You can naturally improve your brain and boost your mental performance by making some lifestyle changes.
The foods you put in your mouth and how you look after your body play an essential role in the health and proper functioning of your brain.
Too often, we simply go to the pharmacy and grab vitamins to ensure that we get the supplements needed into our bodies. Often, these vitamins are not sufficient for what our brain needs.
You may buy vitamin E tablets, which only contains one type of vitamin E. You then think that you are getting the required vitamin E supplement into your body, while you are not getting the correct amount of the right variation of vitamin E into your body.
By eating correctly and doing some physical exercise regularly, you can improve your brain functions and even slow down or stop illnesses like dementia. These changes are so powerful that a damaged brain can be improved.
Exercise and the brain
We know that exercise is good for us, but most people do not realize just how beneficial exercise is for our brains.
The University of British Columbia researched the benefits of regular exercise that gets your blood flowing properly, such as aerobic exercise, boost the part of your brain that is involved in verbal memory and learning.
It is not necessary to overdo it. Simply start walking three or four times a week. You can start by walking for ten minutes a day and then walking an extra five minutes each day until you reach forty minutes. Your walking pace should be brisk.
Walking has a lot of other benefits as it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes; it lowers cholesterol and hypertension.
If you do complex exercises that include balance and coordination, you reinforce the connections in your brain, which will improve the blood flow, it can even be more effective to improve your brain functioning.
Foods that are bad for your brain (and body)
Our motto is that too much of anything is not good for you. However, studies suggest that eating some foods are not good for you. The importance of your brain cannot be underestimated. If your brain stops functioning, it has many adverse effects, such as your heart beating and lungs breathing.
Sugary drinks like energy and sports drinks are unhealthy, not only for your body but also for your brain. It can cause physical conditions such as diabetes, and it increases the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Not all sugar is unhealthy; if you consume natural sugars, it is healthier than added sugar. You find natural sugars in unprocessed foods like bananas or berries.
Reduce your intake of added sugars. Instead of drinking three spoons of sugar in your coffee, try one spoon of sugar, or no sugar. Reduce the consumption of foods such as doughnuts and candies.
When you take in alcohol, it immediately affects your body. Your liver will immediately start filtering the liquor, trying to get rid of the alcohol. When you over-indulge and abuse alcohol, it causes immediate changes to the brain. Alcohol destroys brain cells and has long-lasting effects on neurotransmitters in the brain.
In the short term, alcohol can have some severe effects on your brain, such as poor concentration and inability to think clearly, depression, and memory loss.
In the long term, abusing alcohol can lead to cognitive decline and dementia.
Eating red meat has many advantages, but a study performed by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that saturated fats found in red meat can cause detrimental changes to your brain function.
If you have an early decline in brain function, it poses more severe risks later in life and it increases the risk of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The moderate intake of red meat probably has more health benefits than downsides. Moderation is key.
Fried and Fast Foods
Most people love fried foods. Unfortunately, fats in fried foods can cause inflammation in the brain. This can cause brain fog and forgetfulness.
The saturated fats are very unhealthy for the body and brain. The sodium in fast foods is linked directly to memory loss.
Certain types of fish
Some fish are particularly good for your health and your brain functioning. Unfortunately, some fish, the ones that are high in mercury is bad for your cognitive functioning.
Fish that are rich in mercury include King mackerel, Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, and Swordfish.
Examples of oily fish that are good for your brain that contains high levels of omega-3s include the following:
Salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines.
Generally, processed foods are bad for your brain. This includes packaged cheeses, chips, instant noodles, and ready-made meals. These types of foods are associated with inflammation and a decline in the brain cells.
Bad habits can hurt your brain.
Some ‘normal’ behavior in humans can cause damage to your brain.
Lack of Sleep
A lack of sleep can cause damage to a part of your brain called the ‘Hippocampus”. If you stay awake for a long time, especially in the long term, it harms your brain, causing dead brain cells and an inability to form memories.
A lack of sleep can cause illnesses such as dementia.
Most armies have as part of their training sleep deprivation as this causes them to evaluate soldier’s performance under these exceedingly tricky circumstances. A lack of sleep can cause depression and reduced memory.
Inadequate Water Intake
Your brain consists of about 80 percent water, and it needs water to perform correctly. Studies show that drinking adequate amounts of water can lead up to a 30 percent increase in memory. Try been well hydrated when you study or writing an exam.
Library of Medicine
published a study that found that cigarette smoking is associated with amplified
age-related volume loss in subcortical brain regions.
Smokers experience faster cognitive decline than nonsmokers, and smoking causes an increased risk of dementia.
Smoking is not only bad for your general health, but it makes your memory worse and can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
As strange as it sounds, if you overeat, it stops your brain from forming a strong network of connections required to make you think and remember things.
Loud music, especially with headphones on, can be damaging to your brain. Try and avoid loud music.
Foods that are good for your brain
Studies show that eating some types of fish, which is not high in mercury, is extremely good for your brain.
A study by Professor Raji found that regular consumption of baked or broiled fish increases the gray matter in the hippocampus.
a weekly dose of fish will likely have a positive outcome on your brain’s
functioning and is a preventative measure to protect your brain.
You can find more information on this study on the website of the American Journal of Preventative Medicines.
Most of us love our coffee, and I am no exception to this.
Drinking more coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease or other forms of dementia. The antioxidants and caffeine in coffee are good for your brain development.
Some of the benefits of drinking coffee include alertness and an improved mood.
Blueberries are called a superfood in some circles. It contains high levels of antioxidants, and it can lower the risk of dementia.
In a study, half of the people were given a placenta, and the remainder of the people received a concentrated form of blueberry juice. They drank the concentrated blueberry juice every day for twelve weeks. This is the same as eating 230 grams of whole blueberries daily.
When the study was completed, it showed that people who drank the blueberry concentrate had better cognitive functioning – a clear indication that the blueberries had a positive effect on their brains.
Blueberries increase the communication between your brain cells and improve your memory.
Blueberries are a considerable preventative measure to protect your brains over the long term.
Nuts and Seeds
If you regularly eat more nuts, it may assist you better with your overall cognitive functioning. This is based on a 2014 research study.
Nuts and seeds have strong antioxidant properties; especially vitamin E. Vitamin E protects brain cells from oxidative stresses that are caused by free radicals.
People who regularly eat nuts and seeds remember things better than people who do not frequently eat nuts and seeds.
Tomatoes are fruits that have an extremely high nutritional density. There is a wide variety of tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes, beefsteak, celebrities, and much more. Cherry tomatoes are incredibly high in beta-carotene, compared to regular tomatoes.
Tomatoes can be prepared in different ways, and the health benefits can vary.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is believed to help in the fight to keep your brain healthy and possibly help prevent dementia.
Eggs are one of our favorite food types. Eggs are a rich source of various nutrients, including choline, vitamin B6 and B12 and folate.
Choline is required for the normal functioning of your body and, in general, to be healthy. It is an organic compound, and your body can make small amounts of choline, not enough in terms of what your body requires.
You need choline in fair amounts to ensure not only that your brain develops probably, but also for your liver’s health, muscle movements, and your metabolism.
While fat is generally not good for the brain, the fats contained in avocados are incredibly healthy.
When you eat fatty food, your brain will send out a signal to slow down your eating. This is to enable you to keep your blood sugars at the required levels.
The avocado fat is not only good for your brain but your general health. Because avocados contain a lot of folates, it reduces depression and can help to regulate your mood.
It is not only coffee that has a positive effect on the brain. The National University of Singapore conducted a study that revealed that regular tea drinkers have better-organized brain regions. The research shows that the regular drinking of tea has a protective effect against age-related brain decline.
Tea is full of antioxidants, which is good for the brain, while the caffeine improves alertness and memory function.
Broccoli is another food that many people place in the superfood group. It contains high levels of fiber, antioxidants, anticancer, and vitamins. Broccoli also has anti-amnesic properties. This helps the brain with memory retention.
Studies show that this food source can help rebuild and heal your brain and sharpen your reasoning abilities.
is a key ingredient in curry powder, and it has many health benefits.
The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin. Curcumin comprises of neuroprotective properties.
It is said that Curcumin can preserve mental alertness. Therefore, turmeric may have the ability to boost memory function, and it can also reduce brain fog.
Further, Curcumin boosts overall cognition as it can directly enter the brain cells to benefit them.
Things to do to increase your brainpower!
We already discussed that a cup of coffee can be good for your brain, but what else can you do to improve your brain power?
Spend time in the sun
It is crucial to expose your eyes to the natural light of the sun. No, I am not saying that you must directly look into the sun. Just spend time in the natural sunlight.
Your brain’s pineal gland requires sun stimulation as it creates melatonin. Melatonin is an antioxidant that is good for your brain.
It is not healthy to stay in a dark room for extended periods. If you are not exposed to natural light, it can cause depression.
If you are less exposed to sunlight, your body produces less serotonin, which is, in fact, a brain chemical that manages your mood and sleeping patterns.
As can be seen from this article, nutrition is vital in your brain’s health. Think about what you eat. Do not just take the easy way out. It is easier to grab takeout’s when you are in a rush.
Plan your day better, decide what healthy foods you are going to eat. Remember, what you eat plays a role in your mental and physical wellbeing in the long term.
Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast improved memory and attention span compared to those that do not eat breakfast.
According to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, meditation increases blood flow in the brain, and it also improves memory.
The study shows that patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who practice mindfulness meditation may boost their cognitive reserve.
Stress is not only bad for the body; it is terrible for the brain as it negatively impacts the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is concerned with learning and memory.
Stress is good for the body and the brain, but excess stress can have negative consequences on the brain. Meditation assists to manage the stress.
Exercise your mind
Many people that retire have a sudden decline in memory and brain function. The reason for this is that you need to exercise your brain. Keep your mind busy with exciting exercises.
Playing games such as Tetris can have positive effects on your brain as it can increase your gray matter and help with spatially related assignments.
Continue to learn new things, as this will keep you in the habit of being mentally active. Do mental exercises as this will stimulate your brain cells and improve the blood flow. All of this is crucial to keep your brain healthy.
Take up new hobbies as new skills will create new gray matter and overall keep your brain occupied and healthier.
Mix it up. Use your different senses.
If you have a shortage of specific vitamins, such as vitamin B, C, or E, you may want to consider taking a supplement.
Remember, not all supplements are created equal. There are many supplements out there, and it is best to let your medical professional assist you with the choice of your supplement.
Be Social and believe in yourself.
Most people are naturally sociable, and social interaction prevents stress and depression. Stay in touch with family and friends as this is just another way to keep your brain healthy.
Stop joking that your memory is failing. Prioritize your mind, and do not merely accept that you cannot remember things. Make a real effort as this will force you to be proactive, which will likely lead to a healthier brain.
Laugh louder and more often
Laughter is excellent for the brain as it engages many areas across the entire brain.
Laughter reduces toxic stress, and this assists in keeping your brain healthier. Joking around and thinking of how to tell jokes or listening to jokes trying to figure out the punchline keeps your brain active – and this is good for your mind.
While there is still no cure for mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, many studies have shown that we can do many things to decrease the risk of these illnesses.
It does not matter how young or old you are. Start today, by reading this article; you have already taken the first step to have a better brain. Just by trying to have a healthier brain, you have already done more than most people. Continue to learn about your mental and physical health as nobody is in a better position than you to look after yourself.