The brain is an incredible and fascinating organ. It controls how you express your thoughts and emotions, stores your memories and coordinates movement, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates the body.
Taking care of your brain is essential for living a fulfilling, healthy and long life. As a matter of fact, scientific research suggests that a brain-healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of developing dementia later in life.
As we age, changes occur in our brain that can affect our memory and thinking, and this is normal. Such changes include forgetting names, addresses, directions and even losing things. The good news is that brain scientists say there are actions you can start taking today to improve your brain health.
It is never too late to get started.
- Eat Healthy
Your diet plays a huge role in your brain health. Research study shows that the human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. Therefore, it is important to watch the type of fat we consume in our food as it can affect the health of our heart, blood vessels and the brain, possibly influencing inflammation and risk for dementia.
To most people, this means opting for the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes plant-based foods, fish and olive oil. Limiting saturated fats – found in diary products – and trans fats – found in processed foods – is important for better health.
It is also important to stay hydrated and moderate the use of alcohol. Avoiding a diet high in sugar will also be good for the brain, improving the insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation.
- Exercise Regularly
Not many people are keen on the idea of “exercising”, but guess what, exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, which can increase the generation of nerve growth factors and encourage new brain cells, especially in the hippocampus, which is a vital area for learning and memory.
Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, lifting weights and getting shredded… No. There are fun exercises that can be done to improve your cognitive health such as dancing, walking, swimming, yoga or any other moderate aerobic activity that increases your heart rate.
Doing certain works around the house also counts as exercising such as gardening and cleaning.
- Stay Socially Active
Sometimes the indoor life seems fun, with all the privacy and all, but too much of it is bad. Socializing helps to stimulate the brain. Socialization supports a sense of connectedness, belonging and purpose, which can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
Connecting with friends and family will decrease the chances of depression, thereby strengthening the health of your brain.
- Sleep Well
Sleep also plays an important role in your brain health. The brain does a lot of work and what better way is there to rest it than to sleep. It is important that you try to get seven to nine consecutive hours of sleep per night.
Recent research shows that during sleep, the brain clears out abnormal proteins and consolidates memories, which boosts your overall memory and brain health.
The brain is an incredible organ. Like other parts of the body, it needs to be cared for too. One way to living a fulfilled and healthy lifestyle is by helping your brain stay healthy and high performing.
Although these actions will help you keep your brain healthy, it is also advisable to talk with your doctor. A wide number of factors contribute to brain health, and your doctor can help you determine what’s normal and when you might need help.