6 Ways to Maintain Your Brain

6 Ways to Maintain Your Brain

As we age, our brains change. Certain parts of the brain shrink; our neurons and neurotransmitters can begin to communicate less; damage from free radicals increases and blood flow can become reduced. Age is not the only factor that affects our brain function; our lifestyle choices also play a big role. If you want to remain sharp as a tack, and even improve your brain function, read on… here are six easy ways to alter your lifestyle for the good of your brain.

1. Exercise

Exercise increases blood circulation, which helps to pump more oxygen to our brain. However, oxygen is not the only thing our brains get more of when we exercise. Numerous proteins and chemicals are also produced when we’re active. These chemicals directly benefit our cognitive function and ability to learn.



2. Choose activities that stimulate you mentally

Your brain is a like a muscle; the more you work it, the stronger it gets. Scientists have found that when we study and learn our brain cells actually grow. This is because the size and structure of neurons and the connections between them change as you learn. Similar studies show that intelligence is actually determined by the number of connections you have between neurons (the tiny cells in your brain). When you learn new things, these connections multiply and get stronger.

One of the easiest ways to boost your brain function is to keep learning. Challenging your mind with brain-training exercises helps to keep your brain fit as you age. Try doing crossword puzzles and playing board games in your downtime, or learn that thing you’ve always wanted to learn, whether it be a musical instrument or a foreign language.


3. Sleep

Your brain requires sleep to store memory and improve your overall performance in a range of challenging skills. It is not uncommon to feel forgetful and unfocused when you’re sleep deprived. In fact, even just one night of only 4 – 6 hours sleep can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. Excessive sleep deprivation can lead to permanent cognitive issues, such as memory loss, so be sure to get your eight hours as often as you can.


4. Look after your gut

Your gut has a lot of the same features as your brain, sharing many structural and chemical similarities. Just as you have neurons in your brain, your gastrointestinal (GI) tract has its own network of neurons that influence behaviour, mood and stress levels. This is because the bacteria that lives in your gut transmits information to your brain. Long story short, if you have abnormal gut flora, you may have abnormal brain function.

The bacteria in your gut are dependent on your diet and lifestyle. Eating a lot of processed foods and sugar isn’t good for your overall health but it especially impacts your brain and gut. This is because processed foods destroy healthy microflora and sugar feeds bad bacteria. For healthy gut flora and better brain function, cut out sugar and processed foods where possible, and increase fermented foods, which are rich in naturally occurring good bacteria.


5. Listen to Music

Classical music has long been associated with enhanced cognitive function and improved mental focus, but recent studies have shown that other music can be beneficial too, depending on the task at hand. For example, listening to your favourite song when you have to complete a mundane task may actually help you complete it faster. If you need a creative solution, ambient noise is best because it provides just the right amount of distraction to allow you think in more imaginative ways. So take advantage of this simple pleasure whenever you can, it’ll do your brain some good.


6. Enlist the help of some brain supporting supplements

Omega 3 fatty acids are at the top of the brain food list. DHA and EPA are known to improve focus and memory, but they’ve also been linked to lowering the risk of dementia. Approximately 60% of your brain is composed of fat, 25% of which is DHA. For this reason adequate amounts of DHA are necessary for proper brain function. Unfortunately your body cannot produce them, so they must be obtained through your diet. Red Super Krill Oil is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, and it’s good for more than just your brain. Find out more benefits here.


Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a major antioxidant for the area within our cells that produces energy. The brain requires large amounts of energy, so CoQ10 is essential. The antioxidant action of CoQ10 also protects the brain cells from free radical damage, which is important for long-term memory and overall cognitive function.

With a few simple lifestyle changes, you could make a world of difference to your brain so it’s worth investing in its future... After all, we only get one.


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Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time