Inside your skull is a network of billions, no, trillions of little cells called neurons. All firing at every second, they all keep you alive, and they all serve an important function. But with great responsibility comes a downside, these cells are constantly dying by a process called apoptosis, and constantly regenerating, a process that causes ageing over time.
Your brain is one hell of a hungry machine, consuming the most energy in the entire body, and it needs a constant supply in order to function well.
Now, the brain is extremely protected from damage and from toxic substances and pollutants. But sometimes, the brain becomes overwhelmed with the constant overload of poison we put into our bodies, in turn we need to take a step back and try to clear some of that junk out and in turn aid the healing process. Otherwise, we are possibly subject to brain fog, headaches, memory anomalies, confusion and even degenerative diseases such as dementia. So follow some of these tips to keep your brain healthy!
1) Avoid Drugs, Alcohol and Caffeine.
This should be common sense, but these 3 things are not only detrimental to brain health, but also to the entire body when consumed regularly. When I say drugs, I am referring to those things such as cannabis, cocaine and tobacco, all of which mess with brain chemistry, creating a viscous addiction, and once hooked you cannot simply stop, because you have programmed your own brain to want and need these things. Think about it, it will cause you to become depressed without them, and possibly delusional with them. Not very good for mental well being, a key factor in preserving brain function.
2) Reading & Writing
Do you read a book often? When was the last time you actually read anything substantial? You need to use the meat in your head if you want to keep it, that means reading, and doing it regularly. Just the simple act of sitting quietly and focusing on a story is a form of meditation, a good way to relax and unwind and in turn lower stress. Incorporate some crosswords and write letters rather than typing emails, as you engage more parts of you brain by using a pen. Both these things help maintain cognitive sharpness and improve memory, as you read more you will find it easier to remember details about the story and everything else in your life.
Every time you walk, run, swim or jog, you are increasing your heart rate and boosting blood flow to the brain. This is when more nutrients and oxygen are delivered, because as mentioned before the brain needs a constant supply of energy, and even more energy is needed for exercise. During a run, your brain releases a concoction of chemicals. Some of these are endorphin’s, which give you a runner high, and provide stress relief. But a greater benefit is that neurogenesis is increased during the run as well, where brain stem cells are created more easily. This is the perfect reason to exercise, it guarantees your brain will have an extra edge, and it will have more neurons!
For thousands of years people have used mother nature to heal themselves, but as time has gone on, we have moved – it seems – almost entirely towards modern medicine, which has some very questionable practices and usually, the medications have dangerous side effects. If you have herbs regularly, then make them the right herbs, as these have definitive benefits for the entire body: Turmeric – this is bright orange in colour when ground and has been shown in studies to reduce amyloid beta collection in the brain, the deposits responsible for Alzheimer. It has also shown to increase neurogenesis in rats. Cayenne – this stimulates the heart and blood vessels to ensure a healthy circulatory system, this in turn can prevent heart attack and stroke. Ginger – the substance Gingerol is responsible for the health benefits, ginger has been shown to potentially lower LDL cholesterol, the main type that is said to increase risk of cardiovascular disease. It also helps nausea and indigestion. Green tea – the caffeine content is low, and green tea has shown promise for the following : Diabetes, Heart Disease, Esophageal Cancer, Cholesterol, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, Tooth Decay and Blood Pressure.
By fasting you force your body to enter a state of burning fat, and once this process starts you begin to heal from within. If you constantly eat or constantly eat too many carbs, then you will feel great after even a short 12 hour fast. During the fast, your brain relies on ketones to function, and it can function very well on them, despite the claims that we need constant carbs otherwise we die. While it is true that the brain needs constant energy, the energy can be sourced from the liver when we need it. The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise — both increase the production of neurotrophic factors, and promote the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and strengthen the synapses.
So, try to use these tips to keep sharp, and if you have anything you personally use, then feel free to comment.