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How to Have a Healthier BrainYour brain is responsible for the majority of your internal body functions. It sends electrical signals via your nervous system to keep your stomach digesting, your heart beating, your glands producing hormones, and your muscles contracting when you lift weights. Having a healthy brain is key to having a healthy body! Here are a few simple things you can do to have a healthier brain:
ExerciseExercise does so much more than just promote weight loss and encourage better cardiovascular function—it also helps to keep your brain tissue flexible, which enables it to adapt to daily usage more efficiently. More active, fitter people tend to have more grey matter in the important parts of the brain, and their brains are better able to send signals along the neurons to keep every part of your body and mind working well. Exercise can improve memory, cognition, and critical thinking, and can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases when you get older.
Train Your BrainThere are a number of exercises you can do to have a healthier brain. For example, the “Memory” card game is excellent for both recall and pattern recognition. You can use mnemonic devices to help you improve your memory of specific things, and the more you learn, the more you teach your brain to adapt to the demands of your day. Resist the urge to engage in mind-numbing activities (like modern entertainment), but keep your brain sharp and active by spending time every day training it. The more you train your brain, the more effectively it will work!
To have a healthier brain, you want to focus on a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, protein, and other healthy fats. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts contain lots of dietary fiber, which can reduce fat buildup in the arteries, thereby reducing your risk of strokes. Seeds, nuts, proteins, and healthy fats are all crucial for feeding your brain and giving it the fatty acids required to build and repair brain tissue. Protein is particularly important for memory and recall—a healthy, high-protein diet will do wonders to improve your brain health!
Maintain Good HealthDid you know that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels can all contribute to reduced brain health? Reduced blood flow to your brain can impair cognitive function, and excessive blood sugar levels can lead to mental fatigue that makes it hard to think and concentrate. It’s important that you keep your body healthy so your brain will be healthy as well. If you’ve got a chronic health condition, take steps to get it under control. Lose weight, manage your blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, and take your health seriously—your brain is counting on it!
Learn Something NewThis is crucial to help you keep your brain adaptable and flexible, helping it to absorb new information. Languages, in particular, are very good for keeping your brain working well, as they force you to rethink a simple structure (language) and learn something that should be familiar in a new way. For example, people who speak French or Spanish form their sentences in reverse to the way we form sentences in English. This new way of thinking can be tough to teach your brain, but it can do wonders to help you expand your mental capacity and keep your brain flexible. Or, try learning a new instrument, as it will force your brain to accommodate the new hand movements, patterns, rhythms, memory of chords and notes, and more.