NETfacts: Self-care

10 ways to keep your brain healthy

As a follow-up to a previous blog post on ‘Fascinating Facts About the Human Brain‘, following are ten ways to keep your brain healthy and functioning at its full potential everyday:

1. Eat breakfast
Eating a balanced breakfast will keep your blood sugar levels in check, which helps in supplying the brain with essential nutrients, preventing brain degeneration. Breakfast is also the most important meal of the day!

2. Relax
Do you tend to easily over-react to situations? If so, you may want to try taking a deep breath or count to ten, otherwise your over-reacting can cause hardening of the brain arteries, which leads to a decrease in mental power.

3. Quit smoking
We all know that smoking is unhealthy for many reasons, but it can also cause multiple brain shrinkage and lead to Alzheimer disease. One more reason to quit smoking!

4. Cut back on sugar
If you have a sweet-tooth, cutting back is easier said than done, but ingesting too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients, causing malnutrition and could interfere with brain development.

5. Breath in clean air
Our brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in our body, making it the largest oxygen consumer and inhaling polluted air decreases this oxygen supply to the brain, which causes a decrease in brain efficiency. Take advantage of those camping trips and take deep breath!

6. Sleep
Even our brains need to rest and sleeping is also the best time for your brain to consolidate all your memories from the day. Long term sleep deprivation will also accelerate the death of brain cells.

7. Keep the covers off your head
Sleeping with the covers over your head increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decreases the level of oxygen, which may lead to brain damaging effects.

8. Don’t work when sick
Working or studying while sick may lead to a decrease in brain effectiveness, as well as damaging it – another good reason to just stay home and sleep while you are sick!

9. Keep talking
Having intellectual conversations will promote brain efficiency – just be sure not to do it in the library or theatre!

10. Keep thinking
Thinking is the best way to train your brain – a lack in brain stimulating thoughts may cause brain shrinkage. Just remember to turn off the thinking process at bedtime so you can fall asleep!

How many of these tips are you already doing to keep your brain healthy?

Image courtesy of smokedsalmon /