What are the most important things you need to do to improve brain health?
- Reduce stress
- Eat healthy food
- Exercise your body
- Exercise your brain
- Reduce stress
Stress is a major factor affecting overall health and well-being including brain health. Read more here. The bad stress is accumulated stress the sort of stress you don’t release on a daily basis so it builds up in your brain, nervous system and body. It not only ages your body but also so your brain.
There are two ways to reduce stress. One is to change or eliminate the things in your life that are stressing you. These can be internal, for instance, thoughts and attitudes or external…people and situations in your life.
The other is to do some sort of high quality deep relaxation or meditation to dra5in stress away and recover from fatigue…of the two this is the most immediately effective and powerful, especially if you use tools to enable the relaxation or meditation process. It also puts you in a better state of mind to tackle changing thoughts or situations in your life. As it is also a strategy in its own right for optimal brain health and enhancement it is something you should get started on straight away.
You can download my Stress Antidote Mp3/CD pack, which uses state-of-the-art brainwave entrainment for deep relaxation.
Eat healthy food
Eating healthy is not just good for your body but of course is good for your brain. It uses about 20% of the oxygen and blood flowing through your body so it’s also using a lot of nutrients. If it’s not getting good nutrients it can’t maintain proper function which results in problems with:
Basically eat fresh wholesome food most of the time and fast or processed food only occasionally. That means lots of fresh vegetables lightly cooked in winter and as salads in summer. Eat fresh fruit as snacks and for sweets with yogurt etc. Fresh lean meats and fish are OK but again steer clear of processed meat. If you can afford it eat as much organic food as you can. Reduce refined sugars, oils and flour. Make sure your getting plenty of Omega 3 oils and B-vitamins.
If you regularly experience bloating, stomach pain, mental fog, anxiety or mood swings seriously look at testing your gut health. Research has demonstrated poor gut health affects brain function in many ways. Industrial food processing and environmental toxins have combined to create gut problems with many people and if you are one see a naturopath or environmental medicine doctor.
Exercise your body
Exercise improves oxygen uptake and utilization in your brain, which helps neuronal housekeeping…getting rid of carbon dioxide and metabolic wastes. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive performance as it stimulates:
- plasticity (the ability of your brain to learn new things and adapt its structure)
- neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells)
Exercise your brain
This doesn’t mean doing crossword puzzles until you go cross eyed! Your brain has been designed to learn grow adapt and be stimulated so learn new things, take up a new hobby or sport or recreational activity. Read, study, learn to do new things and go to new places…have adventures. The more you stimulate your brain with new experiences the better.