Have you made a mental note to call someone or run an errand and later realized you completely forgot about it? Have other people reminded you about things you set out to accomplish but didn’t? Some of those items may be normal occurrences for people with busy lives—or they may be early warning signs that it’s time to start taking better care of your brain.
Our brains are made up of fatty tissue, blood vessels, nerve fibers and cerebrospinal fluid. Nutrients and oxygen are constantly moving in and out of the brain based on blood flow. What are the things we need to watch for to make sure our brains continue to stay healthy and function well?
First off, because our brain is partly made of fat, we want to provide healthy fats to keep our brain tissue strong. Examples of healthy fats are nuts and seeds like walnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds. Additionally, cold-water fish such as salmon contain omega-3 essential fatty acids that fight inflammation and promote healthy brain structures.
Next, since fluids move through our brains, let’s look at the quality of fluids that we take in. Are we drinking enough water? Some health experts would say that a healthy amount to aim for is about half your body weight in ounces. Beverages like coffee, alcohol and sodas dehydrate us ,so we definitely want to stay on top of drinking clean, filtered water.
We then want to think about the nutrients that feed our brain, namely antioxidants. To this end, certain juices such as pomegranate and tart cherry juice are supportive for the brain.
Finally, we need to move it or lose it—literally. A brisk walk or some other type of cardiovascular exercise like swimming or bicycling moves blood throughout the body, including the brain. However, remember that exercise isn’t just moving our bodies. We need to exercise our brains as well. Some fun ways to exercise your brain could be using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, writing with your non-dominant hand, doing crossword puzzles or changing your routine in the morning like taking a new path to work or school in the morning.
By using these four tips, you can keep your brain healthy for years to come!