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How to have a healthy brain: your daily checklist

To help you maintain a healthy brain, our neuroscientists have created a handy checklist.
October 13, 2022

How to have a healthy brain: your daily checklist

You’ve probably considered how you can look after your heart health or even your gut health - but have you ever stopped to think about how healthy your brain is?

The brain underpins and controls everything we do, so it’s arguably the most important organ in the body. With dementia cases on the rise, and with no treatment available, it’s more important than ever to protect our brain health as we age. In fact, studies show 4 in 10 cases of dementia could potentially be avoided or delayed with the right lifestyle choices. And making positive lifestyle changes doesn’t have to be complicated.


Dr Jenny Barnett (PhD), Five Lives Chief scientific officer, says: “By keeping your brain engaged and looking after your body, you can help slow down the ageing process. A healthy brain not only helps to keep you mentally sharp, but it could also help to minimise the risk of dementia.”

To help you maintain a healthy brain, our neuroscientists have created a handy checklist.

Brain Boost

Your daily checklist to maintain a healthy brain


  • 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables
  • 10-12 cups of water
  • 1 handful of nuts
  • 1 portion of oily fish (twice a week) or 1 daily omega-3 supplement

Mental stimulation

  • 15+ minutes of reading
  • 1 crossword, puzzle or brain game
  • BONUS: 15+ minutes learning a new skill or playing an instrument

Physical activity

  • 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking or light aerobics


  • 7 hours of sleep

Stress & mood

  • 10 minutes of morning sun
  • 15 minutes of daily meditation or relaxation
  • 1 social interaction or activity with a friend

Find out more about how to look after your brain health and take Five Lives’ risk assessment on the app.

This is not medical advice. Always check with your healthcare professional before making changes or taking supplements.


Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, Ames D, Ballard C, Banerjee S, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. 2020 Aug;396(10248):413–46.

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