Keep your brain healthy at home
Keeping your brain healthy has never been more important than it is now, when humans are living for far, far longer. Just like any other muscle that is necessary to keep working for a long time, our brain need regular work out! Not only does keeping your conscience moving ensures that you won’t be writing the wrong names on Christmas cards, or forgetting to lock the front door, it could even help you live longer.
Dementia is the fourth most prominent killer in the world. Any steps that you can take to keep your brain healthy and your conscience happy could add precious time to your life.
Playing brain-enhancing games
Keeping your brain in tip-top shape needn’t be all that serious. Games that encourage us to use mental arithmetic can help to keep us sharp. Blackjack is a wonderful game for those who want to practice lightning-fast addition, and it’s easy to play – even for those who live alone.
Chess is another brilliant game for those who are keen to get that gray matter moving. Chess is deeply strategic and requires you to think several moves ahead. Being able to hold information on the potential moves of multiple pieces and remembering your game-plan will help with your brain’s short-term memory. It’s great to play chess with friends, but you can also pursue it on your own.
You are what you eat
Most of us wouldn’t bat an eyelid at seeing a bodybuilder working out their macros, or a jockey calorie counting ready for weigh-in, but a mathematician concentrating on a diet plan? It’s not as strange as it might seem.
Just like our bodies need the right fuel to build muscle and burn fat, they also need the right food to keep our brains healthy. Studies, articles, and books are constantly popping up with new information on foods that can boost brainpower, but there are a few golden rules to remember above all.
Drink lots and lots of water. Our brain is surrounded by water and replenishing it regularly is vital for brain health. If you’ve ever been dehydrated, or hungover, then you’re likely to have experienced a dull headache. That’s because your brain hasn’t had enough water and it’s been quite literally, rattling around inside your skull. Keeping your fluid levels topped up is the best way of protecting your brain from injury – and therefore, yourself from headaches.
Green leafy vegetables are your friends. Vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene are all found in abundance in dark green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and collards. These vitamins all help to slow cognitive decline, meaning that your brain can stay younger and fitter for longer.
Another anti-aging ingredient can be found in healthy fats. These molecules are essential for every single cell in your body. Consuming healthy fats supports various bodily processes, from skin health to nutrient absorption, including the good health of the nervous system. Avocados, whole eggs, cheese, different kind of nuts and all types of extra virgin vegetable oils, like olive oil, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds oil, sunflower seeds oil etc., are your friends in this direction.
Healthy body, healthy psychic
Eating healthily is a crucial step in creating a healthy body and brain, but so too is exercise. Even something as simple as losing a few pounds could reduce the risk of dementia.
Those who fall into the obese category, or above, could see extraordinary differences in their brain function by losing 5% of the excess weight they are carrying. A great way to achieve this is through walking, and better still, walking has a few brain benefits of its own. Aerobic exercise, that’s the sort that gets you breathing more heavily, helps to restore damaged neurons. Neurons are nerve cells, which transmit information – they’re key in proper brain function.
Besides repairing neurons, there is a growing group of scientists who believe that walking can radically alter our brain chemistry. Shane O’Mara is a well-regarded neuroscientist who is a firm believer in the brain benefits of walking. He explains that walking requires us to use lots of neural resources, to safely navigate the world around us. Using these resources keeps them active and enables us to more readily call upon them in problem-solving scenarios. In this instance the saying ‘if you don’t move it, you lose it’ certainly rings true.
January 22, 2023
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