When I think about my general health and wellness, the first things that come to mind are moving my body and eating as balanced a diet as possible. But what about my brain? I’m not sure what sparked it, but it’s been on my mind lately (pun only a little bit intended). Maybe because I’m getting older and just want to be proactive about staying sharp? I’m not sure, but either way, I think the brain is (at least for me) one of the most forgotten about things to take of on a daily basis. If you feel the same and want to start implementing some hacks for better brain health, here are a few tips I read up on recently.
Want to Stay Sharp? Follow These Tips for Better Brain Health!
The food you eat
From what I’ve read so far, two of the most important nutrients to have in your diet for optimal brain health are Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Omega-3s help to repair and build brain cells (sounds pretty dang important), while antioxidants reduce “cellular stress and inflammation, which are linked to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.” (source) I knew antioxidants were important, but wow!
To incorporate more of these two things into your diet, for Omega-3s, reach for salmon or tuna, or, if you don’t eat meat, you can also get them from various nuts and seeds. For antioxidants, go for 70% or higher high-quality dark chocolate (yussssss) and berries. Think blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and mulberries. I guess you have another reason to hit up the local farmers’ market this summer!
Supplements geared toward brain health
I recently heard of Brain Juice by herbalist and blog-turned-business, Organic Olivia. It’s easy to be a bit skeptical, I get it. But based on the Organic Olivia website and the reviews of this product, I’d definitely say it’s, at the very least, worth a try. Especially since it’s less than $30.
But what is it??
According to the site, Brain Juice is a liquid blend of “super herbs” including rosemary, red ginseng, fresh ginkgo biloba leaf, and gotu kola (kind of like the adaptogens I talked about in this post). This herb combination is meant to “improve cognition and memory, enhance peripheral circulation (the oxygen/nutrient delivery piece), and increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – a vital component in improving neuroplasticity.” You can learn more here.
One of the biggest ways I’ve read you can help your brain is to give it proper rest, AKA, sleep. I can definitely do that. Besides rest, other forms of stimulation include puzzles, card games, crosswords — anything that gives you just a bit of a mental challenge. I will say, I’m much more of the creative type than the critical thinking type, but I can get on board with a good puzzle every now and then. I love these games when I travel, especially!
I mentioned moving my body above as a traditional way to take care of myself, but turns out it can help with brain health, as well! See, when you exercise and get your heart rate up, it pumps more blood and oxygen into the brain, which is SO good for it. Incorporating more aerobic workouts (swimming, running, HIIT – anything that really gets your heart rate up) into your routine will help keep you sharp, according to what I’ve read.
How do you keep your brain healthy? I’m all about making some tweaks to my routine right now to make sure I’m taking of it, so lay your tips on me!
Looking for more wellness and self-care posts? Check out these:
- All About CBD
- How to Transform Your Home into a Wellness Retreat
- All About Adaptogens
- The Life-Changing Magic of Going Tech-Free
Photography by Meghan Klein.
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