Exercising the brain by challenging it with puzzles and other methods isn’t the only way to maintain brain health. There are some foods you should add to your diet plan which will boost your brain power and also add to your overall physical good health.
The seven most popular superfoods which have been proven to boost brain power include:
Another food which can significantly play a role in the health of your brain is acorn squash, which contains the B12 vitamin and folic acid – both which help prevent nerve damage and shrinkage of the brain.
Blueberries are also known to keep your brain at its very best with the flavonoids it contains which protect against free radicals and also play a significant part in improving cognitive skills and boosting memory. Add these brain power foods to your diet plan to stave off the effects that aging has on your brain and body.
Exercising the brain is every bit as important as exercising your body for your overall health and to stave off memory loss and the risks of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Your memory is totally dependent on the strength and health of your brain and staying mentally sharp as you age is going to play a huge factor in your future mental acuity. It’s easier to stay sharp when you’re young and studying and working, but when you retire or cut down on activities, it may not be as easy.
It’s possible to boost your brain power no matter what your age. Your brain can benefit from exercise at any age, the same as your body can. The proper stimulation can open those neural paths to any amount of learning you want and enhance your memory.
Exercising your brain can be as simple as studying a language or learning something new. It may take more of an effort than when you were younger, but the results are well worth it.
Challenge yourself with brain-boosting activities which mandate your attention and your time. Get outside of your comfort zone and engage in an activity that’s unfamiliar to the skills you’ve already developed.
When you’ve mastered a new skill, don’t forget to reward yourself. That communicates to the brain that you’re enjoying the benefits of the skill or activity and that it’s enjoyable and very satisfying to you.
Also, exercise your body at the same time you’re exercising your brain. Physical exercise releases chemicals in the brain which can greatly enhance your brain power and memorization abilities.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep as you age. Sleep is the brain’s elixir and can have a huge effect on your creativity, energy, focus and ability to think critically and perform at your best.
Keeping in touch and socializing with friends and family may also serve to stave off memory loss. Humans are a social species and isolation may lead to depression and loneliness that could have an effect on your brain and memory skills.
Minimize stress in your life. Stress can affect the aging in mental and physical ways. Learn some stress-reducing methods you can use on a regular basis and make plans to get rid of stress factors that could lead to memory and physical problems.
You’ve likely heard the old adage, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” That’s never been more relevant than as it applies to exercising the brain. Change your routine, learn something new and challenge your brain to keep memory loss at bay.
Just in case you are behind on your exercise plans this following article may well be the wake up call you need as well.
A widely known fact is that exercise is good for your condition and will help to achieve or maintain the weight you want but now it appears it’s even more important than that.
So read on and discover how you should definitely consider getting back to exercising on a frequent basis:
Poor physical fitness in middle age might be associated with a smaller brain size later on, according to a study published in an online issue of Neurology.
Brains shrink as people age, and the atrophy is related to cognitive decline and increased risk for dementia, a researcher said, and exercise reduces that deterioration and cognitive decline.
In this study, more than 1,500 people at an average age of 40 and without dementia or heart disease took a treadmill test. Twenty years later, they took another test, along with MRI brain scans. The study found those who didn’t perform as well on the treadmill test — a sign of poor fitness — had smaller brains 20 years later.
Among those who performed lower, people who hadn’t developed heart problems and weren’t using medication for blood pressure had the equivalent of one year of accelerated brain aging. Those who had developed heart problems or were using medication had the equivalent of two years of accelerated brain aging.
Their exercise capacity was measured using the length of time participants could exercise on the treadmill before their heart rate reached a certain level. Researchers measured heart rate and blood pressure responses to an early stage on the treadmill test, which provides a good picture for a person’s fitness level, according to the study author Nicole Spartano, a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine.
Physical fitness is evolving as a significant factor related to cognitive health in older age. A study published in May 2015 found that higher levels of physical fitness in middle-aged adults were associated with larger brain volumes five years later.
This study shows that for people with heart disease, fitness might be particularly important for prevention of brain aging, Spartano said.
“We found that poor physical fitness in midlife was linked to more rapid brain aging two decades later,” she said. “This message may be especially important for people with heart disease or at risk for heart disease, in which we found an even stronger relationship between fitness and brain aging.”…
Whenever your body is low on B12 and iron, your mind doesn’t function as sharply – and that includes recalling information of a short or long term nature. Foods that provide plenty of these nutrients can help significantly.
Researchers say that it’s crucial to your mind that you preserve the connections of your nerve cells – and antioxidants can help you in that regard. You can get these in various fruits and vegetables that you consumer.
In lab studies, science proved that living beings that consumed plenty of berries, leafy greens and foods packed with vitamin E suffered fewer instances of memory loss than those who didn’t.
Mice that were fed a diet of blueberries instead of the usual rat food shows significant abilities to break down the amyloid protein that built up in other rodents (who suffered cognitive impairment).
So we know that berries have antioxidants and a powerful effect on the human brain to stave off memory loss in many instances. Your brain has to protect existing connections, but it also needs to heal any injuries at times.
Blueberries have been shown to protect the part of the brain that delivers access to your short-term memories. They also help with the creation of neurogenesis, which allows for the storage of new memories.
When you’re planning your meals, you want to include foods that help the communication flow in your brain and maintain the number of healthy cells that you have to work with.
You want to adopt a diet that helps your entire body function at its best. You need plenty of blood flow and oxygen reaching your brain to keep things in tip top shape.
We often hear people talk of a heart healthy diet, but you also want to make sure you’re specifically adding brain healthy foods to your menu. Flavonoids (found in foods like kale and other leafy greens), help support your memory.
Other flavonoid foods you want to add to your diet are:
Folate is a brain booster, too. You want to consume plenty of foods with folic acid with vitamin B12. That means, eating foods such as:
Don’t worry that it’s too late to reverse signs of memory damage. Anytime you can help clean and repair nerves and cells by restoring them to good health, you can see signs of improvement!
The brain is a very sensitive thing. Deficiencies can cause permanent damage, but so can the flood of toxins in your body that impair your cognitive function. You have to know what harms your brain so that you can replace it with memory boosting foods instead.
One thing scientists are concerned about is that men and women are consuming foods that result in brain plaque. Similar to how arterial plaque can block blood flow and result in coronary disease, it’s thought that brain plaque can impair your memory.
Nutritional Neuroscience reported on a study about a protein called amyloid beta, which is a sign of brain plaque. When your brain is able to break down this protein, you don’t suffer from memory ailments like you do when the brain is unable to break it down and it hardens and builds up.
Your cells begin to die off instead of strengthening their connections and eventually, you start showing signs of impairment – like walking into a room and forgetting why you are there, or not understanding how to drive home from familiar places.
Sugar is one thing that has the potential to harm your memory capabilities. When we think of sugar intake, we’re usually concerned with diabetes and obesity, but it also hurts your brain function.
The Journal of Physiology published a study about how high intake of sugar leads to long term cognitive decline. Things like sugary sodas and cakes were to blame – not naturally occurring sugars like those found in sweet fruit.
In the studies, the lab rats that showed signs of illness from high sugar intake were helped significantly when Omega-3 fatty acids were introduced to their diets.
Some of the foods we focus on in terms of obesity (trans fats like potato chips, solid fats and candy) can do tremendous damage to your mind. Not only have studies shown that memory function decreases for those who eat a diet rich in these substances, but they also show less brain volume, and lower scoring on tests for these individuals.
Processed foods are harmful to your nutritional needs when it comes to repairing or retaining memory function. You want to stick to a diet rich in fresh food sources, not packaged for long-term shelf life.
The brain needs a workout the same as the body. When you flex the muscles of your brain, you’re helping to build pathways to memories from the past and you can recall them much easier.
If you want to maintain a healthy brain and keep building those neural pathways throughout old age, you’ve got to exercise your brain properly.
Here are a few tips on exercising your brain so that you build those important memory muscles:
Make it challenging – Any task that increases your knowledge can help flex your brain muscles. For example, you may want to learn a new language, game, sport or go back to school and take a class or two.
Make it fun – If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it’s not likely you’ll be able to focus on it. Choose brain activities which are fun and challenging – games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles are excellent exercises.
Focus on the task at hand – Multi-tasking isn’t a good idea if you want to remember what you’re doing and how you did it. Your brain becomes confused when you’re trying to do too many things at once, so be sure you’re focused on whatever new challenge you choose.
Use all your senses – Smells, textures, colors and tastes can all help you remember things much better. Taking notes, speaking aloud what you want to remember, noticing the smells surrounding you and taking visual, colorful pictures can stimulate the brain in all areas.
Do something different – Put a variety of tasks in your brain exercises and don’t stick to things you already know. Studies show that even varying the route you take to work can enhance your work day by helping you concentrate.
Focus on the important – When attempting to remember complex or volumes of materials, focus on the basic formula or “picture” rather than trying to remember all the details. It may be helpful to create a “mind map” which is a visual creation of a map with the main areas highlighted.
Organize your thoughts – You can remove the brain clutter and remember things much easier if you organize your thoughts as you would unclutter a desk or cabinet. Write down things such as thoughts, conversations and other experiences you want to remember and then go over them at some point during the day.
There are so many fun ways to keep your brain active and alert. Research all you can and find new ways to challenge yourself on a daily basis.
There are witty sayings on cards, popular characters bemoaning forgetfulness, and social media quips ripe with zingers about getting older and forgetting things. But the truth is that forgetfulness isn’t a laughing matter – especially once you start to experience it for yourself.
Far too often, we just accept something as part of life and we don’t realize that it’s not even the normal. We’ve been taught to believe that there’s nothing that we can do about getting older – that as we age, we’re going to forget things and won’t be able to make our own decisions.
But don’t believe what you hear about a lack of mental clarity and aging. You don’t have to lose brain function or memory function just because you’re getting older. There are reasons that mental clarity is impaired as we grow older, but it is completely fixable.
Your body is full of cells that help keep it healthy – and that includes your brain. As you grow older, these cells also age. They’re susceptible to damage – the kind of damage that can affect your brain’s ability to remember.
But, thankfully, there are supplements that can help your brain. These supplements act like little sentinels protecting the brain from experiencing cognitive impairment. They work to help the brain because they contain anti-aging properties.
You’ll want to take supplements that are loaded with nutrients that boost your brain and fight aging. These supplements can boost your brain’s ability to remember things regardless of if you’re already struggling or not.
The supplements that you want to use are the ones that are made with nutrients just like the kind of nutrients your brain already uses. These nutrients found in the supplements help to fight the aging processes in your brain that can lead to memory loss and loss of cognitive skills.
As time passes, your body and your brain have already been slowly aging for years. You might not even realize it at first. So it can be quite scary to suddenly realize that you can’t remember all the things that you once knew.
You might have trouble recalling how to spell words that you knew by heart. You might see someone you know and for the life of you, your brain just will not bring up their name.
Because this type of situation is so common, most people and many doctors simply call it aging, getting older, or cognitive impairment. There are several things that can take a toll on your mental clarity.
Damage from free radicals is one. Not getting the right amount of sleep or having nutritional deficiencies from a poor diet is another. Hormonal imbalances can also play a part in causing a loss of memory function. But whatever the reason may be, just know that you don’t have to accept it as part of getting older. You can fight memory and cognitive decline.
You may have experienced times when you can’t remember what you were about to do. Maybe you’ve experienced struggles to recall specific events or people. It can be too easy to pass this lack of mental clarity off as just part of life – especially if you’re growing older.
But if you’re having problems of any kind with mental clarity, that’s not normal – regardless of how old you are. There are many reasons people struggle with their thinking processes.
Sometimes, health issues can play a role in the inability to remember certain things. While it’s true that your family genetics do play a part, there’s no reason that you can’t be as sharp minded as you once were.
The key is found in not accepting a lack of mental clarity as something that happens and become proactive to achieve a better brain function. You want to start with what you put into your body.
The way that you eat and what you eat can help fight back against the things that can derail your brain’s ability to function. By eating right nutritionally, you can fight inflammation that can cause cognitive slow down.
When you’re eating foods that are good for your body, it also helps your body to be able to use the insulin produced. Besides making sure you have the right nutritional intake, you want to make sure that you stay active.
How you stay active is as important as making sure you do. Regular exercise, while helpful, doesn’t give your brain the same boost that getting involved in HITT or High Intensity Interval Training does.
When you move, give your brain a break. When you have to concentrate for long periods of time, your brain can’t function as well. Take breaks, go for walks. Brain function also benefits from a form of meditation.
When you meditate, you clear all of the things clamoring for attention. Because it can be so easy to become overloaded mentally in today’s busy world, taking the time to focus can help to improve not only your memory, but all your cognitive function as well.
Even if you can only do a few minutes a day, you’ll still reap the benefits of meditation. You might have heard that you need to get plenty of sleep to help your brain function well.
This advice is true. When you sleep, your brain gets to decompress. This rest allows your brain to relax and to get rid of waste products. Taking a supplement to improve sleep and brain function can also help. These supplements can boost energy and mental clarity.