice who started IF later in life.
Studies also show that alternate day fasting protects brain neurons in animal models of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke, and reduces oxidative stress in the brain.
We know that people with lifestyles that include little exercise and frequent eating (three meals every day plus snacks) lead to suboptimal brain function and increases the risk of major neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.
More longer-term human studies of different calorie reduction diets, including IF and TRE, will shed light on effects on cognitive performance and mental health.