Protect Your Amazing Brain
Your brain is the most complex machine in the universe!
No one knows exactly how complex the brain is, but scientists estimate you have more neurons in your brain than there are stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.
As the executive control center of the entire body – and the supervisor of every thought, mood, memory, and action – your brain makes you you. That’s why you must do everything you can to take care of your brain.
Here are 10 practical steps you can take to help protect your brain…
Follow These 10 Brain Care Basics
1. Practice Brain Safety
Since there’s an increased risk associated with multiple hits to the head, it’s imperative that you take care of your brain. Even though protecting your head should be a no-brainer, it’s helpful to be reminded of some practical brain safety tips that can reduce your risk of head injury, such as: avoid high-risk sports where you can hit your head, remember to wear a seat belt when in a vehicle and always wear a helmet when on a motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, snowboard, skis or rollerblades.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Proper nutrition is essential to peak brain function. A healthy diet includes lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy fats such as olive oil. It’s recommended that you eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
3. Stay Hydrated
Every system in the human body needs water to function. Your brain is roughly 80% water, so avoid anything that dehydrates it – such as excessive alcohol or caffeine. Even being slightly dehydrated can impair performance in tasks that require attention, immediate memory retrieval, and physical skill.
4. Healthy Pleasure Centers
Deep inside your brain, your pleasure centers respond to several neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine. When dopamine is depleted, low motivation and mood can develop. Increase your dopamine naturally by engaging in meaningful and beneficial activities on a regular basis. Do work that you enjoy and take time to have fun with your loved ones. It’s equally important to avoid wearing out your pleasure centers with substance abuse, gambling, video games, and compulsive eating or shopping.
5. Get Regular Exercise
Physical activity is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to keep your brain healthy. Exercise can boost blood flow and other positive nutrients to the brain, increase your levels of dopamine and trigger the generation of new nerve cells that can help the brain self-regulate and calm down. Walking can help you clear your mind, decrease anxious feelings, improve your mood and burn some calories all at the same time.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol is not a health food and should be used in moderation. Even one glass of beer or wine per day can negatively affect the brain and body. Never drive under the influence of alcohol. This also applies to prescription medications, which can impair your ability to drive.
7. Quality Sleep
Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night has been shown to help your brain function at optimal levels. When you don’t get enough sleep, overall decreased blood flow may create a buildup of harmful waste products in the brain tissue, which can disrupt thinking, memory, and concentration.
8. Balanced Blood Sugar
Keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day with healthy snacks, green tea, and a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement that supplies chromium and other nutrients. Low blood sugar levels are associated with reduced blood flow to the brain, poor impulse control, irritability, and bad decisions.
9. Just Relax
From time to time, all of us need to recharge our batteries and self-care is key to physical and mental health. Learning how to counteract stress and calm your body can help enhance your mood, improve brain function, lower blood pressure, and protect you from certain illnesses.
10. Fill the Nutrient Gap
Though food can help promote brain health, numerous surveys show there’s a gap between the foods you eat and the nutrition you need. High-potency dietary supplements can help fill the gap created by a modern diet consisting of many unhealthy and processed foods grown in poor soil and depleted of nutrient content. Without these vitamins, essential minerals and other nutrients, you may find it more difficult to engage in activities and manage daily routines.
To prevent periods of low energy, mood, and memory issues, always remember to take your supplements…one of the essential brain care basics. Even adding a few key brain nutrients – such as vitamin D, vitamin E, or magnesium – into your daily regimen can go a long way toward helping you stay focused and sharp. We recommend taking a broad-spectrum multiple, such as our NeuroVite Plus daily, along with a concentrated fish oil like Omega-3 Power to ensure you’re getting enough omega-3 EPA and DHA.
From Dr. Amen, Brain MD