Heart and Brain — How Are They Connected?

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By Indrani Acosta, MD |Medical Director, Stroke | AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute

May is National Stroke Awareness Month which makes it a good time to talk about keeping your brain as well as your heart healthy. Indeed, the link between the heart and brain is significant. And keeping one healthy helps the other stay healthy.

When your brain is healthy, it has adequate blood flow required for peak performance. A healthy brain is essential for living a long and full life. When your brain is healthy, you're better able to pay attention, solve problems, communicate, and much more.

This May look at the ways that you can prioritize your brain health and keep stroke prevention top of mind:

  • Healthy eating helps keep your brain sharp —What you put in your stomach now affects your brain later — including your ability to think, remember and process information. Be sure to eat enough vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and fat-free or low-fat dairy products for a diet high in nutrients.
  • Exercising in midlife may improve brain function later in life - Being physically active in midlife could improve your brain function decades from now. Regular physical activity helps your brain de-stress and helps your heart stay healthy.
  • Physical activity keeps your mind sharp now — and later- Having a sharp brain well into your senior years starts with healthy habits — like exercising. Playing sports, you like, exercising in the gym or even walking 30 minutes a day will make a physical and mental difference.
  • Know your numbers -Take preventative steps now to avoid regret later. Keep track of your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels to know your risk of developing certain conditions. Talk with your doctor about your numbers and personal risks.

Brain health matters no matter your age. The choices you make today can help you have a healthier brain tomorrow. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke is important as well - remember F-face drooping A-arm weakness S- speech T-time.

If you want to learn more, visit AdventHealthNeuroInstitute.com.

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