Women’s Brain Health Day: Risk and Protective Factors for Your Brain Health


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Did you know that many brain illnesses, like dementia, stroke, and depression, occur twice as frequently in women than men? (1)


December 2, 2020 is the second annual Women’s Brain Health Day hosted by the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, to bring awareness to the importance of including sex and gender in research, as many brain illnesses occur disproportionately on a gender basis.


There are two major predictors for a future diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The first is advancing age, and the second is having a parent with Alzheimer’s disease. If you have a parent that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you are estimated to have a 4 to 10 times higher risk of developing the disease yourself. Research suggests that if both parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, your risk of development is even greater. (2)


What we eat contributes to our physical and mental health, so the Women’s Brain Health Initiative has created Memory Morsels, a website dedicated to providing trustworthy information about nutrition and keeping your brain as healthy as you can.


The foods that are good for your body are also good for your brain! (3) Here are four foods to boost your brain health:


  • Consume whole grains - try adding a bowl of oatmeal into your breakfast rotation

  • Eat fruits and vegetables - berries are rich in antioxidants, and can help prevent oxidative damage to your cells, which can accelerate cell aging

  • Fish and nuts are excellent sources of brain-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids

  • Choose lower fat dairy, like reduced fat milks, yogurts, and cheeses


On December 2, you can take the Women’s Brain Health Initiative’s Memory Challenge to help raise awareness for fighting brain illnesses that disproportionately affect women!


References

1 Women’s Brain Health Initiative. (2016). University of Toronto Researcher Receives the Wilfred and Joyce Polsuns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging. https://womensbrainhealth.org/better-thinking/university-of-toronto-researcher-receives-the-wilfred-and-joyce-posluns-chair-in-womens-brain-health-and-aging

2 Women’s Brain Health Initiative. (2020). Maternal Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. https://womensbrainhealth.org/scientific-information/maternal-risk-for-alzheimers-disease

3 Memory Morsels. (n.d.). About Memory Morsels. https://memorymorsels.org/about/


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