We all have one. We’re born with it, and we have it to be very end, or at least most of it, or maybe some of it. Our brain is hidden from sight, and can take decades of abuse before it begins to fail us. How often do we think about taking care of it?
Researchers are beginning to see a link between obesity, depression, and Alzheimers. All three are considered expressions of unhealthy lifestyles. And all three don’t happen the first time you have a donut for breakfast, or drink too much beer. Single events are not a lifestyle, until they become a lifestyle.
So, what are you doing in your every day life that could be, shall we say, not so great for your brain health and longevity? Think about all those things you’ve heard everyone saying for years are related to poor health. There are all the known things like drugs, alcohol, smoking, excessive caffeine, toxins in our food and environment. Then there are things we don’t think about much, like previous brain injuries, high stress, lack of exercise, even unhealthy peers.
Yes, let’s talk about our peers for a moment. Recall when you were in school your mom was concerned about who you socialized with? The thought was always that whomever we spend time with is who we will be like. Well, that old adage remains true years later. If you primarily socialize with people who make healthy choices, you will tend to be healthier, and if not, well, you made your choice.
So, getting back to our brains, how can we help them out? By making good decisions, engaging with a positive peer group, minimizing toxins in our food, water, environment, increasing the omega 3’s in our diet, and regularly exercising. These things in addition to the basics of good living like a great diet, enough sleep (count that as 8 hours), maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and practicing gratitude.
Of that rather long list let me pick out omega 3’s. There is a difference in pasture raised eggs, dairy and meat. Do your own searches, there is a vast array of information out there. Once you’ve made up your mind, then seek out places you can get higher quality more nutritious foods. Your brain will thank you.
What other foods support your brain? Well, we can paint with a broad brush and suggest the Mediterranean diet in general. Or we can select individual foods to add into our existing diet. If you want individual foods consider green tea, walnuts, avocados, and blueberries.
And finally, while it does seem to be true that we are what we eat. We are also who we socialize with, as mentioned before. Humans are social creatures, so be sure to get out and spend pleasurable time with others frequently, it is good for your brain. Exercise is also great for the brain, it reduces the risk of depression, but also helps boost memory and coordination. And follow your passion when it comes to creative hobbies – from painting to dancing or playing music, these hobbies allow you an outlet for self-expression as you keep your brain challenged.
If you like what you read here, and want to dig deeper, let me know!