Our food choices & everyday living habits affect us in more ways than you can imagine. Would you like to know how you current choices are impacting your health and brain function? Take this short quiz to assess your current risk level.
What factors increase your health risk level and diminish brain function?
As one example, did you know not flossing your teeth on a daily basis could lead to a heart attack? Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that adhere to and grow on tooth surfaces, particularly in areas under the gum line. These bacteria can gain access to the bloodstream, triggering inflammation in the body. Low levels of inflammation is sensed by white blood cells present in atherosclerotic, or hardened blood vessels, which in turn produce a variety of factors that may worsen the disease process. There is some evidence that periodontal bacteria can attach to the fatty plaques in blood vessels, amplifying the inflammatory process, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
What choices do you make each day that increase the risk for developing a health issue and diminishing brain function? To assess your individual risk, answer the following questions, either YES or NO:
I sleep at least 7 to 9 hours each night.
I fall asleep easily and stay asleep.
I do feel rested when I awake.
I do not feel groggy when waking up and getting out of bed.
I drink water throughout the day.
I drink at least 2 liters of water each day.
I do not drink soda more than 3 times a week.
I do not drink more than two – 6 oz. cups of coffee or tea every day.
I do not drink more than one 4 oz. of fruit juice everyday.
I eat lean protein or soy at least 3 times a day.
I eat at least 3 servings of vegetables per day.
I eat at least 1 servings of fresh fruit per day.
I eat a variety of different colored vegetables throughout the week.
I eat nuts or seeds every day.
I do not eat fried foods everyday.
I eat at least two servings of raw fruits, vegetables, or nuts/seeds every day.
I eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains each day.
I eat salmon or other Omega III fatty fish at least once per week.
I do not eat refined sweets, pastries, cookies, cakes, or candy more than 2 times a week.
I do not go out to eat at fast food restaurants more than once per week.
I take a nutritional supplement daily.
I do not get angry easily.
I exercise at least 4 times per week.
I do not lose my temper more than once per week.
I do not feel impatient while driving.
I do get along with my co-workers and boss; or my teacher and fellow students.
I do not eat junk food everyday.
I participate in cardiovascular activity, such as walking, running, biking, etc. at least 6 times a week.
I participate in resistance type training like weight lifting at least 3 times a week.
I participate in flexibility activities like yoga or stretching at least 3 times a week.
I enjoy spending time doing some of my favorite hobbies at least once a week.
I have an activity I do, just for fun, at least once a month.
I feel happy most everyday.
I have a loving relationship with my parents, and/or children.
I have a close intimate relationship with my partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, or spouse.
I have a best friend who I speak with on a regular basis.
I do not smoke.
I do not use tobacco.
I do not drink alcohol.
I do not use recreational drugs.
I get a wellness/physical exam each year.
I visit my dentist at least once a year.
Score: Count the number of “yes” answers and find the corresponding category.
38 to 42 – Very low risk
33 to 37 – Low risk
27 to 32 – Moderate risk
22 to 26 – Increased risk
Under 21 – Significant risk for future health issue and diminished brain function.
What was your score and risk level? Are you satisfied with that? If so, great.
If not, join MHAWA now. We’ll explore various health topics and provide educational information to encourage you to make the changes you feel you need to make.
Source: Neal Weintraub, MD, chief of the cardiovascular disease division at UC