My short series on Wisdom from a Cactus continues with this short message: Stay sharp!
First a little about spines, thorns and prickles.
Spines are a memorable feature of cacti. According to answers.com, spines are modified leaves, performing the function of photosynthesis for cacti, assisting in preserving water because of reduced surface area, and are definitely a defense mechanism. Here are two photos of cactus with spines in our potted cactus gardens.
Thorns, on the other hand are modified branches but also serve the plant for defense. The bougainvillea is an example of a plant with thorns.
Prickles (which I did not know as a technical term) are found on rose bushes, and are an entirely new organ to the plant! Apparently, they break off easily (not something I would have said!). However, I would have added that in my experience, prickles also function as a defense mechanism!
Spines definitely need to stay sharp in order to be at their best.
We people need to stay sharp, too. I’m reminded about a conversation I had with Daniel (now 31) when he was very young- but talking. For some reason, I reminded him to ‘Be sharp.’ He said, ‘But I’m not a pencil!’ (LOL!!)
Usually, we would associate being sharp as a description of our brain. Our brain needs to be alive and alert in order for us to function at our best. Research indicates that as we get older, we need to be actively engaging our minds so that we do indeed, ‘stay sharp.’
Physical Activity Trumps Mental Activity
A recent study reports that physical activity may trump mental activity in positively affecting the size of an aging brain (the bigger, the better). The researchers were able to improve the outcomes of inactive seniors “with just one year of moderate-intensity physical activity.” The good news is that it is never too late to start fighting against ‘frailty and mental decline.’ BTW, in my humble opinion, that verbiage is not required for a definition of aging!
Personally, I like that kind of good news. It means that by doing the right things for our bodies, we are doing the right thing for our brains as well!
Nutrition Contributes to Brain Health
What else can we do? From the website agingresearch.org came this tip re: nutritional choices that best contribute to brain health.
Research shows that well-balanced diets that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish), protein, antioxidants (such as folic acid), fruits and vegetables, and vitamin B; that are low in trans fats; and which have an appropriate level of carbohydrates–will help keep our brains healthy. A diet that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as maintains a healthy weight, is also good for our brains.
In my previous blog, we talked about Omega-3 with Vitamin D3 as a single supplement from Mannatech. Apparently, the benefit can extend to brain health as well!
Wellness Lifestyle Choices
From the web article quoted above, in addition to physical and mental activity as well as specific good nutrition, several other wellness lifestyle choices also benefit mental health including reduction and better management of stress, quality sleep, and maintaining good social relationships.
My corporate partner Mannatech has research on mannatechscience.org that validates Ambrotose, its glyconutritional supplement, provides a measurable cognitive benefit for a variety of ages. I encourage you to review the studies on that site.
If you have questions or would like to order Ambrotose in powder or capsule form, feel free to contact me.
What do you do to stay sharp? Leave your comments in the box below.
If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know with an email or phone/text.