As the body ages, so does the brain. Cognitive decline and changes in mental function can seem overwhelming as experiences changes in our brain health. However, there are some things we can do to enhance brain health. Here are a few tips for promoting a healthy brain.
Focus On Nutrition
Did you know that food affects how you feel in your body and your brain? Nutrition plays an important role in brain health. Ensuring your diet includes the right vitamins and nutrients can greatly improve your brain health. Food that is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, like the Mediterranean Diet, has proven helpful in promoting healthy brain function and increasing overall health and wellness.
Increase Your Vegetables
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards have essential vitamins that support brain health. Try to eat at least 6 servings per day to increase your Vitamin E and folate intake, which promote a healthy brain.
Eat More Berries
Berries are a superfood and high in antioxidants, which can help slow down cognitive decline. So add some to a smoothie or on top of a salad a few times per week.
Choose Nuts For A Snack
While nuts are high in fats, these are healthy fats your body needs. Nuts also contain Vitamin E, which studies show may help slow down cognitive decline and protect against neurodegenerative disorders. Choose nuts that have less sodium and oils.
Fish Is Brain Food
Have you ever heard someone say that fish is brain food? It’s true! Fish have omega-3 fatty acids, which boost brain function and keep it healthy. The brain and your system function well on healthy fats like omega-3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The brain needs certain amounts of DHA to protect against cognitive decline. So, try substituting fish for chicken or beef at least once a week. Eat it with some vegetables or on top of your favorite salad.
Include Healthy Oils
We’ve mentioned the body needs healthy fats to promote a healthy brain. Cooking with healthy fats, like olive oil, can reduce cognitive decline because it contains monounsaturated fats. Foods that have a higher amount of monounsaturated fats can boost mental wellness. You can substitute olive oil or avocado oil in your cooking or salad dressings.
Try Going Vegetarian
While lean meats contain fats and protein your body needs, too much meat is not good for brain health. Eating more plant-based foods can help you increase necessary vitamins and minerals that support brain health. Some foods you can eat include:
- Whole grains
- Bananas and berries
These are just a few of the many vegetarian foods that can enhance your brain health. Try going vegetarian a couple of times a week by substituting these foods for your normal meat dishes.
Increase Your Exercise
Besides a vitamin rich diet, exercise is crucial for your brain health. Did you know that just thirty minutes of exercise a day can improve brain health? Chances are, you’ve heard the term “brain fog” before. It’s a real thing. If the brain does not receive enough stimulation, it’s hard to think or process information.
Physical exercise can stimulate brain health by sending oxygen through the many blood vessels in the brain. Exercise helps awaken the brain, balance out sugar levels, and promotes mental awareness. Try any of these exercises a few times per week for 30-60 minutes:
- Interval training
It’s important to exercise to boost brain health. Try any of these exercises to increase your heart rate and get blood flowing to your brain.
Build Your Mental Health
Your brain is a muscle. As with all other body muscles, if you don’t exercise your brain, it will start declining. There are many things you can do to exercise your brain and promote mental health. Finding healthy ways to reduce stress is also important in boosting your mental health for a healthy brain.
- Crossword puzzles
- Learning an instrument
- Playing games
- Trying a new exercise like yoga or martial arts
- Reduce stress levels
- Focus on nutrition for brain health
There are many factors that affect your mental health. Today, many people deal with stressful situations that can reduce cognitive decline and result in health issues. Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.
Be Socially Active
Building a network of close relationships can help you boost your social activity and your brain health. Studies show that interacting with people can reduce dementia and other cognitive disorders. Adding activities to your calendar can help you relax and enjoy life. As your brain registers a decrease in stress and a boost of happiness, it promotes better brain health.
While you cannot avoid every stressful situation, there are a few things you can do to increase social activity and boost brain health.
Talk With More People
Now that the world is navigating post-pandemic living, it’s important to get outside and connect with people. Face-to-face interaction is a great way to calm your nerves and relieve stress. Simply talking with a few friends over coffee or a meal will boost your mood and improve your brain health.
Acknowledging someone in the grocery aisle or on a street corner is a small way to stay socially active. While you may not have hours to devote to conversation, a simple greeting with a smile improves your mood and someone else’s as well.
Join Networking Groups
Don’t be afraid to join networking groups that help you connect with other people. These groups can help you connect with people who share similar interests.
If you have a busy life-style, cutting back on sleep may seem like a good idea to get more things accomplished in your day. However, reducing your sleep is one of the worst things you can do for your brain. Sleep is a necessity for your health that you can’t afford to go without. Missing a few hours can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
Your body and your mind need some time each day. If you’re having a hard time getting your recommended 8 hours of sleep, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Some light reading can quiet your mind before bed and help you fall asleep faster
- A warm, relaxing bath can calm your muscles and your mind
- Stretching or yoga are helpful relaxation techniques to turn off your busy mind
- Keep your room cool and dark to alert your brain that it’s bedtime
- Skip the caffeine in the afternoon
- Limit screens bedtime
If you often concentrate on the troublesome events of the day, it’s hard to fall asleep. Try these techniques to help you fall asleep faster.
Supplements are an excellent addition to your health and wellness regime for a healthy brain. There are a few powerful supplements that work to increase brain function and promote cognitive health.
- Fish Oil - helps improve memory and thinking skills
- Resveratrol - full of antioxidants that can reduce memory decline
- Ginkgo biloba - increases blood flow to the brain
There are several supplements that you can take to boost brain health and stimulate better function. These are just a few of the ones with high potency. You can find them in capsules and even in certain foods.