The naked truth is that your brain starts to deteriorate from the age of 30 and can rapidly decrease beyond the age of 50. Diminishing attention span and verbal skills, lack of abstract and creative thinking, trouble with learning new things and retaining new information, slowing memory and reduced sleep quality are some of the warning signs that your brain is starting to fail you. The good news is that you can fight the aging of your brain and keep your mind, memory and brain power sharp. There are plenty of ways to prevent brain decline and both physical exercise and nutrition can help a great deal in achieving this.
Poor blood flow to the brain is one of the culprits to poor memory and weak brain power. Needless to say, maintaining your fitness level has many health benefits but what many of us are not aware of is that looking after your physical health also helps maintain a healthy blood flow to the brain. Physical exercise increases your heart rate and in return improves blood flow and oxygen to the brain. This also encourages the release of good brain chemicals and protects your brain cells.
Being overweight, especially if you’re middle aged, not only puts you at risk of having weak cognitive abilities but increases the rate of decline later in life. In addition, obesity damages your attention span, eats away at your memory and decreases the speed at which your brain works.
Fortunately, you can prevent these problems by increasing your physical activity. Walking as little as 30 minutes three times a week can make a big difference. It increases your heart rate, improves your muscle mass, and maintains or even reduces your weight; all of which encourage blood flow and oxygen to your brain. The same feel-good endorphins released through exercise also help you feel mentally sharp. Also, exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells and averts aging of the brain.
A nutrition-packed diet, undoubtedly, also helps your brain perform at its best and nurtures its ability to retain information. It’s no secret that a diet consisting of fruits, grains, vegetables and healthy fats is beneficial to your health but it has also been proven to improve your memory.
There are certain brain foods that you can eat regularly to help you stay sharp. The most beneficial of all for brain health are foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, low in saturated fats, and high in antioxidants. These are all found in fatty fish, a variety of fruits and vegetables, green tea, and low fat dairy or soy foods. They help in protecting against free radicals that can damage brain cells, boosting blood flow in the brain, as well reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to maintaining a healthy body weight and a low body fat percentage, quality sleep also helps preserve healthy brain structure and function. Your brain will have difficulty functioning at full capacity if you’re sleep deprived. Sleep plays an important part in the learning process and is necessary for memory retention. The most crucial part of memory-enhancing activities occurs during the deepest stages of your sleep.
The brain is the center of all our bodily functions and is what makes us human; giving us the capacity for thought and language. The brain is also responsible for our memories and how we sense the world. We place high importance in keeping our body healthy, so it only makes sense to also look after our brain to keep it performing its best!
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