Your brain is undoubtedly the most incredible part of your body. It comes with innovative ways to control your emotions, pumping your heart, breathing your lungs, and allowing you to move, feel, and think. It’s the control center of your body and involved in everything we do. It needs to be cared for in the same way as we do for other parts.
Every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Brain function declines with age, and here are some things you can do to help slow any decline in brain functioning, memory, or develop the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.
– EXERCISE REGULARLY
Research shows that physical activity helps in efficient brain performance. Exercising also activates the development of new nerve cells and increases the connection between them. This results in a more efficient, healthy, and adaptive brain.
Exercise improves blood circulation throughout the body and improves high blood pressure, keeps sugar levels optimum, and reduces mental stress, all of which can help your brain function profoundly.
– BRAIN FRIENDLY DIET
The food you eat plays a huge role in keeping your brain healthy and will help you improve some mental tasks like memory and concentration.
Fatty Fish: When talking about the best brain foods, fatty fish tops the list. Salmon, trout tuna, herring, sardines are rich sources of omega-three fatty acids. More than half of the human brain is made up of fats, half of which are omega-three fats.
The human brain uses Omega 3 fatty acids to build nerve cells vital for learning and memory. These fats also decline the rate of age-related fall of brain function. Inadequate amounts of omega-three fatty acids in the body result in mental stress, anxiety, and depression.
Gray matter is a part of the brain that’s responsible for the function of cognition, control of decision making, and memory. This part of the brain has an abundance of nerve cells. Eating fatty fish regularly can improve the measure of gray matter in your brain. It increases mental clarity.
Coffee: If coffee is a part of your early morning routine, you’ll be glad to know that it acts as a natural brain booster. Caffeine and antioxidants are the two main components of coffee that support a healthy brain.
Caffeine has multiple benefits on mental clarity as it increases mental alertness by inhibiting adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you feel sleepy. Caffeine tends to raise dopamine levels to keep you feeling happy and content. It also sharpens the concentration, which helps an individual in working proficiently.
Turmeric: The deep yellow spice powder has plenty of benefits for your brain. The stimulating effects of turmeric on the brain are due to its active ingredient called Curcumin. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and favors the cells there.
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s said to be a vitamin for the brain as it also improves memory in patients with Alzheimer’s. It clears out the amyloid plaques that are a trademark of this disease. Curcumin has also been shown to increase dopamine and serotonin levels, both of which improve mood.
It helps in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and stress. Curcumin also helps in the growth of new brain cells. It boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a kind of growth hormone responsible for the growth of brain cells.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are also rich in antioxidants that protect the brain from free radical damage. It contains all kinds of brain health supplements like Zinc, an element extremely vital for nerve signaling. Zinc deficiency can cause many neurological disorders.
Magnesium; an element essential for learning and memory, magnesium deficiency leads to diseases like anxiety, depression, epilepsy, etc.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in copper, which your brain utilizes to control nerve signals. They’re also plentiful in iron stores; iron deficiency is the main cause of brain fog and impaired brain function.
Nuts: Having a healthy heart also means having a healthy brain. Eating nuts regularly has a positive impact on heart-health markers. Another study has suggested that regular consumption of nuts can be linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline in geriatrics. They’re rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and Vitamin E.
– BRAIN EXERCISES
There are many ways to boost your mental sharpness and help your brain stay healthy. Performing the following brain exercises will help you improve memory, concentration, and focus, making your daily tasks quick and easy.
Solving the Jigsaw Puzzle: Working on a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to strengthen your brain. According to research, jigsaw puzzles augment multiple cognitive abilities, a protective factor for visuospatial cognitive aging. You have to focus and use your brain to figure out what piece will fit next. This can be a good way to exercise and strengthen your brain.
Build your vocabulary: An exclusive vocabulary makes you sound smart. You can also turn this vocab session into a brain-stimulating game.
Many regions of your brain are associated with vocabulary tasks, particularly those involved in auditory and visual processing.
Meditate: Daily meditation can reduce mental stress, anxiety and promote calmness of mind. Take out 30 mins from your schedule and meditate regularly.
Take a new route: Keeping your brain busy is one technique to make it function more efficiently. Try taking a new route or using different means of transportation in your daily life; you’ll be amazed at how your brain stays active and strengthened.
– GET PROPER SLEEP
Sleep plays an imperative role in your brain health. Some theories have proven that adequate sleep can help eliminate abnormal proteins in your brain and consolidate memories. Seven to eight hours of undisturbed sleep at night enables your brain to consolidate and store memories.
– WORST FOODS FOR BRAIN
Some foods harm your brain, impacting your memory and mood with great intensity and developing the risk of dementia. These include;
Sugary drinks: They increase the risk of quite a few diseases like diabetes, cholesterolemia, etc. They enhance the risk of metabolic disorders and brain impairments.
Refined Carbs:A high intake of refined carbs with a high glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) may impair memory and intelligence and increase the risk of dementia. These include sugars and highly processed grains like white flour.
Highly Processed Foods: Processed foods contribute to excess fat around the organs, associated with a decline in brain tissue. Additionally, Western-style diets may increase brain inflammation and impair memory, learning, brain plasticity, and the blood-brain barrier.
Aspartame: It is an artificial sweetener found in many soft drinks and sugar-free products. It has been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems, though overall, it is considered a safe product.
Mercury: It is a neurotoxic element that can be particularly harmful to developing fetuses and young children. The primary source in the diet is large predatory fish such as sharks and swordfish. It is best to limit your intake of fish that are high in mercury.