The brain is the CEO of the human body – it’s responsible for directing all the operations correctly.
However, poor lifestyle choices, as well as inevitable aging, makes your brain lose some of its elasticity. This can manifest as a hard time focusing or remembering things, procrastination, brain fog, or simply a lack of mental energy and motivation.
Therefore, it’s important to do all we can to keep our brains fit. Like our bodies, there are many things we can do to keep our brains healthy.
Start with these 5 effective science-based tips.
Sulforaphane is one of the most important nutrients to boost brain function. Numerous studies have shown that it improves cognitive function, protects from oxidative stress, rescues memory dysfunction, and even helps recover from traumatic brain injuries.
This compound is found in cruciferous vegetables, however, if you just occasionally eat some cauliflower of kale, it may not be enough to have a noticeable impact. The biggest concentration of sulforaphane is found in broccoli sprouts – a handful a day will significantly improve your brain function and overall health.
You can make your own sprouts following the instructions in this video.
Feed Your Brain
Your brain contains approximately a hundred billion neurons, aka the nerve cells, and every single one of them needs certain nutrients to function properly.
Essential fatty acids, like omega-3, are crucial for a healthy brain. Flax and chia seeds, walnuts, fatty fish, seaweed, soybeans, and leafy greens are excellent sources of omega-3.
It’s also important to eat plenty of foods high in antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress and protect the brain: blueberries, goji berries, dark chocolate, kidney beans, cranberries, cilantro, red grapes, dark leafy greens, beets, green tea, cherries, brussel sprouts, red pepper, and pumpkin to name a few.
If you think you’re too busy to meditate, then meditation is probably exactly what you need in your life.
A large body of research has found that meditation can have positive effects on the brain: it improves concentration, decreases anxiety and stress, speeds up learning, increases productivity and even helps heal the brain from traumatic injuries.
Keeping our hearts pumping and blood flowing through aerobic exercise is as important for our brain health as for the rest of our body. Twin studies indicate that the twin who participates in moderate exercise in midlife has less risk of dementia in old age than the twin who doesn’t exercise.
Train Your Brain with Neurobics
When Henry Ford said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty,” he was right. The brain is like a muscle – if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Besides learning new skills and languages, you can practice neurobics, which helps build the new neuro-pathways in the brain.
Neurobics is the term created by the late neurobiologist Lawrence Katz to describe ways to engage different parts of the brain by switching up the unconscious way we do everyday tasks. He suggested brushing your teeth and dialing the phone with your non-dominant hand or doing activities with your eyes closed.
You can find some useful neurobics exercises here.
Remember, you have the power to increase your brain function and take control of your mind. The earlier you start taking care of your brain health, the more benefits you’ll reap in the future.