Your heart and brain are more intertwined than you think. What’s good for your heart is good for your brain, and what’s bad for your heart is bad for your brain.
Even though your brain weighs only about 3 pounds and makes up only 2% of your body weight, it uses 20% of the oxygen and blood flow in your body. Anything that damages your blood vessels or impairs blood flow to your heart hurts your brain. This means that taking care of your heart and blood vessels is critical for your brain health and mental well-being. And this relationship goes both ways.
In fact, people with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases, even at young ages, according to a review in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. On the flip side, research shows that people with heart disease are more likely to suffer from dementia later in life, and the American Heart Association reports that up to 33% of heart attack patients will develop some degree of depression.