Three Good Habits to Boost Your Brain
Some of you may be saying, “Is there something besides exercise and meditation I can be doing?” And the answer is yes. Absolutely. Exercise and meditation are two very powerful tools that can help keep your brain healthy and strong, but they’re not the only things. So let’s look at three habits that can help you power your brain.
First, diet. What you eat plays a huge role in how well your brain functions. A diet high in bad fats and sugar is not good for your brain. A balanced diet of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, beans, and lean protein can be great for your brain. That’s not to say that the occasional burger is going to hurt you, but if that’s all you get, your brain is less likely to perform at its best.
Sleep is also essential. Regular, restful nighttime sleep, ideally between 7-8 hours a night, enhances brain function. Studies also show that strategic naps can actually make your brain work better. And while the benefits of good sleep are compelling, the dangers that come from a lack of sleep can be downright scary. Some studies show that lack of sleep can have the same effect on your brain as alcohol. If you don’t get enough sleep and get behind the wheel, it could be as bad as driving drunk. Sleep-deprived workers have more accidents. Tired doctors and nurses make more mistakes. Sleepy students perform worse in school.
Cardiovascular health and brain health are connected. If you want a strong brain, you should also work on adopting behaviors that promote heart health; things like not smoking, keeping your cholesterol in check, and regular doctor visits are all key for heart health and therefore good for your brain, too.
Ultimately, when trying to decide what you can do to make your brain work better, simply remember—your brain is part of your body. If you’re treating your body well, you’re probably treating your brain well. If you’re doing your body harm, you’re probably not doing much to power your brain. If you can work on being better to your body by doing things like eating right, staying active, and resting regularly, then your brain can benefit, too.
Tomorrow, we’ll leave you with some parting thoughts about the power of your brain.
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