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5 tips on how to have a healthy brain

by archi (follow)
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General Wellness (150)      Lists (60)      Stress Management (59)      Positive Mental Health (8)     
Want to know how to have a healthy brain? No matter your age, it's possible to begin boosting your brain's power and functionality today. The five following tips will teach you how to make your brain healthy.

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#1: Eat Foods to Boost Brain Power

Research shows that eating whole foods, instead of processed ones, has a powerful effect on your brain. Our bodies, including our brains, don't necessarily know what to do with overly-processed foods. They make us sluggish and contribute to weight gain and other issues. Whole grains are extremely important, including "brown" cereals, rice and pastas. Other "superfoods" include:

Oily fish, flaxseed and walnuts for omega-3 fats
Blueberries to protect the brain from stress and age-related conditions
Nuts and seeds for vitamin E
Eggs, chicken and fish to prevent against cognitive impairment
Broccoli for vitamin K to improve brainpower and cognitive function
Sage to improve memory and concentration
Dark chocolate to enhance focus and concentration

Select the right food for healthy brain function and a healthy body.

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#2: Engage in Puzzles to Exercise the Brain

Challenging your brain, using it, is one of the best ways to increase brain power. Activities like Sudoku, solving the snake cube puzzle, solving crossword puzzles, playing cards, playing board games and putting together jigsaw puzzles can all reduce the risk of dementia. The more complex the mental workout, the more likely to expand the hippocampus.

Other healthy brain activities include learning to play a musical instrument and learning a foreign language. No matter your age, continue to learn and pursue things you're curious about to stimulate your brain.

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#3: Exercise Regularly

Exercise sends blood rushing through the body and the brain, which helps the brain build connections and new neurons, increasing plasticity. This protects the brain should damage occur. Any activity that gets you moving can boost your brain health, including:

Walking
Gardening
Running
Swimming
Dancing

Even if you're currently not very active, getting started doesn't have to be difficult. A recent study indicated that even just exercising two days per week can lessen the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The movement can boost memory and executive skills. With cognitive diseases, such as dementia, prevention is the closest thing to a cure.

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#4: Interact With Other People

Even if you're an introvert, interacting with other people is good for your brain's health. It doesn't have to mean attending parties or big social occasions. It can be as simple as interacting with the community by participating in church events or volunteering for causes you're passionate about. Other possibilities include:

Joining a book club
Playing cards
Having game nights
Going for a walk with friends
Find a part-time job

Studies have shown that people who are single, who lived alone and interacted with others very little were 60% more-likely to suffer from dementia. Don't forget to spend time with family.

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#5: Manage Stress Positively

Are you a worrier? If your worries are piling up, so is your stress - and that can lead to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Studies are showing it's very important to find ways to think young and improve your attitude, leading to lower stress levels. A 2009 study indicated that relaxed and satisfied people are less likely to develop dementia than neurotic people who don't have a rich social life and live alone. The biggest contributing factor does seem to be interacting with others.

If stress is an issue for you, there are several ways to start managing it, including getting a better night's sleep and participating in yoga. Even five minutes of yoga and meditation each day can help centre your mind.

You only get one brain. Spending the time to engage in healthy brain activities, exercise, and eat food that improves brain function can help your brain work for you longer. What ways to increase brain power will you start today?

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