Our bodies are always aging and sometimes we may find ourselves despairing that we are going to rack and ruin. The good news is that while we cannot halt the aging process, it is entirely feasible to keep the brain active and healthy for the length of our entire lives and avoid the many forms of Dementia. The best way to increase brain functionality is to build a healthy brain regime using a variety of methods and techniques to achieve optimum performance.
Keep smart by eating smart. There are a number of foods that can protect against age related conditions and improve your capacity for learning - along with your motor skills. Researchers recommend colourful fruits – the more bright and vibrant the better. Fruits such as blueberries have antioxidant properties that protect the brain against free radicals. Avocados are perfect for improving a healthy blood flow to your brain, although these should be eaten in moderation because of their high calorie content. Also consider increasing your intake of omega 3 essential fatty acids that are found in oily fish such as wild salmon, herring and sardines. Vitamin E will similarly prevent cognitive decline so stock up on nuts and seeds, peanut butter and tahini.
You don't have to give up all your treats; you can still reach for a restorative cup of tea. There are antioxidants and caffeine in freshly brewed tea and also in dark chocolate. Both of these will stimulate the brain when enjoyed in moderation.
Manage your glucose levels. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain. Ideally, five small meals a day will release glucose to the brain more effectively than two light meals and one heavier one at the end of the day.
Exercise. There is no getting away from it – physical exercise is a prerogative for a healthy body and a healthy brain. Exercise increases the amount of oxygen to the brain and it enhances and stimulates the brain's natural chemicals and hormones for cognitive optimisation.
Sleep. When your brain is tired it won't perform well. If you need to be creative, solve problems or if you are studying or working then you need to ensure that you are getting a good night's sleep.
Make friends. Having good social interaction helps to improve brain health. When you consider the number and the scope of skills it takes to have a simple conversation or to play 'Fetch' with a dog, you can understand why. Undertaking activities with friends or pets will boost the benefits to your brain and memory.
Laugh long and loud. When you laugh there are numerous areas of the brain that have to get involved. You need to be able to listen, interpret, apply analytical thinking (to a punch line for example) or even figure out what is funny – and all of these processes will activate and stimulate the brain.
Brain gym. Crosswords, Sudoku, brain teasers, lateral thinking puzzles: all of these will give your brain a great workout.
Brain workout. Besides puzzles etc., exercise your brain by learning new skills that require hand – eye co-ordination. Take up juggling, learn to play a musical instrument or learn a new craft or hobby. Computer games and surfing the internet are also useful because they are non-passive. You have to think. For a really good brain workout make sure that your new skill is challenging. It should be something that is unfamiliar to you, it should puzzle and confuse and it should be engaging and interesting.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil supports both the immune system and brain function, keeping them healthy and thriving. Coconut is rich in saturated fats and encourages the body to produce compounds called ketones. Ketones are a special high-energy fuel produced specifically to fuel the brain, helping brain cells thrive and even restoring near normal function in failing ones.
Breathe! The more air we take in, the more oxygen there is in the blood and therefore the more access to oxygen the brain has. Deep breathing (in through the nose, hold and slowly release through the mouth) will also help to relieve stress, something else your brain can live without. Meditation is great for this!
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Updated: April 24, 2018 CET