5 Tips to a Healthier Brain
1. Eat a Brain Strengthening Diet
When it comes to brain health, what you eat or do not eat is so important to address when it comes to brain health. This study links a low carb mediterranean diet (fish, legumes, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and veggies and spices) to be key in preventing or even helping repair the brain from dementia.
Your blood sugar balance is so important when it comes to brain health. Reducing and eliminating sugars is key. Reducing and eliminating your processed carbs is also a key factor. High glycemic carbohydrates can spike your blood sugar just like a candy bar, so be mindful to choose sprouted whole grains and minimize your consumption.
Increase your omega 3 oils with nuts, seeds and wild caught salmon. Choose high quality fats, as your brain needs the right fats to create a healthy membrane and flexibility between neurons. Choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is not rancid. Choose pastured cultured butter, ghee, coconut oil and grass-fed beef tallow.
2. Choose Restful Readiness for your Brain
Sleeping is the first thing that we eliminate when it comes to maximizing our time and getting things done. But have you ever thought about how that might effect your brain? We often think of sleep in terms of negative costs…losing time to get thing done, missing out on fun or the latest new TV show. But have you ever considered all of the positive things you gain when it comes to sleep?
Without rest, your brain will become weaker. One of the biggest myths is that we can “catch up on sleep”. The truth is that you never catch up on sleep that you lose. The best thing to do is to start a healthy sleep now, rather than live in the false world of “catch up”.
Sleep is the most important thing you can give your brain. During sleep, your brain detoxifies, stores information and strengthens memory. See more here.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep is important as well, as your brain goes through cycles that helps complete each necessary phase for brain health.The optimal time to sleep is 10p to 6am. If is rare, not common that one can operate with less sleep than 8 hours.
When you sleep, you will be able to do far more the next day with greater efficiency than if you stayed up late to complete a task. Choose sleep for what it gives you, not for what you think you lose. Take time to turn your screens off 30 mins before bedtime, find something relaxing to help land your brain into sleep and say yes to rest. Your brain will thank you!
3. Take a Mental Spike for your Brain
It is important to help create habits to strengthen your brain. Meditation, mindfulness and brain breaks are important habits to build in your every day routines.
Taking mental breaks after 90 mins on a screen to stretch or rest for 10-20 mins is key. Change environments and breath in fresh air. Breathing during a break can help restore oxygen your brain needs to function at its best!
I encourage clients to use meditation practices (specifically hebrew meditation) to help deal with traumatic or stressful circumstances. The idea is to move beyond what is rationally in front of you and get to a deeper understanding of what lies behind. You acknowledge what is in front of you, but focus on truth in order to gain hope in the midst. Being mindful of what is at the roots of all you believe, feel and do is key to strengthening your brain for best cognitive function during all situations.
4. Make Space to Work Out Your Brain
Your brain thrives on oxygen and needs it to perform at it’s best. Establishing aerobic exercises into your daily routines will help to boost your brain power! Choose yoga, light jogging, walking, rebounding, swimming or biking for maximizing the best work out for your brain. If you choose more strenuous exercise routines, you could risk putting your body in “flight or fight” mode that will add unnecessary stress to your body.
The idea of exercising is not so that you can burn the processed foods you want freedom to eat, but to ready the body for it’s best performance throughout the day. When you work out your brain, choose exercises that is about strengthening your body for the long haul, not burning calories for the day.
If you go on fast runs or harsh workouts, you are not building up strength for your brain or bodily health but rather risking injury and depleting vital needs of the body long term. You can certainly do these types of exercises in short term, but for optimal health long term, choose those routine exercises that can be done daily and create real strength for your brain.
5. Reduce Unnecessary Stress
Stress is inevitable in American society and even many parts of the world. We often call it “normal” just because it is “common”. But is large amounts of stress-emotionally, physically and mentally- really normal to our daily health? It is not always necessary and we have to start seeing the things that are unnecessary and eliminating them from our daily routine.
Look at the toxins in your life and begin to make a shift. Toxins are huge barriers to brain health. Choose quiet space to look at what is underneath your behaviors, emotions and thoughts. Reduce your stuff! You do not need 20 outfits, 4 electronic devices, 10 pots to clean or 4 cars to drive. Take space to evaluate what you own and eject from the lie that you need more to be happy.
Figure out your place that you can eject from the world around you. Take a hike, nap or date with a friend or spouse and invest in your health. What you do and how much you get done is not where your true identity stands. Address the stress in your life and make intentional efforts to remove the unnecessary and your brain will last longer!
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