A healthy lifestyle is as good for your brain as it is for the rest of your body, and it can minimize cognitive decline as you age.
The brain is a fundamental part of our body that doesn't often get the necessary care it needs. In addition, unlike other organs, when we have a problem in the brain, there is generally no presence of pain. Hence, one of the most common mistakes is to react only when the first symptoms of neurological diseases appear. Why wait until something bad happens? According to the United Nations, nearly one in six of the world’s population suffers from neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraines, brain injuries, and neuro infections – leading to some 6.8 million dying of the disorders each year.
Why should we take care of the brain?
The brain commands everything we think about, our memories and our actions. It comprises millions of cells known as neurons, arranged in different structures, and divided into certain areas. Almost everyone cares about having a healthy body, but they often forget about living a brain-healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it's important to know the care this organ needs to keep it healthy and active. And, even though every day more is known about the functioning of our brain, there is still much to discover. The simplest way to start caring for our brain is by maintaining healthy habits from as early an age as possible. By taking action sooner rather than later, you give yourself a greater probability of aging without neurological sequelae and thus avoid cerebrovascular problems or increase the chances of suffering from dementia.
Recommendations for a healthy brain
Below you will find 8 points to take into account to start protecting your brain.
- Keep up to date on your cardiovascular health. High blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol, or diabetes increase the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases by preventing blood flow to the brain.
- Train it every day. To get our brain in shape, we must keep it active, carrying out activities that stimulate it such as reading, writing, listening to music, or learning a new language.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Life is full of ups and downs, so it is essential to learn to manage stress to take care of our brain. Laughter is another of the best allies for health since it eliminates endorphins in our brain. A low level of endorphins can produce depressed moods, so having an adequate level will boost our mood, our immune system and help us fight stress.
- The sedentary lifestyle. One of the great evils of nowadays which affect both cardiovascular health and our brain. To maintain a healthy brain, experts suggest doing physical exercise on a regular basis.
- Eating well means thinking well. Nutrition is essential for our body, but it is even more important for brain function. Nutrients from meals help modulate our moods, behaviors, and even our sleep. Experts recommend Mediterranean diets because they are low in sugar and saturated fat but rich in vegetables, fruits, and fish.
- A life in Society. Social interactions provide us with cognitive challenges through conversation or interaction with other human beings, which gives us the possibility of keeping our brains active.
- Sleep is essential. It is well known that our brain is active while we sleep since it takes advantage of this moment to eliminate toxins. It is also important since lack of sleep affects memory, sustained attention, information processing speed, learning capacity, and cognitive flexibility.
- A bad combination. You should avoid alcohol and tobacco consumption as much as possible as these substances accelerate brain deterioration. Tobacco smoking causes chemical changes, oxidative stress, and inflammation in the brain. Excessive alcohol consumption also has similar effects.