The brain is the main control that plays a big role in controlling all the body systems. The brain itself is the centrepiece of overall health. Any problem to the brain does not only cause the cognitive function to decline, but also affects the physical body function. This means that a person is susceptible to become dependent on other people or unable to function in society as a functional human. Hence, it is vital for humans to make sure the brain is healthy so that they are able to live well and to have a fulfilling life.
A healthy brain is reflected through a person’s ability to manage daily tasks, to be able to socialise with others and to perform cognitive skills such as good memory and good problem solving. Keeping your brain healthy may seem complicated but honestly is a simple and basic way of living. One thing for sure, it does not cause you to spend a fortune. Here are 6 ways to keep your brain healthy aside taking multivitamin:
1- Do physical exercise. Regular exercise helps to increase tiny blood vessels carrying oxygen to the brain area responsible for thought process. Exercise also stimulates the development of new nerve cells and enhances connections between brain cells. 20-30 minutes of physical activity a few times a week such as walking, swimming and cycling has been proved to help with the brain cognitive function in the long run.
2- Eat healthy. A healthy diet for the brain consists of many fruits, vegetables and eating healthy oils such as from the oily fish. Food high in protein is also encouraged to be eaten as it helps produce more neurotransmitters linked to mental alertness. Maintain low blood sugar levels buy avoiding food or drinks high in refined sugar such as with highly processed food and fast food. Eat less food high in cholesterol as it increases risk for dementia. Eat less food high in salt and sodium to avoid high blood pressure since high blood pressure increases risk for cognitive decline in the future.
3- Get enough sleep. A good sleep is essential to prevent problems with memory and concentration. 7 to 8 hours of sleep can greatly benefit cognitive functions. Sufficient sleep helps the brain rejuvenate and heal the body to be ready for the next day.
4- Do mental stimulation. Reading books, taking courses or playing brain games such as puzzle solving, word puzzles, maths problems or thinking of complex scenarios is a good way to stimulate the brain. This kind of stimulation helps to build new connections between the brain cells and possibly to produce new brain cells.
5- Extra care for emotions. Taking care of mental health does not only affect how we feel or perceive the world, but also affects the brain functions. People who are anxious, depressed, insomnia or easily tired tend to have low scores on cognitive functions tests. Stress can easily cause a person to have such emotional distress and the effect of such stress to the brain is typically negative. Consider talking to a psychologist or healthcare professionals for support.
6- Emphasise social life. Build social networks with people that live around you. Seek chances to connect with people who are dear to you and avoid being alone all the time. You may want to enrol yourself in community events or volunteering that you are interested in. Being socially active can help avoid your brain from brain atrophy or shrinking which is linked to those in solitary confinement. A good social life is also proven to lower risk for dementia and lower blood pressure.