The human brain has 100 billion neurons,
each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons.
Sitting on your shoulders is the most
complicated object in the known universe (Michio Kaku)
Our brains are extraordinary. The brain contains almost as many neurons as the Milky Way and is mission control for our physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing. It only makes sense that we should love and nurture our brains, but all too often we abuse our minds via a plethora of poor habits. Here are seven ways to nourish and protect your most precious resource:
Nourish your brain with a wholesome diet rich in colorful vegetables, fruit and healthy fats. The brain is composed of 60% fat, so nurture it with foods like avocado, eggs, nuts, salmon as well as olive and coconut oils
Make sleep a priority. Sleep deprivation impacts mood, productivity, cognition, memory, and learning.
Exercise to promote neuronal growth and increase blood flow to the brain. Exercise also releases endorphins, the “happy hormones,” which are wonderful anti-depressants.
Hydrate. Drink plenty of water to keep your brain clear and alert throughout the day. According to Joshua Gowin Ph.D., “Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted and your brain cells lose efficiency.” (Psychology Today)
Reduce stress. Use lifestyle techniques like meditation, mindfulness and connecting with nature (taking regular walks) to regulate cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol overload leads to memory loss and negatively impacts our ability to learn.
Stay curious! Learn a new skill, travel to new places. Challenge yourself by engaging in mentally stimulating activities like puzzles, math problems, and tasks that require manual dexterity as well as mental effort — such as painting or drawing.
Stay connected. Social connection leads to a happier life and is proven to prevent dementia and other cognitive dysfunction.