Back in the day, we believed that brain function peaked in early adulthood, slowly declining with increasing memory lapses. Now, researchers have discovered that our modern lifestyle plays a significant role in our brain health. Top brain health enemies include toxins, poor diet, lack of sleep, and — of course — stress. Fortunately, a healthy lifestyle can support good brain health and even encourage your brain to grow new neurons.
In particular, your brain’s memory center – the hippocampus – can grow new cells throughout your entire life, even into your 90s! But there’s a caveat: you must give your brain the right tools to generate these fresh new cells. Happily, these tips don’t cost a dime. They will help encourage your brain to grow new cells and stay sharp and focused.
1. Smart Eating
Consider healthy foods as your essential brain tonic. Fresh vegetables and healthy fats are a good start, but you’ll also want to avoid sugar and refined carbs. Additionally, curry, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and walnuts contain antioxidants that protect your brain health and may even accelerate the production of new brain cells. Consider adding healthy fats, such as coconut oil to your favorite dishes. According to research, this oil guards against neurological diseases.
2. Exercise Your Body, Benefit Your Brain
Most of us understand the cardiovascular benefits of regular exercise, but did you know that it also encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity? That’s right, it stimulates nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their network and shielding them from damage. According to research, exercise not only improves blood flow to the brain, but also helps you learn new tasks more quickly.
3. Stop Multitasking
In the name of efficiency, we all do multiple tasks simultaneously from time to time. But did you know that multitasking may actually slow you down, making you more error- prone and forgetful? Next time you find yourself attempting to complete multiple tasks, try this: stop and focus on just one important task. Importantly, resist the urge to constantly check email, social media and texts, which interrupt focus.
4. Prioritize Sleep
Countless studies attest to the fact that sleep helps brain performance. It enhances restores brainpower and has a huge impact on your daytime focus. Make sure you prioritize a good night’s sleep on your daily to-do list. Your brain will thank you.
5. Treat Your Brain to a New Skill
Scientists believe that engaging in “purposeful and meaningful activities” bolsters your neurological system, helping you fight off the effects of stress-related diseases and age- related cognitive decline. It’s key that the task/ hobby be important or interesting to you. It must hold your focus and be worthy of your undivided attention, whether it’s learning a new language, playing a musical instrument or building a model ship. The list is endless!