How To Improve Brain Health

how to improve brain health

Verified by World Mental Healthcare Association

The brain serves as the central command center of the body. A healthy brain is crucial for optimal mental functioning, including memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities. It also plays a pivotal role in maintaining emotional stability and overall well-being. Therefore, learning how to improve brain health and prioritizing it 1 Wang, Y., Pan, Y., & Li, H. (2020). What is brain health and why is it important?. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 371, m3683. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3683 is essential for a fulfilling life, reducing the risk of cognitive decline, neurological disorders, and memory impairments.

Common Ways To Improve Brain Health

Here are some common tips 2 Avan, A., Hachinski, V., & Brain Health Learn and Act Group (2022). Brain health: Key to health, productivity, and well-being. Alzheimer’s & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 18(7), 1396–1407. https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12478 on how to improve brain health:

1. Maintain a balanced diet:

One of the foremost ways to improve brain health is to eat a nutrient-rich diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, leafy greens, and nuts, can be particularly beneficial for brain health. Conversely, a diet high in processed foods and trans fats can damage brain health.

2. Stay physically active:

Engage in regular physical exercise, as it promotes good blood circulation and increases oxygen supply to the brain, supporting its overall health and cognitive function.

3. Get quality sleep:

An important one of the many ways to improve brain health is to prioritize adequate sleep, thereby allowing the brain to rest and rejuvenate. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

Read More About Sleep Here

4. Challenge your brain:

Keep your mind active and engaged by regularly engaging in activities that stimulate cognitive function, such as puzzles, reading, learning new skills, or playing strategic games.

5. Manage stress:

Chronic stress can negatively impact brain health, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress levels. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.

Read More About Stress Management Here

6. Maintain social connections:

Regularly interact with others and maintain strong social connections, as social engagement has been linked to better brain health and reduced risk of cognitive decline.

7. Protect your brain:

Take precautions to prevent head injuries by wearing helmets during sports or activities that carry a risk of head trauma.

8. Limit alcohol consumption:

Most experts recommending ways on how to improve brain health warn that excessive alcohol intake can harm brain health. So it’s advisable to consume alcohol in moderation or avoid it altogether.

Read More About Alcohol And Mental Health Here

9. Stay mentally and socially active:

Engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as reading, attending educational workshops, or participating in social groups, to keep your brain active and connected.

10. Seek medical care:

If you notice persistent cognitive or memory issues, seek medical advice as early intervention can help identify and address underlying conditions that may affect brain health.

How To Increase Your Brain Power Naturally Through Foods

The food we consume plays a vital role in maintaining our overall health, including the health of our brain. Certain foods have been found to have specific nutrients and compounds that support brain health and cognitive function.

By incorporating these brain-boosting foods into our diet 3 Gómez-Pinilla F. (2008). Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 9(7), 568–578. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2421 , we can nourish our brains and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. Common foods that improve brain health include:

  1. Fatty fish, as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that support brain health
  2. Blueberries, as these are packed with antioxidants that improve brain cell communication
  3. Turmeric, containing curcumin, that reduces brain inflammation
  4. Broccoli, as it is high in antioxidants that support brain health
  5. Pumpkin seeds, as these provide antioxidants, magnesium, and fatty acids for brain health
  6. Dark chocolate, in which the high cocoa content stimulates brain health and improves mood
  7. Nuts, that are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and nutrients for brain health
  8. Oranges, that contain Vitamin C which serve to prevent mental decline 
  9. Green tea, as it contains polyphenols and antioxidants that protect and improve cognitive function
  10. Eggs, that provide vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline for brain health

How Does Exercise Improve Brain Health?

Exercise improves brain health through multiple mechanisms 4 Di Liegro, C. M., Schiera, G., Proia, P., & Di Liegro, I. (2019). Physical Activity and Brain Health. Genes, 10(9), 720. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10090720 . Firstly, physical activity increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, promoting its overall function and health.

It also stimulates the release of growth factors that support the growth and survival of brain cells, including neurons. Exercise has been shown to enhance cognitive function, memory, and attention.

Additionally, it helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, which are linked to age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

Regular exercise also promotes the production of neurotransmitters and hormones, such as endorphins and serotonin, which contribute to improved mood, reduced stress, and enhanced mental well-being.

Takeaway

The brain is a multifaceted organ that encompasses three levels of functions, impacting our sensory perception, motor skills, cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, and social interactions. In this, “how to improve brain health” is a tricky question.

By prioritizing and actively working on how to increase your brain power naturally, you can safeguard and enhance these fundamental functions, enabling a balanced and fulfilling life.

At A Glance

  1. Maintaining brain health is crucial for optimal mental functioning and overall well-being.
  2. Knowing how to improve brain health and following certain practices helps to maintain a healthy brain.
  3. These practices include maintaining a balanced diet rich in nutrients, staying physically active, and prioritizing quality sleep.
  4. Consuming foods that improve brain health (such as fatty fish, blueberries, green tea, eggs, etc.) can reduce the risks of cognitive decline and memory-related disorders. 
  5. Staying mentally active through solving puzzles or learning new skills can also improve brain health. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the 5 brain killer foods?

There is no specific list of “brain killer foods,” but a diet high in processed foods, trans fats, refined sugars, excessive alcohol, and high levels of mercury in fish can negatively impact brain health.

2. Can intermittent fasting improve brain health?

Some research suggests that intermittent fasting may have potential benefits for brain health, such as improving cognitive function and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, but further studies are needed to fully understand its effects.

3. How do you strengthen a weak brain?

To strengthen a weak brain, one can engage in activities that promote brain health, such as regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients, staying mentally active by practicing brain games, solving puzzles, learning new skills, hobbies, and managing stress effectively.

References:

  • 1
     Wang, Y., Pan, Y., & Li, H. (2020). What is brain health and why is it important?. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 371, m3683. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3683
  • 2
     Avan, A., Hachinski, V., & Brain Health Learn and Act Group (2022). Brain health: Key to health, productivity, and well-being. Alzheimer’s & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 18(7), 1396–1407. https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12478
  • 3
    Gómez-Pinilla F. (2008). Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 9(7), 568–578. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2421
  • 4
    Di Liegro, C. M., Schiera, G., Proia, P., & Di Liegro, I. (2019). Physical Activity and Brain Health. Genes, 10(9), 720. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10090720
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