In this post, I’m reviewing a recent Forbes Magazine article entitled “How to Keep Your Brain Healthy at Any Age, According to Neurologists”.
The brain is arguably one of the most important organs in your body
It does everything from reasoning and regulating thoughts and emotions to controlling breathing and motor skills, among other things. This is why keeping your brain in optimal shape should be a top priority.
Eight surefire tips to keep your brain active and young
While changes to your brain (and the rest of the body) are inevitable and totally normal as you age, certain lifestyle habits can help slow age-related cognitive decline and keep dementia at bay. Here are eight surefire tips to keep your brain active and young, according to experts:
- Exercise has an enormous impact on brain health
Sweat it out. Exercise can increase blood flow to the brain, reduce the stiffness of the blood vessels and prevent cholesterol plaque build-up in the vessels leading to the brain.
- Exercise helps grow the brain by releasing BDNF
Another way exercise helps grow the brain is by exponentially increasing the release of a very important brain growth factor called BDNF—short for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. This neurochemical helps with the growth of the connections between neurons, therefore increasing the size and function of the brain.
- The most important eight hours of the day
Get quality sleep.The most important eight hours of the day, for your brain’s health, are the ones you spend sleeping. Sleep has two very important functions. First, it helps consolidate and organize memories and thoughts from the previous day and week. Second, sleep does some serious cleaning of all the waste and by-products that have accumulated…..Short-term lack of sleep can impair memory and focus while long-term sleep deprivation can lead to a significant accumulation of waste and destructive toxins that predisposes one to cognitive decline and even Alzheimer’s.
- Watch your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
High blood pressure and high sugar levels are two of the most damaging pathologic processes in general, but especially to brain health. When it comes to high blood pressure, the damage is mostly at the vascular Over time, the high levels of pressure in the large arteries going to the brain or the medium and small-sized arteries within the brain lead to rupture of the arteries—affecting the blood supply to that region of the brain.
- For better cognitive performance, eat well
Food is the single greatest tool that we have for building better brain health. Healthy meals can help heal the brain while less healthy foods can especially harm the brain. Sherzai recommends a balanced, plant-centered diet for maximum brain health benefits, such as the Mediterranean Diet. Research also indicates that adhering to this diet may be associated with better cognitive performance.
- The Neuro Nine foods
There are certain foods that should be consumed daily to optimize brain health and function. These include leafy greens, whole grains, seeds, beans, berries, nuts, crucifers, teas and herbs and spices,” tells Dr. Sherzai. “These foods contain massive quantities of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, as well as catalytic (building) vitamins along with the ever-essential mono- and polyunsaturated fats,” she notes.
- Learning something newbuilds cognitive reserve and brain growth
Another great way to boost brain health is by learning something new. You could learn to play a musical instrument, pick up a new hobby, or learn a new language or a professional skill. The key is to choose an activity that activates all parts or domains of your brain, like learning to play guitar…. And when you visually process the notes, it stimulates the occipital brain (visual processing brain)…. When your brain stops to learn, especially as you grow older, it starts conserving energy and actually starts shrinking by pulling back connections.
- The most efficient way to build and grow your brain – Stay socially connected
This is the most efficient way to build and grow your brain as these human connections activate all parts of the brain. In addition, creativity is invoked when one creates new meaning and content to keep the conversation going, and that builds the parietal lobe. Moreover, being emotionally invested in the relationship and conversation grows the limbic emotional part of the brain…. Besides engaging in meaningful discussions and conversations, playing challenging games together like bridge or monopoly are also great ways for brain-building and brain preservation. The article contains a few easy suggestions for staying connected even during the pandemic.
- Avoid smoking
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 14% of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide are potentially attributed to smoking. The toxins in cigarettes damage the blood vessels feeding the billions of neurons in the brain. In addition, smoking leads to inflammation and oxidative stress which also harm the blood vessels. The net effect is loss of blood supply to the brain tissue when the arteries rupture, bleed or get clogged.
- Cut back on alcohol
Binge-drinking can be harmful to your brain health, both in the short and long-term. Regular excessive drinking may physically damage the brain itself, increasing the risk of dementia. It may also negatively impact one’s mental health.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog and will agree with me that it contains excellent suggestions that you can incorporate into your daily living.
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