Healthy Diet Habits to Improve Brain Function
Human life span has been growing over the course of time. The usual life span was thirty to forty years, yet now people are becoming parents at this age. However, are we able to follow up on this and truly make our years count for something? Can the brain survive the passage of time?
There are enormous amounts of research done to prove that, indeed, the body is the temple of our minds and that our physical health has much to do with a healthy mind. Here, we will discuss what simple measures you can take that will have an impact on your brain and not just your body.
Improving Brain Function
These days it is a very common misconception that cholesterol is somehow bad for your health and that you should eat more low-calorie foods, like vegetables and grains. This popular belief has become mainstream and many diet-conscious kitchens are turning to foods such as brown rice and whole grain bread. As a result, scientists have started investigating this matter.
According to their research, it turns out that fat is not responsible for us being fat. So, what does this have to do with our brains? Well, obesity can lead to several health problems, but this also includes mental problems. Obesity can cause brain shrinkage that is connected to memory loss and, in the long run, dementia.
Contrary to healthy dogma, it is carbs and sugars that make you fat and damage the heart and vascular health. In fact, cholesterol promotes the creation of new brain cells called neurogenesis and stimulates communication between neurons. This is why studies have found that individuals who consume more saturated cholesterol have a 36% lower risk of developing dementia.
According to various studies, there is a strong connection between your gut and your brain. The official term for this connection is the gut-brain axis.
In fact, many researchers started calling the gut our second brain. This is because it produces neurotransmitters and chemicals that transfer signals across the synaptic web, from one neuron to the other. The gut produces much of the dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and even 90% of the serotonin.
We know that when we sense trouble and feel stress, we experience digestive problems like an upset stomach. However, gastrointestinal issues can also lead to severe mood changes, anxiety, and depression.
Essential bacteria exist in our gut. However, when we take antibiotics, we not only do away with the harmful bacteria but also with all the others that we need for balanced gut microbiome. Although we need more research for a final conclusion, there is strong evidence that proves that gut bacteria are linked to autism and that improving gut health can ease, if not eliminate, the potential harm entirely.
Because of this, probiotic food intake is important, especially when taking antibiotics. Even a probiotic supplement can make significant changes and improve mood and brain function.
Dehydration (and even over-hydration) can have detrimental effects on our overall health. Hence, maintaining balanced water levels in your system is essential. Low levels of water in your body can cause dry skin, mood and blood pressure drops. It can also cause low energy levels and affect your kidneys and stools.
But a serious amount of research has been done to show what different cognitive impairments we suffer when dehydrated. Naturally, since our brain is three-quarters water, dehydration can lead to its shrinkage. It is harder for us to focus, solve problems, and memorize. It even messes with our motor skills and overall reaction time.
It is also important to stress the benefits of physical exercise, even though it does not concern our diet. However, the diet we eat can affect our readiness to exercise. A diet high in carbohydrates is likely to make us too tired to exercise.
Apart from the fact that babies develop their brains through body movement, regular exercise helps preserve the health of the existing neurons and further create new ones.
Even a 10-minute walk can help you immensely with your mood, stress, and health. Generally, cardio exercise will release endorphins, which can, being the “feel-good” hormone, ease depression and improve both concentration and attention span.
In this age of information, it is hard to follow up on new findings and keep track of all the ensuing rules. But these simple pieces of advice should help you improve brain function immediately and preserve your brain’s health in the long run.