Science says yes.
Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body. All of your actions are controlled by your brain.
For centuries, mankind has been testing the limits of what the three pounds in our heads can do. Here are some simple ways, backed by science, to supercharge your brain and optimize its health.
Take a vitamin B12 supplement daily
Research shows how important vitamin B12 is in keeping our minds sharp as we age. Having a deficiency in this vitamin may contribute to the shrinkage of the brain. Studies revealed that people with low vitamin B12 were more likely to have a smaller total brain volume and get lower scores on cognitive tests. Not getting enough Vitamin B12 is a serious matter as it can lead to neurological disorders such as Dementia, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Keep your memory and brain working at peak performance by making sure you have a healthy amount of Vitamin B12 in your diet. Animal products such as fish, meat, dairy, poultry and, egg are good sources of Vitamin B12. In addition, taking a supplement every day can help your memory stay sharp, no matter what age you are.
Follow a brain training program
Our brain is like a machine. For it to work properly, it needs to be heated up and used. Our brains can get stagnant if they’re not challenged regularly. You can improve your cognitive skills by participating in a regular brain training program. It’s just like having a regular workout routine for your body.
Brain training features different exercises that are specifically created to target and improve cognitive domains such as reasoning, memory, executive functions, and speed of processing. Brain training is based on the fact that your brain is neuroplastic, which means that it has the capacity to rewire and reconnect throughout life. There are many brain training programs available. To decide which program is effective for you, select one that caters to your specific purpose – be it rehabilitation, healthy brain aging, concentration, or learning.
Move your body
Moving your body is one of the best ways to get your brain working optimally. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain which, in turn, elevates oxygen levels in the brain. Exercise promotes neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, the production of new neurons and the connections between neurons.
Many studies have shown that during endurance or aerobic exercises, a neuroprotective molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is produced. Research has revealed that an increase in BDNF amplifies many cognitive skills, including learning, memory, and attention.
Science has also found that exercising regularly helps protect both brain and memory health as we age. Activities that combine complex thinking with aerobic exercises, like ballroom dancing or tennis, are going to be of the most benefit to your brain and body.
Do more than crossword puzzles
It is a common belief that doing a crossword puzzle every day will keep your brain sharp and young and maybe even decrease your risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence to support this belief. The only proven positive effect doing crossword puzzles has on your brain is improved fluency, the ability to find words.
However, there is no need for an avid crossword fan to put down their puzzles though. One way you can help your brain reap more benefit from crosswords is to make it an exercise challenging enough to push your brain to the next level. For example, give yourself a time limit and see how fast you can complete the task.
Even if a crossword puzzle isn’t the best workout for your brain, it surely is fun – which is good for your brain.
Eat more almonds
I’m sure you’ve heard of a neurotransmitter dopamine.
It is an important brain chemical which acts as a messenger to transmit signals from the brain to the vital areas of our body. Amongst its many functions, dopamine helps improve memory, focus, and attention. It also helps control the flow of information from other areas of the brain. Having a dopamine disorder, especially in the frontal lobe, can lead to neurocognitive function decline, which can manifest as troubles in attention, memory and problem-solving, and even Parkinson’s Disease.
Almonds are a rich source of dopamine which can aid in regulating levels and increasing production.
It has been proven that meditation has amazing benefits – both for physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that people who meditate have fewer stress hormones and lower blood pressure compared to those that don’t.
Meditation helps you access your subconscious mind as you slow down your brainwaves. Meditating can help you get in touch with your unconscious mind which can result in better decision-making and information retention.
Get a massage
Getting a massage can rejuvenate your mind and lower your heart rate and cortisol and insulin levels – all of which result in stress reduction. A massage can help move the brain’s balance from stressed out towards healing and relaxation and encourages healthy brain function. The applied pressure to the muscles stimulates receptors throughout the brain, and physical touch elevates the production of dopamine.
Expose yourself to more natural light
The modern lifestyle exposes us to artificial light everywhere we turn for more hours than is natural. It comes from our TV screens, mobile phones, and computers. Too much exposure to artificial light can lead to trouble sleeping and concentration.
Limit your exposure to artificial light and increase your intake of natural light whenever possible. Get out in the sunshine and get a heaping dose of natural light. Natural light aids productivity, mood, sleep, and resets your circadian rhythms and increases serotonin production.
Go for a nature walk
Walking is a good cardio exercise almost anyone can do. It has so many benefits for your brain, body, and mind. Walking makes your heart beat faster, which sends more oxygen to your brain improving overall brain function.
You can maximize the benefit of walking by going for a nature walk. The beautiful scenery and fresh air will ease your stress level and help give you a clear and relaxed perspective. Just being in nature has brain benefits. When you combine the pluses of being in nature with the effects of walking, it’s a win/win for your brain.
It is possible to go beyond what you perceive as your limits and reach higher levels.
Help your brain help you in this effort.
Supercharge your brain and be the best version of yourself you can be by following these scientifically proven steps.
This is a guest post by Alex Gendron. Alex is a passionate writer for Topic Exchange where he writes about home remedies, beauty, health, and food which help people in their everyday lives.