5 Natural Ways to Improve your Mind
The brain is the most complicated and important organ of the body, regulating almost all cognitive and bodily functions.
Ensuring that your brain is functioning properly is vital not only to support your intelligence and mental health, but for your overall well-being. There are numerous factors that affect brain function, but focusing on several key lifestyle changes can fine-tune and improve the mind. Here are five of the most important tips to follow to ensure cognitive health and enhanced brain power.
- Better sleep
Sleep is one of the most crucial aspects of your daily routine. It’s a key process that helps regulate a wide variety of functions in the body. Sleeping is not simply resting, as the body is actually working fervently during sleep. When you sleep, the brain is consolidating daily information intake and repairing the natural damage caused by ageing to ensure that cognitive power doesn’t degenerate.
Recent studies that have confirmed the correlation between healthy sleep (both in terms of quality and duration) and brain power. Sleep affects memory function and psychological mood. Even one extra hour of sleep and a short daytime nap can effectively enhance your brain power and learning capacity. At the same time, it’s worth noting that other results indicate that too much sleep can be equally detrimental as lack of sleep, so you should follow the guideline of 7-9 hours a night.
- Exercise and fitness
“Mens sana in corpore sano” is a famous Latin phrase that translates, “healthy mind in a healthy body.” This advice makes sense as exercise is a key for the proper function of our minds. Studies have linked aerobic exercise like running, jogging, or swimming to enhanced cognitive prowess.
A routine of just 10 minutes of daily exercise can drastically boost performance, and when duration is increased there are increased benefits to both your body and brain. During exercise, the development of new cells is stimulated and more connections are created between them, resulting in an overall boost in mind performance.
Finally, exercise is a key factor in overall health, playing an important role in blood pressure, circulation, and regulating blood sugar, and to name a few. A mind attached to an unhealthy body is almost guaranteed to underperform and age faster.
- Omega-3 Fats
The brain is about 60% fat, and requires a stable, healthy supply of good fats in order to maintain a healthy structure and continue functioning well. Omega-3 fats play an extremely important role as research indicates that these fats essentially safeguard the health of your brain and ensures its longevity.
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids includes frequent consumption of oily fish (like salmon and mackerel), nuts and seeds. These essential fatty acids allow your brain to self-repair more efficiently and sustain higher performance throughout your lifespan. Additionally, a correlation exists between omega-3 consumption and the prevention of brain degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Flavonoids are potent anti-oxidants that are crucial to the proper function and health of the brain, ensuring high levels of cognitive power. These antioxidants protect the neurons of the brain from damage that can be caused by the accumulated concentration of toxins in the body. At the same time, they stimulate brain cell production and growth. This powerful combination of functions ensures that the brain continually rejuvenates itself so it can be as sharp as possible, despite the effects of ageing.
These important compounds can be found primarily in nuts, spices, berries, and citrus fruit. Most of these foods are readily available all around the world, making it is easy to implement them into your diet and reap all the benefits they offer.
- Vitamins B and D
Vitamin-rich diets are generally considered important in safeguarding from disease. Vitamins that belong to the B complex are vital for the function of the brain, as they stimulate energy production, neuro-chemical synthesis, and cellular construction or repair. Studies have indicated that a higher level of B vitamins is linked with better performance in cognitive and memory tests.
Similarly, vitamin D has been found to support the structure of neurons which has led to elevated performance on mental aptitude tests. The dietary sources of vitamin B and D are similar. Again, oily fish are rich in these nutrients as are leafy greens, and eggs.
Additionally, UV radiation stimulates the creation of vitamin D internally thus it’s important to get some time in the sun daily as internally-produced vitamin D is even more potent and long-lasting than vitamin D from food or supplements.
When we embrace a healthy lifestyle focused on quality sleep, good nutrition and sufficient movement, we ensure our cognitive function will last throughout our years. Besides incorporating these foods and habits into our daily routine, we can also take natural supplements that support brain health. These practices are easy but do require conscious effort and consistency to reap all the benefits a healthy brain has to offer.
Guest Blogger Erika Long loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.