When we talk about keeping healthy, what always comes to mind will be taking care of our physical body. One of the most neglected organs that we usually take for granted will be our brain. Did you know that the brain is the most complex organ in our body? As the command center for our nervous system and daily functions, the brain is made up of billions of neurons, receiving input from sensory organs and sending output to the muscles.
The brain is also responsible for helping us process and make decisions. Apart from the complex processing of the mind, emotions and level of anxiety are also some critical aspects that contributes in the decision-making process.
As you age, your brain’s structure changes over time. Like a muscle, when you stimulate and “workout” with it, you will promote your brain’s growth, just like how exercising builds muscles. However, this means that if you neglect the care of your brain or even poor nutrition can disrupt the full development of the brain.
The good news is that the human brain is resilient and can even repair itself by growing new cells, so it’s not too late to start taking steps to give your brain the love and attention it needs! Here are some easy tips that you can start with:
1. Watch What You Eat
It is true that you are what you eat. A good habit is to read the ingredients label while doing your groceries so that you know what you are consuming. It is best to avoid preservatives, MSG and artificial flavors.
At the same time, eating healthy wholesome foods can increase IQ and improve the various processing and functions of the brain.
For a sharper and better-conditioned mind, have the following brain foods on your fridge:
- Egg Yolks - Breaks down bethane, rich in protein and increases good cholesterol levels.
- Blueberries - Has vitamins C and K, as well as fibre and is a great antioxidant.
- Coconut - Natural inflammatory.
- Chocolate - Has flavonols (antioxidants) and help to regulate blood pressure.
- Broccoli - Contains plenty of vitamin C, K and choline.
- Avocados - Has vitamins B, C and K, as well as folate and a rich source of protein.
- Celery - An antioxidant and has a significant amount of polysaccharides.
- Macadamia nuts - High in oleic acid, preserve brain health by keeping blood pressure low and preventing stroke. Also contains palmitoleic acid, an important component of myelin, the fatty layer that insulates and protects nerve cells in the brain.
- Walnuts - High concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. A quarter cup of walnuts a day can help you reach an adult’s recommended daily DHA intake!
- Almonds - One of the most concentrated sources of Vitamin E to prevent or slow-down age-related cognitive decline.
The best part is these superfoods also have nutrition that benefits your overall health.
2. Fuel Your Brain
So we know that our brains work like a muscle. So the more you use it, then the more it will grow. For this, keep your mind active by doing mentally stimulating activities such as doing puzzles, solving problems, engaging in mental mathematics or even put the S$500 SkillsFuture Credit that all Singaporeans have to good use in a short course of your choice!
Exercise produces different hormones that are effective in boosting your mood, regulating stress levels and emotional turmoils in which if not controlled can possibly result to the actual shrinking of the brain's size. Also, the flow of blood is increased during a workout. Through blood, oxygen is transferred to the different parts of the body. Our brain requires oxygen to function properly, and hence the increase of blood flow from exercise can keep our brain fit and increase its capacity for making good financial decisions.
4. Master your Emotions
Emotions play a huge role in our lives in influencing our thoughts and decisions, and is essential to both mental and physical well-being. If not properly given the needed attention and observation, anxiety or even a mental breakdown can occur.
Deep breathing is a wonderful way to calm yourself down and recenter yourself. When you feel yourself getting worked up, take a few seconds to close your eyes and picture your favourite place or a peaceful image. Take a slow deep breath, breathe in the calming feelings and breathe out the difficult feelings. Do this at least 10 times, or until you feel relaxed and grounded again.
Make time to play! Laughter is the best medicine so do take the time to let yourself go and have fun! Also, make it a priority for some me-time for you to connect with yourself. It can be a simple afternoon reading in your favourite cafe or simply go for a relaxing facial treat.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Do you feel that when you lose your focus when you feel thirsty? Proper hydration is important for our brains to function at its best. There is a delicate balance between water and the various elements in every brain cell in order to operate. Dehydration has serious impact on our body, even affecting our memory, so do make it a point to take small sips of water throughout the day!
Remember, as the main control unit for the body, we must be mindful how vital the health of our brain contributes towards the proper functioning of the whole body. Let’s start making these positive changes today!
Do you have any other tips on how we can boost our brain’s health?
This article piece is written by a writer from Cardable.