How to Keep Your Brain Young

 

Written by Helen Kwon & Lyne Desforges
Registered Holistic Nutritionists

Contrary to popular belief, our brain doesn’t have to age like the rest of our body. By stimulating it in various ways, we can continue to make new neural connections and keep our brain young! Our brain is part of our nervous system and it is made up of an intricate network of cells and nerves that sends and receives signals throughout our body. Everyday our brain works hard solving problems, controlling our movements, reminding us where we left our keys (well, most of the times anyways), and processing our thoughts and emotions. Maintaining a strong and healthy brain should be everyone’s top priority but is even more important as we age.

5 Tips to Promote Brain Health at Any Age

Brain Food

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient for the health of our brain. This fatty acid contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which decreases inflammation in the body as well as protects and improves our cognitive function. Good sources of Omega-3 are wild-caught salmon, cod liver oil, mackerel, sardines, avocado, and nuts & seeds. Our brain is 65% fat, so including these foods on a regular basis is a great way to keep that brain well nourished.

Have Fun Learning Something New

Research has proven that when we learn something new, our brain actually grows. This is the science of neuroplasticity. Learning something new builds new neural pathways and fortifies already existing connections. This supercharges our brain, making us smarter. So, get out there and learn a language, take a cooking, dancing, art, music or pottery class, and learn a new skill. Not only will you experience tremendous self-growth, you will also be growing your brain and that’s a smart thing to do.

Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Brain

We all know that exercise and movement provide tremendous health benefits, but did you know it helps to improve your brain power? Exercise not only improves your moods through the release of endorphins (your feel-good hormones), it also improves blood flow throughout your body and this includes your brain. The more oxygen that goes to the brain, the healthier it will be. So lace up those running shoes, hiking boots, or tap dancing shoes and move your body! Your brain will thank you.

The Mindful Brain

Why is mindfulness so important to brain health? Well, it decreases the stress response and helps us to calm down. When our body and brain experience stress, it sends out a stress response that raises cortisol and other stress hormones. This decreases activity in your brain. Mindful activities can increase your brain function and decrease stress responses in your body, leaving you with clearer thinking and overall well-being. Meditate, have an attitude of gratitude or take part in journaling. These are great ways to live a mindful life.

Sleep Your Way to Smarts

We all know what it feels like to wake up from a sound and restful sleep. Our thoughts are clearer and more focused, and we have more energy to face the day. For many, sleepless nights are the norm, and this can negatively impact your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Having ample amounts of great quality and quantity of sleep can have a profound effect on your brain health. In this study, they found that those who experienced better sleep saw improvement in every facet of their lives. Make an effort to get to sleep early, and to disconnect digitally an hour before bed. Improve your overall sleep hygiene and sleep your way to a brighter and smarter you!

We Are Here to Help

For more health and wellness tips to keep your brain young, feel free to contact us at info@cestlaviewellness.ca. Our healthcare practitioners would be happy to support you in your quest for a happy and healthy brain!