You can find an ocean of advice on how to improve your brain health. Some of them sound solid while others sound pretty crazy.
How do you choose which ones to believe and try? You’ll have to do some sifting, but the good news is that you can pick out the legit tips because they are backed by scientific research.
Practices for Boosting Brain Health
If you want to try taking some steps to increase your mental prowess, the following tips boast moderately respectable to really hard evidence. In your bid to reach your full intellectual potential, it would be worth your while to give these a whirl.
1. No (More) Smoking
You should quit smoking. Apparently, the lungs aren’t the only organ that smoking attacks.
According to studies, people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day had double the risk of dementia when they were older. Those who smoked one and a half packs a day had 44 percent more risk. Even the most casual of smokers had a 37 percent higher risk.
Fortunately, no increased risk of dementia was observed among those who successfully kicked the habit. They also retained normal brain functioning when they got older.
2. Positivity and Great Expectations
You can increase your intelligence by setting high standards for yourself and believing that you can achieve them. When you set the bar low for yourself, you fail to reach your potential.
That’s the power of positive thinking as evidenced by the Pygmalion effect (teachers expect more from students, who then strive to rise up to the expectation).
3. Restful Slumber
Sleeping from seven to nine hours at night lets you perform at your cognitive peak the following day. This is an important step in discovering how to learn more effectively.
Besides this, when you sleep at night, your brain consolidates the learning you did during the day, so when you don’t get quality sleep, you don’t get the full benefit of your learning experiences.
4. Healthy Diet
Studies have shown that children fed with omega-3 oil-rich foods had a higher IQ. On the other hand, if they eat unhealthy foods such as processed products, carbonated drinks, breads, and cakes, their IQ points may lessen beyond the expected level.
Make sure that you fill your menu with brain boosters. These are foods containing omega-3 oils, folic acid, and the protein tyrosine. Known brain foods include nuts, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, salmon, etc. Ginkgo Biloba is particularly noted for increasing brain function.
To ensure that you get sufficient amounts of the brain-friendly nutrients, choose the best multivitamin product for brain health.
5. Regular Exercise
Exercise has direct and indirect ways to improve memory and the thought process. Directly, exercise reduces insulin resistance and inflammation, as well as stimulates the release of growth factors. These components affect the abundance and survival of brain cells and the growth of brain blood vessels.
Indirectly, exercise is said to improve sleep and mood so that they work against stress and anxiety, which could lead to cognitive impairment.
6. Meditation and Mindfulness
According to research, meditation improves not only your physical but your mental health as well, with specific attention to concentration and memory. Long-time meditators have been found to have more folding in the brain cortex, which causes the brain to more quickly process information.
Also, stress impedes learning, so to get rid of it, you can meditate to calm your mind and improve your ability to learn.
7. Active Brain
To keep your mental faculties sharp, make sure you maintain a lot of brain activity. Something as simple as conversation can flex your brain muscles and help boost your IQ points. Going back to school to further your learning or study something new can definitely promote plenty of mental activity.
You can also do some brain training involving basic cognitive skills such as working memory, problem solving, and decision making.
Optimal Brain Health for a Better Life
Research shows that leading a healthier lifestyle, getting quality sleep, practicing mindfulness, and the other habits discussed can beneficially alter the structure of your brain.
A healthy mind plays an all-important role in the foundation for a happy, healthy, and successful life, so start cultivating optimal brain health now.