A healthy lifestyle contributes much to your thinking capacity. It prevents cognitive decline - the loss of ability to think - with age, according to a new advisory from the American Heart Association.
Heart and brain both need adequate blood flow, but in many people, blood vessels slowly become narrowed or blocked over the course of their lives, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis, the cause of many heart attacks and strokes.
The risk factors for atherosclerosis can be reduced by following a healthy diet, getting enough physical activity, avoiding tobacco products and other regimens.
"Research summarised in the advisory convincingly demonstrates that the same risk factors that cause atherosclerosis, are also major contributors to late-life cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease," said Philip Gorelick, from Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center in the US.
Life's Simple 7 outlines a set of health factors developed by the American Heart Association to define and promote cardiovascular wellness. The Life's Simple 7 programme urges individuals to manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, keep blood sugar normal, get physically active, eat a healthy diet, lose extra weight, and not smoke.
A healthy brain is defined as one that can pay attention, receive and recognize information from our senses; learn and remember; communicate; solve problems and make decisions; supports mobility, and regulates emotions. Cognitive impairment can affect any or all of these functions.
The advisory is published in the journal Stroke.