Mental decline is a natural part of the aging process, and cloudy thinking is a natural side effect of our busy modern lifestyles, so it is no surprise that so many people feel that their minds are not running at full capacity. The brain is an extremely complex organ, after all, and all of the body’s systems work together to keep it going. So when anything is wrong in your life or in your health routine, your brain is one of the first things to suffer.
Fortunately, for anyone who feels they need to enhance their brain power, there are many things you can do. If your situation is not dire, then you do not have to turn to drugs or medical treatment. There are many perfectly natural ways to boost brain health, and many can be done at little or no financial cost. Here are a few tips.
1. Eat a brain-friendly diet: Focus on foods that boost the levels of healthy brain chemicals. Get plenty of the types of complex carbohydrates that are found in fruits and vegetables. Also make sure to keep your cholesterol levels low so that you get maximum blood flow to the brain. Eating mostly plant-based foods will help you achieve this.
2. Learn new things: To keep the brain sharp, you have to continually exercise it, just as you do with the rest of your body. When parts go unused, they stagnate, and their connections to the rest of the brain become weak and indistinct. While you can make good progress just by honing your existing skills and areas of knowledge, you can do even better by learning new things. For example, teaching yourself a musical instrument or learning a new language can improve your cognitive functioning in all areas.
3. Exercise: You do not have to be a hardcore exerciser to have good brain health; you just need to regularly exercise in ways that get your blood flowing and help improve bloodflow, especially to the brain. Yoga is a perfect form of exercise for achieving this, but it is also important to get some cardiovascular exercise (something that elevates the heart rate) at least a couple of times a week.
4. Use natural supplements: There are a large number of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements that are thought to improve blood flow to the brain and increase cognitive functioning. Start with omega-3 fatty acids, which are found most prominently in fish oil supplements. From there, move to gingko, ginseng, and other herbs that help the brain. These herbs affect everyone differently, so you might have to try a few different ones before finding one that has noticeable effects for you.
5. Enjoy challenging artistic works: When it comes to reading books, watching movies, listening to music, and enjoying all other types of art forms, you probably have certain preferences—certain genres and styles that you love the most and understand best. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying these, your brain can benefit from exposure to creative works that are more challenging to your sensibilities. And rather than simply exposing yourself to them on a surface level, make an effort to understand them as deeply as you can. You will find that this opens up new parts of your brain and forces you to think in new directions, which will benefit your cognitive functioning in all other areas.
By Marc Courtiol