Things That Can Improve Your Brain Health

By Patrick Banks

Posted 5 months agoGROWTH

Ever wonder what you can do to keep your brain functioning at its optimal level? There are a lot of wild claims on the internet and even among scholars about what can be done to improve overall brain health. Questions arise about brain health versus IQ or how brain health actually improves the lives of people.
Things That Can Improve Your Brain Health

One thing that can’t be ignored is when people take care of their brain, it actually fires electrons at an elevated rate. This is known to improve overall cognitive ability.

Here are just a few ways to improve and protect the health of your most important organ.

Physical Exercise

In addition to mental exercise, the brain also loves when you put on those sneakers and get moving. A minimum of 20 minutes of daily cardiovascular activity gets the heart rate up and pumps more oxygen to the brain. Since the brain doesn’t like when the body is sedentary, it really benefits from exercise, which helps release hormones that nurture the environment for cell growth.

Try out activities such as running or biking to grow your brain.  Cycling offers health benefits and is a brain favorite, too. Essentially, you’re building your brain. Keep in mind that exercising first thing in the morning is best because it jump starts brain activity and prepares the mind and body for the day’s challenges. When you’re limited on time, try to do an activity that combines coordination and cardio, such as Zumba or a step or dance class.

If you’re older in age, then things like pool activities, walking or using a rowing machine are great alternatives to running. You need to choose activates that challenge your mind and body without putting extra stress on your joints and ligaments. In addition to the mental boost that exercise gives you as you age, it can also prevent you from losing bone density.

Quite Smoking

Smoking is horrible for your overall health. In addition to lung cancer, heart issues, throat cancer and a host of other issues – smoking has been shown to have significantly negative effects on brain health. In fact, a study conducted by Archives of Internal Medicine followed over 21,000 people through 40 plus years of smoking to determine those individuals were twice as likely to come down with dementia as they age.

Proper Nutrition

The brain benefits from nutritious foods just like the rest of our body. It sounds funny but it’s true. Not all foods are equal when it comes to cerebral function; some help the brain thrive more than others. Foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, otherwise known as “brainberries,” help ward off age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Avocados are also a good monounsaturated fat that promote healthy cerebral blood flow and reduce the chance of hypertension, a risk factor for cognitive decline.  Another great nutritional option that will keep your brain strong is nuts.

Supporting Relationships

Relationships are what make the world go around – especially our personal worls. These interpersonal interactions shape our everyday happiness which in turn can affect our mental state. Beyond this though, “transactive” memory has been shown by psychologist Daniel Wegner in 1985 to be our own personal silo of expertise within a relationship. Our partner owns their own silo of expertise so we don’t have to remember that.

Couples use this, without knowledge, to work as a team. For example, a couple could be at a party where one person is excellent at remembering faces and names but is terrible at remembering what they do for a living. The other person in the couple may have that covered so they can work as a team to have more brain power than they would have alone.

Think Positively

Thinking positively can mean the difference in reaching your potential and being left behind. This is known as the “Pygmalion effect.” The “Pygmalion effect” is a psychological theory that has been shown that children who are high standards set to their life will live up to them. In turn, those children who don’t will not strive on their own to achieve more. They are much more apt to give up.

This effect is a motivational phenomenon that keeps the brain firing to achieve more. The brain is shown to stay more engaged and firing at a higher level than if those high standards aren’t instilled in the child.

Mental Exercise

One of the leading activities in preventing brain deterioration is simply playing games. Taking time out to indulge in mental endurance games such as playing deal or no deal slot machine at may actually help keep cerebral atrophy at bay. Brain atrophy is a decrease in connections between neurons and can be caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, front temporal dementia, and Pick’s disease.  The brain doesn’t like to be sedentary so activities that allow it to flex its muscle through recalling information or learning a new skill will keep it thriving. 

Games like poker keep the brain engaged and focused for long periods of time. Players are required to analyze hands for all the possible outcomes and use probability equations to determine the likelihood of winning. In addition, poker has a human element that requires players to read other players mannerisms for things like bluffs or tells.

Brain Foods

Not all foods are created equal – especially when it comes to how they affect your brain’s performance. Just on the contrary, some foods will actually hinder the brain’s ability to function properly.

Nuts are full of vitamin E and also reduce the chances of cognitive decline. Indulge in walnuts, cashews, almonds, flax seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts and even peanut butter.  Lastly, green vegetables such as spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce also help keep the brain ecstatic. The green vegetables are full of vitamin K and A, which help battle inflammation and mental deterioration. If you’re pressed for time and really want to give your brain a super sized meal full of everything it loves, consider making a smoothie with all the ingredients listed above.

Get Quality Sleep

Sleep is well-known to help the body restore, relax and improve. Sleep’s affect on your brain is no different. That doesn’t mean that your brain shuts off while asleep. Actually it’s the opposite. A lot of what happens while you’re asleep has to do with consolidating what you learned that day so you can recall it more easily when you need it moving forward. Dream for instance are a reflection of all the work that’s going on to organize and store all the information you collected during the day.

These are all simple changes you can adopt to ensure your brain stays as healthy as you deserve – and for many decades to come.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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