Today I want to share with you tips on how to keep the most important muscle in our body healthy – our brain.
With the new year upon us and most of us trying to be healthier, I find there are so many facets to this holy grail of life -i.e living a long and healthy lifestyle.
It’s not just one thing, or two, or even three things we can do to live a long and healthy productive life. As is proven time and time again in many research studies conducted over the decades it’s a multitude of actions we can take such as exercise, eat healthy, and social interactions that contribute to a long term happy, productive and hopeful life. So lets’ start with how we can keep the most important muscle in our body healthy – our brain.
The basic truth about the brain
According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta a neurologist and contributing writer for CNN Health, unlike most other organs in the body our brains are not pre-disposed to wither away, lose power, or become forgetful.
“Memories make us feel alive, capable and valuable. They help us feel comfortable with our surroundings, connect the past with the present, and provide a framework for the future.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Until recently, we used to think the brain was largely fixed with a certain number of brain cells, and as the years wear on, the neurons die off, the networks dim, and things like memory and processing speed take a hit. But what all the new research is showing is that there are ways to keep our mind sharp, current, and positive.
There are simple steps that we can take to keep our brain healthy that ages well as we get older. Here is a look at the easiest of tasks that help our brains stay healthy till our ripe old age.
Restorative sleep and exercise are important for a healthy brain
Exercise and sleep are the easiest brain medicine we can get that is completely in our control.
Sleep keeps our memories in order, while exercise releases substances in the brain that act like a fertilizer on brain cells that helps their growth and survival. This allows us to continually learn new skills and explore new hobbies that are stimulating and rewarding.
Social interaction is key to better brain health
Recent findings in science has shown that the strength of our relationships is much more essential to our health especially our brain than previously thought. This is even more true as we get older.
As stories and memories get shared and retold over time to friends and family, any and all social interactions help the brain stay connected to information and memories.
Take the time to call a friend or family member and catch up on the days events. Take a leisurely walk with a walking buddy over conversation. Have a friend over for tea. Basically socialize more 😘👩❤️💋👩.
Healthy diet equals healthy brain
As we’ve heard time and time again, the formula for a healthy brain is the same as the rest of our body – eat whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, more vegetables and fruits; eat less red meat and processed foods.
Berries to the rescue
Accordingly to Dr. Gupta one fruit in particular does wonders for brain health – berries! Berries are some of the best foods to add to our diet for overall health especially brain health. Any berries you ask? Yup, just about any berry.
Follow the SHARP dietary protocol
SHARP diet in a nutshell are five healthy habits that keep our body including our brain healthy. Slash Sugar; Hydrate (even being dehydrated a few ounces can affect cognition); Add More Omega-3 fatty acids from foods like cold-water fish, nuts, and seeds; Reduce Food Portion; and Plan Ahead.