Have you ever noticed that something you ate or did gave you a brain boost? Or did it just completely drain you? Here some brain boosters and brain drains.
BRAIN DRAIN: SITTING STILL
“When we sit for long periods (more than three hours), our inactivity leads to reduced blood flow to the brain and less oxygenation and nutrient supply,” says Dr Jenny Brockis, author of Future Brain: The 12 Keys to Create Your High-Performance Brain.
“This leads to reduced brain activity in the part of the brain we use for heavy-duty thinking, planning, organising and decision-making.”
TIP: Move around every 30 minutes to stretch your brain.
BRAIN BOOSTER: STAYING CURIOUS
The formation of new connection between neurons is called plasticity, and better plasticity leads to better learning of new skills.
“It used to be thought we only had a short period of relative plasticity in early childhood.
“But although our brain’s plasticity does decline with age, we don’t lose it.” Dr. Blockis explains.
TIP: Take some class e.g. musical instrument.
BRAIN DRAIN: FAST FOOD
“The quickest way to stuff up our brains is to stuff our bodies with fast food,” says Dr Brockis.
“Too much sugar, trans fat and salt leads to greater inflammation and brain shrinkage.”
TIP: Fresh and unprocessed foods must be your imperative.
BRAIN BOOSTER: GOOD QUALITY SLEEP
“Studies have shown being deprived of sleep for 24 hours decreases memory and concentration,” says Dr Michael Wasserman of the American Geriatric Society.
“But regular, restful sleep improves memory.”
Sleep helps our memories store more efficiently, which leaves room for other brain activities.
TIP: Rest for maximum 7-8 hours and go to bed before midnight.
BRAIN DRAIN: BEING OVERWEIGHT
“Minding your mind includes minding your weight,” says Dr Brockis.
“Obesity shrinks the brain and is also a risk factor for cognitive decline.”
Bigger fat tissues means bigger release of cytokines, which atrophies the brain.
TIP: Consult your doctor how to lose weight in a healthy manner.
BRAIN BOOSTER: DOING CROSSWORD PUZZLES
“Studies have found timed tests train your brain to work quickly,” says Dr Wasserman.
TIP: Regularly do any crossword puzzles or sudokus.
BRAIN DRAIN: REGULAR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Depression can be caused by drinking alcohol because it lowers our serotonin levels.
“Drinking heavily over a long period of time can also have long-term effects on memory,” says Dr. Sarah Jarvis.
“Even on days when you don’t drink, recalling what you did yesterday, or where you have been earlier that day, is difficult.”
TIP: To ensure you don’t get addicted to alcohol, go several days without drinking. However, that doesn’t mean that you can drink excessively after the break.
BRAIN BOOSTER: EXERCISES
The increase in our brain-derived neurotrophic factor helps in brain growth and strengthening. It’s caused by exercises.
TIP: Do regular exercises on a weekly basis, e.g. 30-minutes three times a day to get your heart rate going.
BRAIN DRAIN: SUGAR
Consuming lots of sugar is associated with Type-2 diabetes and obesity, which leads to brain decline and dementia.
“Plus, animal studies have shown that adolescents who drink sugar-sweetened drinks daily show increased inflammation of the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with learning and memory, leading to an impaired ability to remember,” says Dr. Brockis.
TIP: Instead of eating processed sugar, eat fresh vegetables for a more healthier sugar consumption.
Read the original article at Mirror.co.uk