Habits that Will Help Keep Your Brain HealthyMichaela Lopez
It’s almost the end of the year; it’s time for us to evaluate how we spent 2021. This is also the time of the year when resolutions are made, when people commit to doing something that they know will help them improve their lives.
This 2022, let us not forget that one of the ways for us to live a great life is to be intentional in taking care of our brain.
Our brain is the control center for all human activity. If we neglect taking care of our brain, it puts our life at risk.
Developing good habits will help you be more intentional about taking care of your brain.
Good Habits to Help Keep Your Brain Healthy
Get a Good Amount of Sleep
If you have been spending time meditating or relaxing, but you’re not getting quality sleep at night, your brain is still not getting the restorative rest that it needs. Even machines need time to rest. Deep restorative sleep has numerous health benefits including recharging body systems, release of growth hormones, boosting mood, reducing under-eye circles, improving memory, and even extending lifespan! Give your brain time to recover by getting a good night sleep for 7-9 hours every night.
Things to avoid before going to bed:
- Drinking caffeinated beverages
- Bringing your phone or gadgets to bed
- Worrying about tomorrow, literally
- Not taking time to meditate
Be Physically Active
Committing to at least 30 minutes of physical activities per day will greatly improve your cognitive health. If you can’t commit to being physically active daily, you can start by exercising 3 to 4 times a week. Exercise helps boost the blood flow to the brain. People who engage in physical activities are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Eat Healthy Foods
There are foods that are not good for the brain which you should avoid. Here are the top foods to avoid to keep your brain healthy:
- Sugary drinks – Sugary drinks cause the brain to have inflammation, which blocks the blood flow of the brain (fruit juice, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks)
- Refined carbs – these foods are easily digested and can cause a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels
- Foods high in trans fats – Trans fat manufactured industrially can cause an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lower brain volume and lead to cognitive decline. Trans fats are also bad for heart health.
- Processed foods – processed foods are generally high in sugar, fats and salt, which serve as preservatives to help extend the shelflife of the packaged food but are bad for your brain.
Avoid these foods:
- Instant noodles
- Store-bought sauces
- Ready-made meals
- Alcohol – Too much alcohol can cause a disruption in sleeping patterns. Alcohol harms the liver which can reduce your ability to detoxify. If taken moderately, alcohol can help improve heart health and help reduce the risk of diabetes.
Here are the foods you want to eat that can help you keep your brain healthy:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Red meat (in moderation)
- Dark chocolate
- Coffee (in moderation)
Go out and socialize
Socialization helps keep you connected with friends and family. This also helps keep you from getting depressed. When you’re alone, you have the tendency to be anxious and overthink a lot of things which can be avoided when you spend time with others.
Try New Things
When you explore something new, such as learning a new language, a new recipe, a new instrument, a new game or traveling to a new city, your brain keeps creating new connections between brain cells. This helps bring intellectual stimulation to your brain.