Your brain is a perfect machine that is nourished not just by neurons and glial cells. It stores a precious treasure chest of experiences and memories that make up a huge part of who you are. It is a fascinating vault where new things are introduced everyday that exercise it and grease its health motors.
Taking care of your brain requires you to know a series of tips that apply to every day and dietary and behavior habits that will allow your gray matter to be in a good state in order to be able to prevent or at least put off certain diseases.
Your lifestyle can sometimes cause many illnesses that can be avoided; stress, hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, etc. often come from not only neurovascular accidents, but sometimes a simple headache is a result of a day filled with stress and anxiety, a spectrum of illnesses, which is why we should keep this in mind.
By pointing out other normal fears like minor forgetfulness, that sensation of “something right on the top of your tongue” and not remembering it, are trivialities that you can improve if you try to improve your cognitive reserve or your mental strategies, which can help you day-to-day. So, why don’t you check this article out?
Tips to Take Care of Your Brain
1. Take Care of Your Cognitive Reserve
Everything you have lived through, experienced, and even suffered from makes up part of your “memory storage”. It is memories that are built up by providing a foundation on which it grows. It is where you go when you are looking for memories and emotions. It is where you learn and make decisions everyday in light of everything you have lived through. It is what is usually called cognitive reserve. The bigger your reserve is, the better your protection against premature aging will be because all of that makes up your cerebral connections that strengthen your neuronal material. The more connections you have, the more new tissue you will have and this will bring better protection against possible sicknesses. That is why it is important to experiment and to learn new things every day.
2. Care for Your Diet
The brain is an organ that requires a lot of energy. In fact, it alone needs 20 to 30% of the calories that you consume. But, you should avoid eating too many fats and, more importantly, industrialized foods because they make it difficult to maintain good brain health in the long run. Nutritionists recommend the following chemical elements that you can find in the suggested foods:
- Tryptophan: Basic for learning. It is found in foods like fish, eggs, nuts, bananas, pineapples, and avocados.
- Choline: Soy and eggs are rich in this element. It is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles.
- L-glutamine: It is used for building gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. It helps you be in a good mood and feel better. You can find it in sesame and sunflower seeds.
- Flavonoids: Basic for neuron synapses. They reduce neuron aging and improve memory. You can find them in beans, chocolate, and red wine.
- Alpha lipoic acid: Also essential for neurons, it fights stress and neutralizes free radicals. It is in green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, etc.
- Vitamin E: It is essential. It helps neuron activity and prevents the oxidation of neuron membranes. You can find it in curry, asparagus, avocados, walnuts, peanuts, olives, and olive oil.
3. Physical Activity
It is very recommended. There are studies that say that physical exercise prevents or puts off diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Walking for an hour a day, riding a bike, swimming, or doing any activity everyday is enough to improve your neuron connections.
4. Handle Your Emotions Better
Want to know what is one of the worst enemies of your brain’s health? Stress. Seriously. Your lifestyle, daily obligations, pressure, anxiety, etc. fill you with toxins and block the brain from functioning well. Tissue gets oxygenated and the brain prematurely ages in the long run. This is why it is important to handle things calmly, prioritize positive thoughts, and see things from a more serene perspective in which you value yourself and your physical and mental health.
Having a good social life with friends and relatives around you that provide you with experiences, conversation, support, encouragement, excitement, projects, and dreams, makes your interest in life greater. Your brain “is nurtured” by these other nutrients that make its vault of experiences even bigger and its reserve stronger and more powerful to keep your brain young and in shape.
6. Sleep for at Least 7 to 8 Hours
Sleeping is fundamental for the body and mind. In fact, the latter especially requires it in order to carry out its tasks, like organizing memories and experiences, storing, cataloguing, arranging… The brain is very active at night but it can only perform these functions if you getting enough sleep.
7. Cognitive Stimulation
Besides physical exercise, your brain requires its own activity and its own daily challenges that will provide oil to its gears. Small challenges that keep it young and properly functioning for everyday needs. How about playing chess with a friend or relative? Do a crossword or sudoku? Read a book? Or how about starting a personal diary and reflecting on all of your daily experiences? They are small actions and challenges that feed your brain. Don’t stop testing it.