Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic pill you could take to improve your brain health and prevent cognitive decline? There is no particular food you can eat or anything you can do to prevent aging, but there are ways you can enjoy a healthier brain. Most people don’t consider the things they eat, their overall stress, and the amount of water they drink, which makes a significant impact.
Dr. Krystal L. Culler, DBH, MA, creator of Your Brain Health Matters, founded the company based on her years of study. You recently wrote an article in Bustle magazine on how to improve your brain health. She cautions that you need to start early to avoid problems down the road.
Your lifestyle and what you eat now will affect you later in life. Currently, an estimated five million people are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in this country, according to the Alzheimer Foundation. The numbers tend to increase each year and there is no cure. The good news is that it is never too late to start taking care of your mental needs.
Thirteen things to do for a healthier brain
You can start today by adding little habits to your life that will improve your cognitive reserve. What is your mental reserve? Your brain reserve is like a gas tank. The more fuel you put in it, the further you can go in your car.
When you eat the right foods and do healthy things to fuel your brain and add to the reserve, you will go further with optimal brain health. When it comes to thwarting age-related issues like dementia, your reserve is everything. Fortunately, if you start today, you can increase this reserve and have a healthier brain for all of your tomorrows.
Since no one wants to live with something as terrible as Alzheimer’s, being proactive is the best source of prevention.
1. Give your brain a break
While the old saying, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it applies to many things in life, it doesn’t apply to brain health. If you want a healthier brain, you must be willing to turn off the electronics and all the chaos and noise, and you should enjoy the peace and quiet. Your brain needs time to do nothing, and if you want to keep it in shape, then you will allow some downtime.
No matter how busy you are, it would help if you took time to exercise. Your body was made to move, and if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are doing your body great harm. Exercising has a significant impact on overall brain health and can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Did you know that conditions like dementia can be linked to inflammation, so by eliminating this build-up in your system, you have a healthier brain?
Did you know that meditation can improve both your concentration levels and your memory in general? While it is great for anxiety and depression, it has also been shown to increase gray matter. Why is this matter so important to your brain?
Gray matter is essential for your learning and emotional processing, and an increase in this matter also fights anxiety. Meditation should be part of your daily routine, and you can do smaller five-minute sessions or strive to do longer 20-minute meditation cycles.
4. Play brain games and trivia
Do you love games like crosswords and sudoku? Well, the good news is that you can keep your brain like a shark when you participate in contests and other brain games. Whether you like to play games on your computer or an old word search book, you are increasing your brain health.
While it’s fun to hang out and fly solo once in a while, socializing is good for your brain. Did you know that having strong social ties can lower your risk of dementia? Staying connected may be just what you need to keep your mind intact.
6. Expand your horizons by learning something new
Remember the excitement when you graduated from high school, college, and beyond? There is a sense of accomplishment, but you never stop learning. In fact, you should keep learning new things, as this helps your brain age well.
Taking on new hobbies, learning new skills, or tackling a new language can help keep your heart and brain young.
7. Drink more water
Did you know that the brain is made up of 85 percent water and the body is made up of more than 70 percent? So the reason why you need to hydrate properly should be very clear. Many people are dehydrated because they don’t drink enough water.
Your food is your body’s fuel, but water is what keeps your brain going. It energizes your mind and prevents mental confusion. When it comes to brain health, don’t forget to drink water throughout the day.
You need 6 to 8 hours of rest each night, depending on the National Sleep Foundation. Your body is recharging from a hectic day during your sleep hours and processing stressors and input. Did you know that during the night your brain is busy filing data in your short and long-term memory banks?
If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain can’t do what it needs to do to keep your neurological system in check. You need a comfortable, cool, dark and optimized room for a peaceful rest. TO sleep deficiency it can affect your overall mental well-being, so take time to sleep.
9. Eat healthy fats Avoid trans and saturated fats
When it comes to mood stability and brain function, you need omega-3s for optimal performance. What can you eat that will improve this aspect of your brain? Well, load up on chia seeds, walnuts, and avocados. Also, be sure to add some fatty fish to your diet.
10. Eat healthy foods for the intestine
You are what you eat, or so has been said before. However, what you eat can significantly affect your brain. Did you know that what you eat can make mental illnesses like depression and anxiety worse? Case in point; When people follow the ketogenic diet, they feel better mentally and report an increase in energy levels and a decrease in mental health problems.
Is it possible that what you are eating is eating you? If you eat a diet full of carbohydrates and fatty foods, it will cause major problems. TO plant-based diet it can help heal the body of toxins you take in from eating things like fast food.
Dr. Perlmutter wrote a book titled Grain brain. In his writing, he talks about how carbohydrates can cause inflammation in the body and poor brain health. It has been shown that there is a direct connection between your gut and your brain, so it is imperative to watch what you eat.
11. Stay on the sunny side
Did you know that staying on the sunny side of life is good for your brain? It sounds strange that being positive and happy can affect you so deeply, but it can. When you have pleasant thoughts, your mind is at peace and can rest.
However, when you are a ball of nerves and are very nervous, then your brain cannot get the rejuvenation it needs. Blood flow increases with stress, as do stress hormones like cortisol. However, when you are calm and collected, your body eases blood flow, ultimately affecting your mood.
12. Practice gratitude
Do you take the time to count your blessings every day or do you complain about all the things that are so wrong in your life? You must verbalize all the things that the Universe has blessed you with, as they can change the health of your brain. Have a attitude of gratitude it is good for the soul and the brain.
When you change your mindset from pessimistic to optimistic, your entire world will turn 180 degrees. When you keep that positive mindset, you will improve your immune system, rest better, and help you have a healthier brain.
Could something as simple as reading a book make your brain healthy? What exercise does for your physical body, reading does for your brain. You are exercising your mind when you read materials that will increase your cognitive function and improve blood flow to vital areas.
The sooner you consider the health of your brain, the better off it will be. According to Dr. Culler, an expert in the field, your brain’s overall wellness is based on about 30 percent on genetics and about 70 percent on your life style. The good news is that you can take proactive steps to ensure a healthier brain. You can ensure that you will be in tip-top shape during your golden years.