Raising Awareness for Brain Health
Updated: Jun 19, 2022
Did you know that June is Brain Health Awareness Month? At Pedacitos Blog, we make it our mission to share important stories – directly from our team of writers – that need to be talked about. As a preface to the personal stories that we will be sharing, we want to highlight what Brain Health Awareness Month truly means.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias”- which is a staggering number to comprehend. The most frightening thing about Brain Diseases is that they could happen to anyone- the deterioration of brain tissue is what leads to these tragic brain health issues. If we don’t do our part to make regular check-ups regarding our brain more normalized, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias could rise to 76 million in just a few short years.
While these facts might be scary, it’s important to welcome conversation on what we can do to keep our brains healthy and happy. Taking small steps like exercising consistently to increase blood flow to the brain, spending less time on our phones, and maintaining a social life to project more endorphins into our brain, are all ways that we can reduce the influx of Brain Health issues.
A significant brain disease that is often discussed during Brain Health Awareness Month is Alzheimer’s, and it affects more than 5.8 million Americans.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that deteriorates memory and key mental functions. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, it can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle. According to the Alzheimer’s Association,
“Although some risk factors — such as age or genes — cannot be changed, other risk factors — such as high blood pressure and lack of exercise — usually can be changed to help reduce risk.”
It is pivotal to not only take care of yourself mentally, to prevent early-onset Alzheimer’s or Dementia, but also your physical well-being too.
Current studies show that your diet is a huge factor in Brain Health. This leads the Alzheimer’s Association to promote two heart-healthy eating habits: the Mediterranean and DASH methods. For the DASH method, they write, “vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils” are key.
As for the Mediterranean diet, little to no red meat is suggested, focusing heavily on grains and natural fats instead. By changing your diet today, you can prevent brain disease with just one meal at a time.
Aside from adjusting your diet, Alzheimer’s can also be prevented by protecting your brain from trauma. When you’re in the car, always wear your seatbelt to save yourself from serious injury in the event of an emergency. If you play a sport, wear a helmet during anything that requires major contact. These are steps that many of us already take daily, but it’s surprising how easy one forgotten instance could lead to health problems down the road.
As Brain Health Awareness month wraps up, the Pedacitos Team wants all of our readers to remember that when an awareness month ends, the work is never truly never finished. Alzheimer’s is a disease that could happen to anyone – due to an influx of proteins in the brain – no matter how preventive or proactive we are.
This month, remember to take care of your brain – just as you would with your body. Fuel up on some healthy foods, try and get your sleep schedule on a stable pattern, and encourage loved ones to stay updated on their mental well-being.
There are also events worldwide that you could participate in, like The Longest Day 2021, on June 20th. Making awareness events a priority can help spread the proper information on Brain Health. If you don’t feel comfortable attending events, consider donating to Brain Health charities if you have the means.
We would love to hear your story, so please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on Brain Health Awareness. We hope you are all staying healthy and well. Remember to wear purple this month in solidarity with Brain Health Awareness!