Iceland backs brain health

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By Richard Walker and Shirley Cramer | Friday 09 September 2022

How many steps have you taken today? How was your sleep last night? Is your heartbeat looking OK? It wasn’t so long ago that that we’d have to visit the GP or a specialist to answer these questions, if we would even think to ask them in the first place. Now we can just look at our wrist.

With the advent of fitness trackers and the like, there has been a big move in recent years for us to both be more aware of our health and wellbeing, and understand how our behaviours influence these.

But this revolution has a head problem. We’re aware of our hearts, our weight, our muscles, movement and diet like never before, but why does the data lose interest above the neck? It’s time the brain got some love too, and this is what Think Brain Health is all about.

After all, the brain makes us who we are. The most complex thing in the universe. Billions of cells working together to control our emotions, memories, movement and speech. There’s a lot at stake.

But there’s good news: just as we can protect other areas of our health, we can also take steps to keep our brains healthy and reduce the risk of developing dementia later in life.

Think Brain Health is Alzheimer’s Research UK’s ongoing acknowledgement of everything our incredible brains achieve for us and a guide to the simple things we can do to protect them in return.

A long-standing supporter of our work, Iceland Foods, recognises the role it can play to support its customers to make healthy choices when filling their baskets. Across September a range of fruit and veg items in store will carry stickers and information about the role of a healthy diet in good brain health. But Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation will also be donating £100,000 to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work, as well as training its staff on the essentials of good brain health using the charity’s e-learning programme.

Above all, this partnership helps to normalise the idea of good brain health for all. This is a new area of public health, but with up to 40% of dementia cases potentially being preventable through changes we can make for ourselves, the opportunity is huge.

Good brain health comes from following three simple rules:

Challenging your brain to stay sharp – mental activity, particularly in midlife, can help protect brain health in later life.

Keeping connected to the people around you. Research suggests that social isolation is linked to increased risk of dementia.

Heart Health. What’s good for your heart will be good for your brain, and midlife again is a key time to live by this rule.

Living a brain healthy life really is living the good life – experiencing new and challenging things, keeping social and part of our communities, and staying active and healthy. And all this can help reduce the risk of dementia, and the heartbreak that brings for so many.

So Iceland and Alzheimer’s Research UK are proud to help spread this message, and to support Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work on the campaign and its critical research into all forms of dementia.

 

Visit your local Iceland or The Food Warehouse this September to find Think Brain Health tips and healthy recipes from Alzheimer’s Research UK supporter and Great British Bake Off winner, Candice Brown. To find your nearest store, visit: Iceland Store Locator | Find Stores Near You

 

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About the author

Richard Walker and Shirley Cramer

Managing Director of Iceland Foods and Alzheimer’s Research UK Ambassador / Interim Alzheimer’s Research UK Chief Executive