Brain health tends to be overlooked by many people. Some even recognize the need to take care of their brains only when they begin experiencing dysfunctions in their memory, coordination, and other brain functions.
Our brain is the most powerful organ in the human body. Hence, we need to take care of our brains for it to keep functioning well. And what better way to do so than by using natural ways to keep our brains healthy?
Read on for 4 tips on how to boost brain health the natural way:
1. Add brain-boosting whole foods to your meals.
Eating your way to a healthier brain? Yes, you can!
There are lots of foods that can boost your brain’s health naturally. And they work in different ways to keep the brain in tip-top condition.
For instance, some brain foods are rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. They provide the brain with energy and help shield it from various illnesses.
Now, here are some brain-boosting foods you can add to your daily meals:
Avocados are brimming with healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and vitamins B, C, and K. The delicious fruit also has the lowest sugar content among all other fruits.
Monounsaturated fats play a huge role in brain health. Specifically, it raises levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed in memory and learning.
Apart from that, healthy fats from avocados also improve blood flow to the brain. This results in better brain function and fewer chances of getting blood clots in the brain.
Eating eggs is a natural way to keep your brain healthy. It’s because whole eggs are chock-full of protein and choline, two nutrients that are vital for improving brain function.
Protein is needed for the brain to produce enough neurotransmitters, those chemical messengers firing off signals from one neuron (brain cell) to another.
Meanwhile, choline is a nutrient needed to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It also helps improve fetal brain development in pregnant women.
You can get the bulk of protein in the egg whites, while choline is abundant in the yolk. Hence, it’s important to consume whole eggs in moderation to get your fix of brain-boosting nutrients.
Green leafy vegetables
Leafy greens are full of brain-loving nutrients such as folate, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin K. These nutrients work together to slow down cognitive decline and keep dementia at bay. Specifically, research notes that vitamin K has potential brain-protective properties that contribute to better brain health.
These green leafy vegetables should be on your crisper stat:
- Mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- Romaine lettuce
Aim to cover your plate mostly with green leafy vegetables every meal.
Seafood lovers celebrate! Salmon is an excellent brain-boosting food, thanks to its bountiful omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain cell repair and protection. These nutrients help build cell membranes, thereby speeding up the repair of damaged neurons. Omega-3 fatty acids also exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, protecting the entire brain from further degeneration.
Eat salmon at least twice a week to get a good serving of omega-3 fatty acids. By doing so, you can also improve memory and keep brain fog away.
2. Get moving!
Physical exercise is an excellent way to keep your brain health naturally. Researches have shown that exercise improves memory and problem-solving skills.
Physical activity improves blood flow to the brain, keeping it well-nourished with nutrients. Improved blood flow also translates to lesser risks of contracting blood clots in the brain. Also, exercise helps stop the shrinkage of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory.
Most experts agree that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise for five days a week can jumpstart the brain-boosting effects of physical activity. Further, more intense physical activities such as fitness training, sports, or dancing could lead to better brain-boosting results.
Now, if you’re not an active person, you can still get yourself started on exercise. Start by doing brisk walks, jogging, or light exercises first. You can then gradually build up and start doing more aerobics and dance exercises. Always remember that a little movement is a lot better than none at all!
You can exercise in the comforts of your own home. No need to go get a gym membership right away! There are plenty of reputable exercise videos on the Internet you can use to jump-start your exercise routines.
Finally, have a variety of physical activities to participate in. This avoids boredom and keeps you motivated to continue exercising. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that exercise becomes a habit!
3. Stimulate and challenge your brain.
Keep your brain naturally healthy by doing new things that challenge your brain. When you learn a new skill, your brain cells constantly create new connections between themselves. As a result, these new connections help improve overall brain function.
Some suggestions for stimulating your brain include:
- Learning a new skill such as playing musical instruments or cooking new dishes
- Engaging in a new sport
- Traveling to unfamiliar countries or cities
- Learning new languages
As you can see, these activities all involve real-world skills. Many experts agree that mental stimulation using real-world skill learning is better than doing “cognitive games” or brain-training programs. Simply put, you’ll get more brain-boosting benefits from cooking an unfamiliar dish than by playing crossword puzzles all day long.
On a tight budget? Get on the Web and search hundreds of how-to articles and videos and jump-start learning something new!
4. Rest and sleep well.
Reset your brain and let it heal by getting enough shut-eye. Quality sleep for 7-9 hours is important to relax your brain and improve your mental health.
Furthermore, the brain clears out a toxin called beta-amyloid as you sleep. This substance is linked to brain illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, when you get quality shut-eye each night, your brain clears out more beta-amyloid and keeps the risk of getting brain illnesses low.
Finding it hard to sleep well? Heed these suggestions:
Do some meditation.
Mindful meditation for 5-10 minutes before bedtime can calm your brain, thereby making it easier to fall asleep. Also, meditation can effectively remove confusion, depression, and anxiety – things that can contribute to brain fatigue and inflammation.
Banish electronic devices from your bedroom.
If you can, commit to sleeping at the same time every day. And while doing so, remove all phones, tablets, computers, and electronic screens from your room 30 minutes to an hour before your scheduled sleep time.
Jot down your worries and set them aside.
Write your thoughts, concerns, and a small to-do list for tomorrow in a journal. This can help alleviate anxiety, thereby letting you sleep more soundly. Jotting all your worries down sends a good signal to your brain to stop thinking about them as you sleep.
Over to You!
Keep in mind these four natural ways to keep your brain healthy:
- Eat brain-boosting foods
- Exercise regularly
- Learn something new to stimulate the brain
- Sleep and rest well
All these healthy activities will help protect your brain from illnesses and keep your memory, concentration, focus, and coordination sharp as the years go by. So go ahead and take control of your brain health now!