Best Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Happy

Written by  //  June 14, 2013  //  Health, HomeMedi, Wellness  //  No comments

dental care nice smile ladyTaking care of one’s health is important. Exercising, eating right, and engaging in a healthy lifestyle has been shown to lead to longevity, good health, and even overall happiness. But there is one organ that many forget to xercise. Some say it is the most important organ, and it certainly is since it controls all of our primary functions. The brain is not something to be forgotten about when exercising. It requires good health and happiness, just like all other muscles and organs.

In this brief guide, methods to keep oneself alert, happy, and healthy will be discussed, as will what foods and vitamins should be consumed to help improve memory, thinking, and overall brain function. Finally, activities that can improve all these factors will be outlined for the best ways to maintain and improve brain health and memory.

Healthy Activities

Many activities can maintain one’s brain health and happiness. The important part to keep in mind is that the brain must be engaged in whatever activity is being done. According to Dr. Paul Nussbaum from Reader’s Digest, engaging oneself in something complex and new will ensure healthy brain development. As long as something is challenging, your brain will be forced to expand and stay sharp. Activities like learning to play a new instrument or learning a foreign language are surefire ways to keep mental stimulation going.

Exercising regularly not only keeps your body and your general health in good shape, but your brain as well. Exercise helps reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease and may slow down existing diseases such as Alzheimer’s. So even walking the dog can help improve blood flow to the brain, which is a step in the right direction according to the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center.

 

It is just as important to continue socializing and having fun. Friendship brings the sharing of new experiences, new learning, challenges, emotions, trust, and understanding; all features that lead to extensive brain activity.

Reducing or eliminating smoking, drinking, and other unhealthy habits (including recreational drugs) all lead to a healthier brain. Mood altering substances can decrease function, lower motivation, and impair cognitive processes according to Dr. Nussbaum. The intense altering of emotions reduces focus, attention, memory, and even the ability to plan. However, according to Live Science, drinking coffee is a good habit. Citing large longitudinal studies, two to four cups of coffee a day could keep away cognitive decline and decrease incidence of Alzheimer’s.

Taking a nap and getting a healthy amount of sleep is also recommended. Prevention Magazine states that a German study reported that napping for as little as six minutes can improve memory. Furthermore, not sleeping, sleeping poorly, or not sleeping enough causes protein buildup which is linked to cognitive decline in old age.

Foods and Vitamins to Consume

When it comes to beneficial foods and vitamins, the list is similar to overall healthy foods; lots of protein and fiber are necessary. The following foods are considered “brain foods” that improve memory and cognitive function:

  • Walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Berries
  • Sardines
  • Coffee
  • Spinach
  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocados
  • Water
  • Wheat germ
  • Beets
  • Garlic

In order to keep your brain healthy and happy, make sure to get plenty of exercise, rest, socializing, challenges, and brainteasers, as well as consume the proper foods and vitamins.

This piece was contributed by Samantha Greenbaum,  weekend hiker, avid gardener, and health nut. If you or a loved one has suffered –or even suspects suffering—cognitive injuries, Samantha recommends checking out Bailey & Partners’ website.

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