Many people believe that a decline in mental acuity is merely a part of getting older. Yet, aging is not the only key turning factor to cognitive decline –– it is our lifestyle that plays a role of paramount importance. When we fail to follow a nutritious diet, a lack of sleep and exercise routine, constant stress, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol and environmental pollutants can all contribute to damaging our brain health. Fortunately, mental deterioration is reversible!
How can we invest in our brain health? The thing is, our brain is dynamic and has massive potential and the ability to transform at any point throughout our entire life’s journey.
In essence, you always have the power to boost your brain function, protect your brain from damage, and redress the effects of aging! That is, of course, if you’re mindfully willing to fuel the brain and fine-tune your everyday small yet impactful decisions.
Not All Fats Created Equal
Drinking Green Tea ‘Could Be Linked to a Longer and Healthier Life,’ Study Suggests
In one curious 2014 study, researchers worked with twelve healthy volunteers who consumed either a whey-based beverage that contained 27.5 grams of green tea extract or an analogous drink but without the green tea. Then all the participants worked on memory tasks while undergoing fMRI.
The results revealed that those people who got the green tea extract showed improved connectivity between the frontal cortex and the parietal part of the brain performing dramatically better on the tests.
Wait, What About Water?!
You are right; drinking water deserves a special mention because it is one of the best ways we can take care of our brain health.
Numerous studies proved that dehydration not only affects our physical wellbeing but also influences our mood and ability to think clearly.
Did you know that lack of water has been linked to reduced working memory capacity, decreased mental performance, and depression?
“The University of Connecticut study found that drinking water has a “significant impact” on alleviating depression and helping with concentration. It can also help with sleep disorders. In one of the studies, lead scientist Lawrence E. Armstrong, a professor of physiology in UConn’s Department of Kinesiology, found that when dehydrated, the subjects were more cranky and fatigued. Not drinking enough water can also cause headaches, sleepiness, and confusion – said Armstrong.”
It is important to drink two liters of water a day –– which is about eight glasses –– this is to stay hydrated and mentally alert. True, we get a lot of water from our food, so no, it is not all about buying bottled water. However, mild dehydration can be as little as five hundred milliliters that are equivalent to one small bottle of water.
Ergo, if your mind is feeling slightly sluggish and foggy, drink more water.
What We Eat and Drink Affects Our Brain Health Much More Than Most of Us Realize
- Nuts are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that improves short and long-term memory.
- Broccoli is rich with vitamin K that enhances cognitive performance and bolsters brainpower.
- Pumpkin seeds give our body zinc, which is critical for boosting thinking skills and memory.
- Blueberries are great at supporting neuron-to-neuron communication in the brain and may help prevent memory loss.
- Dark chocolate proved to increase attention and focus related brain characteristics.
- Asparagus, leafy greens, olives, whole grains –– are full of vitamin E, which can help prevent cognitive decline, especially in older people.
When you include these brain health-boosting foods into your diet, you may be able to build brainpower in ways that you can’t from other strategies alone.
Sleep Is Essential to Our Brain Health
Physical Health and Fitness
Our general physical health influences our minds too. Chronic illness, pain, and undertoning exhaustion can all negatively affect how we feel and think, from foggy-headed tired feeling during the bout of flu to being distracted when you are in pain. That is why taking good care of your body is an excellent way to take care of your brain health.