With all the modern technology and advancements in medicine and science, experts still don’t know everything there is to know about the brain. It is a highly intricate organ that does everything from hold onto years of memories to instructing your limbs to swing from left to right. Unfortunately, many people take for granted just how necessary their brain’s health is to living a full and happy life.
There’s this large misconception that brain health isn’t something you have to worry about until you’re in your 60’s and 70’s and struggling with cognitive issues. In all reality, however, you can reduce and/or never have to experience things like memory loss and other cognitive issues if you start caring for your brain now. Here are some effective ways to do this.
Take Care of Your Heart
You may be wondering how improving your heart health improves your brain, but the two have a deep connection. The heart is the organ responsible for pumping blood to vital organs such as the brain. If the heart cannot properly get the blood flowing to the brain, this could result in a stroke or other brain damage.
It is, therefore, extremely important that you’re doing everything you can to keep your heart healthy. This means keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, eating a heart-healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.
Stimulate Your Mind
Did you know that there are exercises for the brain too? In fact, through various studies in animals and humans, it has been determined that when you engage in such activities it helps to stimulate nerve cell connections and quite possibly new cell generation altogether. This “excess” of new nerve cells can help out greatly when the natural process of cell loss associated with aging occurs.
How do you exercise or stimulate the mind? There are plenty of things you can do. Read a good book, complete a puzzle, take an online course in something new, write, draw, paint, or any other activity that requires a significant amount of brainpower.
Consume More Brain Foods
Did you know that the brain uses about 20 percent of the body’s calories consumed each day to function? Eating a diet that excludes things like processed foods, sugar, and salt and instead opting for a diet that is packed with nutrients the brain needs is ideal. Some good foods to incorporate include oily fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, dark chocolate, berries, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. To give your brain a little boost, you can also consider taking brain health supplements as well.
Build Positive Social Relationships
When you connect with positive people, it makes you feel good inside and out. What you may not have known, however, is how essential social interaction is to brain health. Positive, in-depth conversations with others help to stimulate the brain. Regular interaction with others also helps to reduce stress, fight off depression, and decrease the chances of developing dementia later in life.
Try to stay connected with friends and family. Contact them on the phone, through social media, and even make time to meet up in person. You can challenge your mind and enhance your life by also being open to building new relationships by meeting like-minded people or those you find intellectually stimulating.
Get Enough Sleep
Last on the list for a healthy brain is getting the sleep you need. When you sleep less, your brain is not on it’s “A-game” because it’s being overworked. You might notice that you have fogginess or are slow to think when you’ve missed a few days of consistent rest. It is during this time that your brain is able to heal and recharge.
To get a good night’s sleep start with your sleeping environment. Make sure your room is cool, dark, and comfortable. If that doesn’t work, perhaps talk to your doctor as it could have something to do with your medications or your mental health (as stress and anxiety can keep you up at night).
You take things like being able to walk, talk, and even think for granted until one day something goes wrong. Don’t wait to show your brain just how much you need and appreciate it. Instead, be proactive and begin caring for your brain now to keep it strong, healthy, and young for a lifetime.