How to Support Your Brain Health: 6 Useful Tips
November 8, 2022
Most of us know what to do to try to keep our bodies healthy, like get regular exercise and make smart nutrition choices. But what about our minds? What can we do to support our brain health? As we age, it’s important to care for our brain the same way we do the rest of our body. So, what are healthy foods for brain health and what else can we do to support our mind? Let’s take a deeper look at the overall function of the brain and ways you can support it.
As the most complex part of the human body, this three-pound organ is the center of intelligence, interpreter of the senses, initiator of body movement, and controller of behavior.
Like an airplane control tower, the brain is designed to receive information from the rest of the body, interpret that information, and guide the body’s response to it. To support day-to-day function, it depends heavily on the right care and nutrition with healthy brain foods.
Your brain is made up of four specialized areas that work together — each serving its own individual role:
To help support a healthy brain and keep those lobes performing all our daily tasks, more than 100 billion nerves communicate through trillions of connections called “synapses.”
Additionally, the brain is surrounded by three protective layers of tissue called meninges. And, don’t forget your cranium. The main skull bone also helps protect your brain from injury.
In other words, our brain is everything.
Our moms were on to something when they told us to “make good choices.” Small factors can support brain health like regular exercise, getting a good night’s sleep of at least 7 hours, staying social (including video chats), managing stress, and not smoking. Annual check-ups with your doctor are also key to controlling medical risks before they begin.
Ideally, you want to start these healthy habits as early as you can to support good brain health. Use it or lose it, as they say. The great news is that it’s never too late to start improving.
So, fire up that crossword puzzle app, phone a friend, or take small steps to become more active. Whether it’s a walk in your neighborhood or your first marathon, your brain will thank you. Here are some tips on how to be healthy and support your brain.
Your brain power comes from energy and your energy comes from food. Fueling up with a healthy, balanced diet plays a big role giving your brain the support it needs. So, what are the best foods for brain health?
Research shows that people who eat a plant-based diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, healthy oils and plant-based proteins are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia.
Also, the color of our food can help. The next time you reach for carrots, choose the purple ones. Same with cabbage. And stock up on blueberries when the season rolls around.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain a large quantity of key phytonutrients like quercetin, resveratrol and ellagic acid that give the foods their rich color and help support your brain and heart health.
They also have a large quantity of antioxidants that support several defense and protective mechanisms in our bodies and may make us more resilient to the kinds of stresses we encounter in everyday life. They also help fight free radicals, which can damage cells.
The recommended amount of sleep per night is about seven to eight hours. Even if you feel energized on less, you should still try your best to hit those targets. Here’s why – when you sleep, your body undergoes its own form of housekeeping. While you’re resting, your body continues to support your internal systems, like your heart, lungs, metabolism, and brain. Namely, it can help to reduce toxins that build up in your brain when you’re awake.
But, what does the brain do during sleep? It cycles through REM (rapid-eye movement) and non-REM sleep, each of which support different functions, like learning and memory or rest and recovery. Experts have found that when you skimp on sleep, you may be more at risk for health concerns. Not only does getting seven to eight hours of rest each night support your brain health, adequate rest also supports your immune system and gives you energy to do your daily tasks.
Whether you enjoy weightlifting or spin class, if you want to support brain health, make exercise a regular part of your routine. Research has found that sweat-inducing workouts can support the parts of the brain that are linked to memory and learning. Exercise can also help promote the production of new blood vessels in the brain. When your body doesn’t get enough vigorous movement, you might experience trouble remembering, learning, and concentrating. Similarly, you might notice changes in your mood or sleep. So, what is healthy exercise? Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. This can be anything from a brisk walk to a HIIT workout class – whatever you enjoy most!
Socializing is one of the top tips on how to be healthy and support your brain. That’s because it can stimulate the mind, promote attention and memory, and assist the many networks within your brain. Without enough social connection, you may be more likely to experience cognitive decline. Consider yourself a homebody? You can still socialize by texting, calling, or video-chatting with friends and family.
Keeping stress at bay can feel like it’s easier said than done. Maybe you’re busy at work or you’ve got your hands full with your family, which might leave you wondering how to stay healthy when there’s a lot on your plate. Consider stress-relief techniques like calling a loved one, limiting caffeine intake, meditating, or releasing some endorphins with exercise. Why is it important to do so? Consistent stress can alter different parts of the brain that are linked to memory and learning.
If you find it difficult to get those key nutrients from your diet alone, consider adding vitamins for brain health to fill any nutritional gaps, such as ones high in omega-3s like Nutrilite™ Balanced Health Omega. It contains DHA and EPA, omega-3s that support brain health.
You can also consider vitamins for brain health that include cistanche, like Nutrilite Memory Builder™ Supplement. Cistanche is a plant native to China that has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Preliminary clinical research shows that the Nutrilite brand’s exclusive cistanche extract helps enhance cognitive function and memory in adults. It also helps to reduce mental and physical fatigue for those with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Supporting long-term brain health is great, but what if you need your brain to focus right now to help get through a work project or power through a workout? There are vitamins for brain health that are more fast-acting when it comes to focus and energy.
XS™ Boost + Focus is another option specifically formulated to maximize your workouts. It includes natural caffeine combined with rhodiola rosea, which has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The combination helps promote physical endurance and mental focus.
Managing your brain health requires focus and effort, but with these tips you are on your way to helping your brain be at its best. Learn more healthy living tips at Amway Discover.
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