When we think of staying healthy, most of us consider the importance of keeping our bodies fit, but we may not give our brain a second thought. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple things you can do to give your brain and mental faculties a boost.
Did you know that the brain is 75 percent water? It needs water to replenish and ensure healthy cognitive functions and strong mental health. Drinking plentiful amounts of water daily helps ensure the brain cells can perform their many essential functions.
Tea-total your way to a healthy brain
According to research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is found in green tea, may stop beta-amyloid plaques linked to Alzheimer’s from forming.
Ramp up your fruit and veggie consumption
Eating a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables helps supply your brain with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Walk your way to a better brain
You don’t often think about taking your brain for a walk or run, but you might want to. Based on the advice of researchers after studying the effects of exercise to stave off dementia, a brisk walk or jog may be just what your brain needs. Squeeze in a brisk walk on your lunch break or after dinner, or jog to work.
Meditation lessens the effects of stress and the toll it takes on your brain. In a study published in the journal Psychiatry Research, scientists found that regardless of what type of meditation participants performed, blood flow to the brain improved. Take several minutes, or longer if you can, out of your day to simply focus your mind and breathe deeply.
Researchers found that after eating mushrooms twice weekly, the risk of mild cognitive decline was reduced by half among seniors studied. Add mushrooms to soups, salads, stews, or curries, or enjoy them on their own as a main or side dish to reap the cognitive health benefits.
There are many great nutrients and herbs that may help boost brain health, including:
- B-complex vitamins
- coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
- fish oils
Always check with your health care practitioner before trying a new supplement.
Your brain needs sleep to recharge; try to sleep for at least seven to eight hours each night.
Remain social with those you like; interacting with others stimulates connections between brain cells.
Try something new, such as a new route home from work or preparing a new food for dinner, to build new brain connections and boost memory. Consider playing games and puzzles to boost long- and short-term memory, information retention, and concentration. Learn a new language or practise one you may have forgotten; this may help build connections between brain cells.