Like rest of the body our brain also requires healthy nutrition, a healthy supply of energy & Oxygen, and a good night’s sleep to function properly. As we age, (like the rest of the body) the brain also shows signs of wear and tear…however, the good news is that if we are willing to alter a few things in our day to day life or pay attention to a few things, our brain can continue to function well.
Brain related problems come with age, or so it is believed. Conditions like Alzheimer that causes memory loss or a health condition in which we lose our brain related motor controls like writing, holding, etc. In this article we will find ways to have a healthy brain as we age through various exercises and making lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes that will help you to have a healthy brain
We’ll talk about Alzheimer first. The no. 1 cause of Alzheimer as pointed out by scientists is a sedentary lifestyle. People who don’t do any physical activity through the day or hardly do any, are at a higher risk than those who remain physically active. Leading a physically active life, whether it’s through exercise, or running protects you against Alzheimer and other cognitive declines. Research has proved that physical activity at any age has a positive impact on structure & function of your brain. No matter what your age is, it’s never too late to exercise and give your brain health a positive impetus.
Avoid smoking –
Smoking is often referred as a cause of lung and heart disease, albeit Alzheimer’s is often ignored. Experts believe that smoking also leads to Alzheimer’s as smoking narrows brain’s blood vessels. Besides, smoking also releases toxic chemicals which affect the brain adversely.
Include the Following in Diet –
Healthy diet for the brain is one that includes healthy oils & vegetables and less saturated fats; drinking in moderation is not a bad idea; and of course plenty of fresh fruit like avocados, olive oil, nuts, & veggies.
As discussed, our brain requires a stable supply of energy, and it derives it from a sugar known as glucose. Our bodies make glucose from a certain specific kind of carbohydrates that we consume like wholemeal bread, pasta, porridge and pulses. It should be noted that these items take long to digest and release their glucose content. It’s a time taking process and may take a few good hours to convert into glucose. Sugary snacks like chocolate, biscuits, candies etc don’t make up for good brain diets. Though they do release glucose/sugar, but, they rise and drop the effects so fast that it will drain you off energy more than filling you up on it.
Steady supply of Oxygen which is also one of the primary needs for the brain to function properly can be obtained from exercising. Besides exercising, there should also be have good supply of iron in your body which it can obtain from green leafy vegetables like spinach, dry fruits, fortified cereals, and pulses, including baked beans etc.Do not skip breakfast on the day of an exam or a presentation, irrespective of the anxiety you may feel. Avoid junk food at such times is the best you can do. The brain needs those slow-releasing carbohydrates.
Get Good Sleep –
Getting enough & deep sleep is the best rest as well as diet for the brain. When we’ve not had enough sleep we experience the feeling or irritability. At some point we have all experienced this. But what we don’t know is that when we don’t get enough sleep, it causes NAD to deplete. Disturbed sleep can also be the cause of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disease. When we don’t sleep enough, a protein known as Amyloid beta creates plaque in the brain, which is considered an onset of Alzheimer. Amyloid beta levels are up when we are awake and drop while we sleep. If we sleep & wake up on time it protects our brain, especially as we age.
Drink Enough Water –
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Don’t wait for feeling thirsty, some people don’t drink enough water because they feel lazy. Dehydration is said to affect your brain’s performance.