Your brain health is important. You know this. But what you might not know is that there are simple ways to amplify your brain health and make sure that your mind stays in top condition.
With so much information about how our brains function, develop and decay, it can be hard to know what we need to do in order to keep them healthy. Luckily, researchers continue to discover new ways that help us to understand the brain so that we can take proactive steps towards keeping our minds healthy.
Why is my brain so slow?
As an adult, one challenge that might be on the forefront of your mind is slowing cognitive decline. You might feel like your brain is slower than it used to be, and you're right.
It's not just you; cognitive function does slow down as we age. But don't worry–there are ways for you to overcome this hurdle. Read on to find out what you can do to keep your brain sharp.
1. Get moving
You know how great it feels when you get up and move around? The blood starts rushing through your body, igniting every cell with energy and focus. Well, this is exactly what happens when you get moving.
Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, which brings more oxygen and nutrients. This helps your neurons fire at a faster rate so that your brain works better. Even if you're already up and moving, you can take it to the next level by adding in some heavy lifting.
Heavy lifting has been shown to boost brain function, creativity, memory formation, hormone levels, bone health, and more. So put down your remote control and grab some weights.
2. Develop a mindfulness practice
You might associate meditation with Buddhist monks and yoga instructors. However, you don't have to take up a whole new practice to get the benefits of something like mindfulness.
The important thing about developing a mindfulness practice is that it allows your brain time to take a break from stressors so that it can return back to homeostasis. When we incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives, we help to decrease cortisol levels in the brain.
3. Educate yourself
Did you know that your cognitive function begins to diminish at age 45? It's true. Fortunately, there are many easy ways that you can improve your brain function without medication.
When you keep yourself educated on the latest news, ideas, and discoveries in neuroscience, you help to keep your brain sharp. This is because staying up-to-date with new information helps your mind learn new things so that it continues to grow healthy neuronal connections.
Read books about topics that interest you or send yourself articles that are relevant to your industry or research areas. This will help to keep your mind sharp while also adding new information so that it can continue to grow and adapt.
4. Limit screen time
The average teenager spends 10 hours per day looking at a screen, whether it's their iPhone, television, computer, tablet... the list goes on.
Not only is spending 10 hours a day looking at a screen bad for your eyes, but it's also terrible for your brain. It may seem like we're engaging with the world when we look at our screens, but what we are actually doing is turning away from the real world and toward this artificial one that exists within the tiny glass screen.
Spending too much time looking at screens is thought to contribute to the decrease in grey matter of the brain. We need our brains to grow new neurons and neuronal connections, but when we turn away from real-world interactions, this makes it more difficult for them to do their job.
5. Challenge yourself daily
When you challenge yourself with new tasks, you exercise the brain in a way that allows it to grow. Ideally, we want our brains to be challenged but not over-stressed because when they are exposed to too much stress, neurons begin to degenerate and die off.
In order to keep your mind healthy and strong, challenge yourself by working on a new project or a difficult assignment. You can also work on balancing your checkbook, practicing a foreign language, or doing some other activity that requires you to use new skills and information.
6. Limit sugar intake
There are so many reasons why limiting your sugar intake is important for your health, but did you know that it's also important for your brain health?
The neuronal connections in our brains are actually made up of fatty acids, which are made from glucose. When we have an abundance of glucose in the body, this causes inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.
When there is too much sugar floating around in our blood stream, it can damage neurons over time. This means that when we eat too much sugar, the brain is more susceptible to degeneration and cognitive decline.
7. Eat Brain Boosting Foods
There are several foods that you can introduce into your diet so that it helps to improve brain health.
For example, fatty acids are required for proper neuron function. Omega-3s actually help to protect neurons and contribute to their health because they act as an antioxidant. Foods like salmon, tuna, nuts, seeds, flaxseed oil, and soybeans are high in Omega-3s.
Avocados are high in vitamin K, which is important for the development of neurons. Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin that protect cells from oxidative damage. Blueberries contain anthocyanins that improve cognition, help with memory recall, and protect the brain from free radical damage.
If you're in a hurry and don't have time to prepare a full meal, just add some avocado to your morning smoothie or take a handful of walnuts with you on the go. Eating brain boosting foods is one of the best things that you can do to improve your overall health.
Of course, there are also several medications that can help to amplify brain health too. Elm & Rye have some high quality supplements to help give you a boost while you work to use the seven ways to amplify brain health noted above.
Overall, the best way to help amplify brain health is to eat a healthy diet, reduce screen time, be mindful, and use high quality supplements to fill in the gaps that diet and lifestyle aren't filling.