5 Simple Ways To Optimize and Maximize Your Brain Health
The brain is the control centre for virtually every vital activity necessary for survival including movement, sleep, hunger and thirst. It is also responsible for subserving the functions of speech, hearing, behaviour, vision and memory. As we age, our brain shrinks.
Chronic health conditions like hypertension and diabetes could cause the shrinkage to happen faster. But, just as we can with our bodies, we can take measures to keep our brains healthy and active. This article looks at some important ways we can achieve this goal.
1. Exercise your brain.
We often emphasize the need to exercise our muscles, but do you know the brain also needs regular exercises. Engaging in activities such as reading, writing, crosswords, board games, participating in intellectual debates and listening to music could have a major effect in reducing one’s risk for mental decline. So dust off your grand piano, keyboard, locate your chess or scrabble board, and give your brain a welcome workout.
Improve your word vocabulary by playing word games, crossword puzzles. There are a number of applications on Google play store and Apple store with fun games specifically designed for brain training and health. Doing these brain training exercises on a regular basis will help to exploit the vast potential of your brain and keep it in top shape.
2. Eat healthy
Eating healthy foods that contain high amounts of B-vitamins and folate are important for brain function. Examples of such foods include dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and greens, beans, whole grains, and fortified grain products.
It also important to note that the body produces chemical elements known as “free radicals” which are produced after metabolism. These free radicals are harmful to the cells of the body. It is therefore important to take antioxidants of which vitamin E and Vitamin C are examples. They can help lower the risk of these harmful effects and protect the brain.Sources of foods that contain vitamin E include whole grains, nuts, seeds, milk and egg yolks. Sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, cabbage, tomatoes, blueberries, potatoes, and peppers.
Eating deep water fish like salmon are also important for the brain to function optimally because they contain omega-3-fats.
3. Have adequate sleep
After a stressful day at work or school, a restful sleep is essential for brain health. Research is showing that proper sleep helps to remove harmful chemicals which are injurious to the brain. These chemicals are a contributing factor to a condition known as Alzheimer’s disease (a brain disorder which makes it shrink and lose proper function). A good sleep can also help your memory function optimally. As adults, we need seven to nine hours of healthy sleep each night. Children may require up to ten hours or more for adequate rest and a healthy brain.
4. Stay physically active and social
An active lifestyle not only increases blood flow to the brain and creates new brain cells. it can significantly reduce the risk of stroke and problems with cognition and memory. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain giving it the needed oxygen it needs to function. Exercise will improve the area of the brain that controls verbal memory and learning. It promotes the growth of new brain cells and blood vessels, and protects the brain from loss of memory and thinking skills.
Maintaining your social life also is beneficial to your brain. You should constantly be involved in healthy conversation, participate in group sporting activities with your friends and families. Take an excursion to new and interesting tourist locations within or outside where you live. Getting your brain to experience new and fresh endeavours will benefit your brain and maximize its output.
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5. Have regular health checks
Your blood pressure and blood sugar could impact your brain health so it is wise to check them regularly. There are a lot of supplements in the market which claim to improve brain function especially memory. Please consult your health practitioner on the appropriate ones to take. Keeping your brain healthy is important, and the benefits are real and long lasting.
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