Did you know that your brain accounts for only 2% of your body weight, but yet it gobbles up about 20% of your daily energy intake? That’s right, the nerve cells of the brain (neurons) require a tremendous amount of energy to operate.
Unfortunately, your energy metabolism declines as you age and your brain suffers most.
But the news is not all bad. You see, mental deterioration is not entirely irreversible … not even close! In fact, the brain is incredibly dynamic and has the potential and the ability to change at any point throughout your entire life.
What’s more, you actually have the power to enhance your brain function, protect your brain from damage, and even counteract the effects of aging!
It all comes down to your everyday decisions.
Take a look at these 4 small changes that can mean big difference in your cognitive abilities. Making and keeping your precious memories may not be as hard as you think!
1. Get More Fat(s)
That’s right, contrary to common wisdom, you need more fat in your diet … it just needs to be the right kind! Omega-3 fatty acids — which are found in foods like salmon, flaxseed and walnuts — offer a number of health benefits, such as improving cognitive performance and warding off mental and mood disorders. They support brain plasticity, which is your brain’s ability to change in response to stimulation demands placed on it, which could then enhance the expression of several molecules related to learning and memory.
2. Be a Green Tea Totaler
A rich source of antioxidants, nutrients and minerals, green tea is well known for its ability to protect the body from free radicals and for its power to increase fat burning and boost the body’s metabolic rate. However, scientists have also discovered that is potential to enhance cognitive function, and, in particular, boost the working memory.
3. What’s Good for the Body is Good for the Brain
Studies have shown how exercise helps the brain resist physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility. Researchers concluded that individuals who exercise have healthier brains and perform significantly better on cognitive tests than their couch potato peers. Scientists also believe that exercise stimulates the growth of new healthy mitochondria, and in turn a more efficient metabolism, over time. The primary molecule in the body that stimulates growth of mitochondria – PGC-1alpha – is activated by exercise. This “exercise molecule” activates the growth of new mitochondria. So, exercise not only fosters strong muscles and endurance, but also brain power!
4. Brain Boosting Foods
There are some foods that have been shown to improve brain function, protect against age-associated cognitive decline and encourage focus and clarity. For instance, nuts are a rich source of magnesium, which has been linked to memory improvements. And rich broccoli, full of vitamin K, is known to enhance cognitive performance and brainpower. Blueberries contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that support neuron-to- neuron communication in the brain and may help prevent memory loss. And even dark chocolate has been shown to increase brain characteristics of attention and focus.