9 Tips to Help Keep Your Brain Healthy
by Judith Tobey
Living a healthy lifestyle can help nourish, protect and stimulate your brain. Whether you are 25 or 75, it is always a good time to think about ways to keep your mind healthy. People with strong minds and bodies live a richer and more fulfilling life. The following 9 tips incorporate plenty of mental, physical and nutritional ways to keep your mind sharp throughout your lifetime.
- Eat healthy: Your body (and brain) depend on a nourishing diet. While healthy protein (fish) is the key source of fuel for your brain, vitamins and minerals from fresh heathy grains, vegetables and fruits are also important for your brain health.
- Take an omega-3 supplement: Omega-3 is one of the most important nutrients for your brain health, mental well-being, and overall health. Deficiency is common due to poor dietary choices and the degradation of our food supply. Omega -3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) keep the dopamine levels in your brain high, increase neuronal growth in the frontal cortex of your brain, and increase cerebral circulation.
- Avoid sugars, artificial sweeteners and additives: It is important to limit your sugar intake, reason being it impairs your memory and learning skills, it will also contribute to depression and anxiety. Artificial sweeteners and additives, which are common in processed foods, can cause harm to your brain.
- Continue learning: Learning something new and challenging throughout your entire life helps to keep your brain strong. Activities that have the highest value are those that are new, challenging and complex to each individual person. So step out of your comfort zone.
- Exercise: Regular moderate exercise helps to support your brain by causing nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive abilities in memory.
- Do mind exercises: Challenging your brain can help your mental health at any age. This can be something as simple as doing mindful meditation, crossword puzzles, playing chess or checkers with a friend, singing your favorite songs and playing card games.
- Socialize: Humans are communal creatures. Engaging with friends, family and pets is vital to maintaining your mental health. It helps ward off depression and can improve your cognitive function.
- Spend time outdoors: Spending a day in the fresh air and sunshine promotes relaxation, helps your decision making and logical processes. Being outdoors can also improve memory, fight depression and lower blood pressure.
- Sleep well: It is during sleep that your mental energy is restored. Consistent sleep patterns are an essential part of mental wellness. Allowing the body and brain to rest offers time for your immune system to take inventory of the normal, daily cellular damage that needs to be repaired.