Summer 2013 2

Four Ways to Maintain a Healthy Brain


Emerging evidence suggests there are steps you can take to help keep your brain healthier as you age. These steps might also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

1. Stay physically active
Physical exercise is essential for maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells. It also can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Growing evidence shows that physical exercise does not have to be strenuous or even require a major time commitment.

Hennessey Focus Fund Manager David Rainey and Scott

Scott advises Florida Gulf Coast University student Lindsay Thompson as part of the Shadow Day Program sponsored by the Southwest Florida Financial Planning Association.

It is most effective when done regularly, and in combination with a brain-healthy diet, mental activity and social interaction. Aerobic exercise improves oxygen consumption, which benefits brain function; aerobic fitness has been found to reduce brain cell loss in elderly subjects.

2. Adopt a brain-healthy diet
Research suggests that high cholesterol may contribute to stroke and brain cell damage. A low fat, low cholesterol diet is advisable. And there is growing evidence that a diet rich in dark vegetables and fruits, which contain antioxidants, may help protect brain cells.

According to the most current research, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Reduce your intake of foods high in fat and cholesterol. Increase your intake of protective foods. In general, dark-skinned fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidant levels. Cold water fish contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids: halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna. Some nuts can be a useful part of your diet; almonds, pecans and walnuts are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant.

3. Remain socially active
Research shows that people who are regularly engaged in social interaction
maintain their brain vitality. One study reported that leisure activities that combine physical, mental and social activity are the most likely to prevent dementia. In the study of 800 men and women aged 75 and older, those who were more physically active, more mentally active or more socially engaged had a lower risk for developing dementia. And
those who combined these activities did even better.

4. Stay mentally active
Mentally stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them, and may even create new nerve cells. Mental decline as you age appears to be largely due to altered connections among brain cells. But research has found that keeping the brain
active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. You could even generate new brain cells. So keep your brain active every day. Stay curious and involved. Read, write, work puzzles; take courses; try memory exercises.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org

There is an inverse relationship between interest rate movements and fixed income prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, fixed income prices fall and when interest rates fall, fixed income prices generally rise. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities markets or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing materials are accurate and complete. Any opinions are those of Scott White Advisors and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date subject to change without notice. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Strategies discussed may not be suitable for all investors. Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.