There are many different disorders and diseases that can affect the brain, but many of them share risk factors. Here are several ways to keep your brain healthy:

Quit Smoking

Tobacco use is linked to stroke, brain aneurysm, and dementia. After you stop smoking, your stroke risk will drop to that of someone who never smoked within five to 15 years of quitting.

To get help quitting today, visit the Smoking Cessation Learning Center.

Drink in Moderation

Studies have shown that one drink per day for women and two for men (especially red wine) can protect against dementia. However, heavy alcohol use and binge drinking can cause dementia, stroke, and brain aneurysm.

Control Your Numbers

Those include levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels and poorly controlled diabetes are all associated with Alzheimer's disease, brain aneurysm, and stroke. One way to lower blood pressure and cholesterol is to reduce the amount of sodium and increased the amount of fiber in your diet.

Learn how to eat right for a healthy heart.

Get Screened for Heart Disease

Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is associated with stroke, brain aneurysm, and dementia. In addition, many other heart problems, including arrhythmia, valve defects, and heart infections, increase stroke risk. If you show signs of heart disease your doctor may recommend daily aspirin therapy to reduce your heart attack and stroke risk.

Learn about various different heart and cardiovascular diseases.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish contain high amounts of nutrients like antioxidantsand fatty acids. Antioxidants are chemicals in fruits and vegetables that protect cells from damage caused by free radical oxygen in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are chemicals found in large quantities in nuts (especially walnuts) and fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. Fatty acids help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels and may reduce brain inflammation and aid in brain function.

Buckle Up and Wear a Helmet

Seatbelts, helmets, and similar safety features greatly reduce the severity of concussion or other head injury in an accident. Head injury can also lead to epilepsy.

Exercise Your Body

Exercise can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help maintain a healthy body weight, all of which reduce stroke risk.

Exercise Your Brain

Keeping the brain sharp by interacting with others and engaging in intellectually stimulating activities has been found to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.