Just like other parts of the body, our brain needs attention. We need to improve brain health, nourish it and avoid memory loss to stay healthy.
While we are looking for different ways to fend off various diseases and health conditions, we tend to neglect our brain.
The brain is a mysterious and powerful organ but it is prone to injuries, memory loss, and cognitive decline as you age.
To improve the overall quality of life and keep your brain healthy, you should be proactive rather than wait for something to happen in order to make changes.
How To Improve Brain Health
These tips will help you improve brain health and avoid memory loss, brain injuries, and other unfortunate scenarios:
1. Limit Or Avoid Alcohol Intake
Alcohol consumption is closely related to brain injuries and memory loss and it is needless to mention that getting inebriated is bad news for overall health and wellbeing anyway.
A study whose findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons explains that alcohol contributes substantially to morbidity and mortality of trauma patients, regardless of the injury type.
Alcohol levels in one’s body strongly correlate with the severity of the injury.
The research also found that half of the alcohol-related deaths in trauma occur in pre-hospital settings. More precisely in brain injury cases, about 35-81% of the injured patients are alcohol-intoxicated while 42% patients were heavy drinkers before the injury.
Basically, alcohol consumption increases your risk of sustaining a brain injury.
A research from the BMJ said that even moderate drinking can cause serious changes in the brain.
Scientists from the University of Exeter found that high alcohol intake leads to memory problems later in life.
Therefore, in order to improve memory and reduce the risk of brain injury as well as to improve brain health, consider limiting alcohol intake or avoid it altogether.
2. Eat A Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean diet is considered as the healthiest eating pattern in the world. It is more than a mere eating plan one has to follow for a few days; the Mediterranean diet is more like a lifestyle.
Unlike standard diets which are too restrictive, this diet encourages consumption of different food groups to supply the body with various nutrients.
Doctors around the globe recommend this diet to their patients for better heart health, but it can do so much more than that.
The Frontiers in Nutrition published a study which discovered that Mediterranean diet doesn’t only improve your heart, but brain health too.
Adhering to this diet leads to improving memory, slowed rates of cognitive decline, decreased conversion to Alzheimer’s disease, and enhanced cognitive function.
Besides memory, the Mediterranean diet also improved attention and learning.
Why is Mediterranean diet so good for brain health? Well, it focuses on the consumption of nutrient-rich foods that are beneficial for your brain.
Additionally, the diet allows you to change some modifiable risk factors such as reducing inflammatory responses, improving vitamin and mineral imbalances, changing lipid profiles, weight management, and others.
3. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity is an essential factor in a healthy lifestyle. You don’t need an activity for weight management only, but for brain health at the same time.
For instance, evidence shows that regular aerobic exercise enhances the size of the hippocampus, the brain area responsible for learning and verbal memory.
The physical activity supports brain health both directly and indirectly:
- Directly – exercise reduces insulin resistance, inflammation, and stimulates the release of growth factors.
- Indirectly – physical activity improves sleep and mood, and reduces stress and anxiety.
It’s also important to mention that exercise proves to be effective for people who suffered a traumatic brain injury. And that’s because of their ability to improve their quality of life and mood.
Also, exercise makes you more alert and mindful of a healthy lifestyle, thus helping you decrease the risk of brain injuries. This is particularly important if we bear in mind that the most common causes of brain injury are falls.
Physical activity allows you to be “in the moment” and prevents unfortunate scenarios.
4. Challenge Your Brain
Besides physical exercise, your brain also needs mental activity in order to stay healthy and function properly. Basically, you have to challenge your brain and numerous options exist to make it happen.
According to Harvard Health, mind-engaging activities stimulate new connections between nerve cells and they could even help brain generate new cells.
For example, a study whose findings were published in the Psychological Science discovered that learning a new skill is an incredibly effective way to keep the mind sharp.
Learning new skills, or challenging your brain in any way, works by strengthening the connections between parts of your brain.
Besides learning new skills, you can improve brain health and cognitive functioning through:
- Learning new languages;
- Signing up for a class, etc.
It is in human nature to socialize so instead of withdrawing and favoring social isolation, try to spend more time with people you care for. No, staying in touch with those people online isn’t equally beneficial as being present physically.
Researchers from the University of Michigan discovered that individuals who engaged in social interactions displayed higher levels of cognitive performance than their counterparts in the control group. Social interaction improved their intellectual performance.
Why is socializing so beneficial? The answer could be down to the fact that social interaction exercises your mind.
As you engage both mentally and socially with others you receive immediate cognitive boost similar to the benefits of intake of dietary supplements.
Hang out with your friends, family members, or loved one. Engage in discussions, conversations, and your brain will thank you.
Brain health is essential, but we tend to take it for granted. Numerous factors can affect your memory and cognitive functioning or increase the risk of brain injury.
Throughout this post, you’ve had the opportunity to learn that making some lifestyle modifications allows you to:
- Improve brain health;
- Avoid memory loss;
- Prevent other unfortunate scenarios.
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