Every brain changes with age, but according to the studies from Harvard Medical School, mental decline is not inevitable.
Our brain depends on specific food such as oxygen, blood sugar, vitamins and healthy fat in order to function properly. To maintain your brain health you need not only to feed it, but also to train its tiny neurons that are responsible for all your body functions.
How can you create stronger neural connections in your brain that are responsible for storing and sharing information? Learn some tips and tricks that can keep your brain fit.
The Top 5 Tips For a Healthy Brain:
1. Eat well-balanced food
Include in your diet plenty of fruit and vegetables, grains, fish and proteins. Do not skip meals, but avoid or cut down on sugar, salt and fast food.
2. Take care of your body
Exercise regularly and treat yourself to a massage or a day at the spa. Regular exercise supplies your brain with more oxygen which is essential for great memory and thinking skills. The more oxygen your brain receives, the less you will have to rely on
3. Quit stimulants
Alcohol, tobacco and other toxins that damage the cells.
4. Step out of your comfort zone
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new, learn a foreign language or how to play chess. Learning and change can be your new strategies to best maintain your brain health.
5. Get regular health check ups
Visit your doctor regularly as if left untreated, many diseases or conditions may affect your memory. Diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and unhealthy diet are some of them.
Various cognitive enhancers and nootropics supplements can be treated as an immediate solution to help your brain work more effectively, but long term hygienic and relaxed life are the most important factors.
Why Is Balance of Blood Sugar Necessary?
Your brain cannot work without energy from blood sugar that should be balanced without sudden spikes or lows. Higher levels of sugar in your blood affect the brain in that your cognitive and memory skills may become slow. If the levels of blood sugar are not balanced then our brain suffers so we feel tired, unable to concentrate, we are anxious or irritable.
People eat chocolate or drink coffee to enhance their brain, but what they actually need is a healthy snack.
How to Balance Blood Sugar?
This is best done by consuming healthy food with slow releasing sugar, for example, whole wheat bread or pasta, vegetables and fruit, seed, grains and proteins from eggs, yoghurt and fish. Breakfast should not be skipped and three meals per day should be enough.
What you need is a balanced menu – the one that keeps your blood sugar at normal levels during the day and contains proteins, fats, and carbs in moderate, healthy amounts. If you want to make sure your brain gets enough energy then yoga is the key. Regular yoga exercises help you cope better with stress that is known to cause sugar cravings.
Stress and Memory
When you are under stress your brain receives less blood which causes your brain arteries to shrink, the levels of cortisol and adrenaline rise and you feel tired and anxious. While almost everyone experiences stressful situations on a daily basis, stress should not be taken for granted. If left untreated you may develop chronic stress without even knowing it, but the effects will damage your brain cells and leave you feeling exhausted and forgetful.
Stress hormones are there to help people deal with difficulties, but if you are too nervous when driving in rush hours or because your computer broke down, then it is high time you do something about your health before you lose your memory and/or mind. Stress literally kills your brain, but you can prevent this from happening by choosing a healthy lifestyle with plenty of positive energy for your brain.
You can start with changing the way you see events in your life. This is where yoga or tai chi are most beneficial as they offer techniques that help you calm down.
Socialize To Keep Your Brain Healthy
Your brain is the most powerful machine in your body and many people are not even aware of this. Most do not do much to increase their brain functions or recharge the brain cells so they can perform best. It is no wonder then that so many people suffer from depression, addiction to drugs, insomnia, and loss of memory or focus.
When hard times knock you need as much support as you can get from others to feel more secure, but in the age of digital technology and virtual reality friendship, socializing have become a privilege not many of us can afford.
You can spend hours chatting with friends online, but it can never replace the feeling you get when talking in person, or when you spend time together, listen to friends, laugh and cry with them. This is exactly what your brain likes – spending quality time with others reduces the risk of dementia, helps with insomnia and interaction with people is also a unique fitness for the brain.
The more you socialize the better cognitive functions you will have. Lonely people have been reported to suffer more from stress, high blood pressure, and depression.
Challenge Your Mind
Retirement often means you have more free time for yourself and less stress in your everyday life, but for people who used to be extremely active in their professions this absence of duties often brings feelings of boring routine and a lack of social interactions they once enjoyed. To avoid negative thoughts and live actively you can choose a hobby, join a club to play cards or chess, or do crosswords, watch films and discuss them with friends.
You like challenges or you have always wanted to try bungee-jumping, but your children say you are too old for that. Do not hesitate anymore especially if you want to keep your brain healthy and ready for new adventures. Whenever you try something new to change the boring routine, you help your brain stay young. The same happens when you talk to your best friend or walk for a mile.
If you let your brain stuck in routines, without any new challenges, it may start to degenerate faster losing its functions which lead to decreased concentration and lack of memory. You have always wanted to learn more languages so you can communicate with other people or travel abroad. Learning a new language can be the best therapy for your brain no matter how old you are.
Start with the lifelong learning program available at most universities worldwide where senior citizens improve their skills or learn new ones, while others even start part time jobs to increase their incomes. Whatever your choice, remember to challenge your brain with new activities, be it writing with your left hand or listening to music with your eyes closed.
There are no excuses when it comes to brain health – treat your brain the same way you would a new sports car or a computer, update it, don’t overuse it, add new software in the form of various activities and do not forget to refuel or feed it when needed. You cannot stop your brain cells from dying during your lifetime, but what you CAN do is to make the whole process as slow as possible so once you are old you still remember what you did the day before.