Who among us does not want to preserve youth and clarity of mind for many years to come? The health of the whole organism depends on the health of the brain. It is this organ that allows us to live, think, plan, experience emotions and devote time to our favourite activities.
Agree; it would be great if scientists invented a drug that could prolong life and rid us of diseases forever. But unfortunately, this still remains an impossible task.
However, this does not mean at all that it is now possible to put an end to attempts to prolong the youthfulness of the brain. Everyone’s health is in their hands, and nothing supernatural is required to keep it.
What can happen to the brain?
The brain is the most important, most complex and at the same time the least studied organ in the human body. Its possibilities are great, but at the same time, they are far from being used to the full extent.
Scientists around the world conduct hundreds of studies every day to find out exactly how the brain works. Thanks to their work, we already know how it functions, what capabilities it has and what failures in its work are possible.
Even the best-oiled mechanisms fail sooner or later. The human brain is no exception. Over time, age-related changes begin to occur in it, affecting the entire body as a whole. This is a natural process that cannot be stopped, but it is possible to slow it down.
Among these changes are:
- decrease in intellectual abilities;
- memory impairment;
- deterioration in the general condition of the body;
- senile dementia;
- decrease in body reactions;
- Alzheimer’s disease.
This is not a complete list of negative consequences that may arise as a result of the neglect of the most important organ in the human body – the brain.
But sometimes, this kind of change begins to occur in fairly young people. This is due to the wrong way of life and the abuse of things that cause irreparable harm.
Before understanding what needs to be done to maintain brain health at the proper level, it is important to understand what exactly can harm it.
Let’s talk about mistakes that can cost too much.
Lack of communication
People who avoid communication are much more prone to age-related brain changes than those who like to once again exchange a couple of phrases with a colleague or neighbour.
Numerous studies show that even 10 minutes of communication every day can activate neural responses. The more time a person spends alone, the slower the connections between neurons begin to work, which, in turn, leads to a slowdown in many thought processes.
The good news for introverts is that face-to-face communication is not necessary to keep the brain working. Talking on the phone or making an online call can also activate neural connections.
No complex tasks
Many figuratively call the brain a muscle that needs regular training. Just as an athlete who quit training begins to lose strength, endurance and muscle mass, our brain loses its basic indicators without constant load.
Scientists believe that the peak of maximum brain activity falls between the ages of 16 and 25. It is during this period that its effectiveness reaches great limits. Later, in the absence of new, unusual tasks, brain performance declines.
Our brain is designed in such a way that when we master an unusual activity or immerse ourselves in an unfamiliar area, whether it be a foreign language or a hobby, new neural connections are formed in its cortex.
The more such neural connections arise, the more flexible the human brain becomes and the longer its health lasts. Regular intellectual exercises are vital for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia.
Frequent mobile phone use
Horror stories that the abuse of smartphones leads to oncological diseases have firmly entered our lives. There are currently no studies that would certainly confirm this theory, and therefore, at the moment, this remains just an assumption of scientists.
However, this does not mean that the radio waves emitted by phones do not affect the brain in any way. So, Swiss and Belgian scientists conducted a study on the impact of smartphones on memory. After analyzing the phone habits of 700 teenagers aged 12 to 17, they concluded that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones had a negative impact on the children’s ability to remember information, especially abstract images.
Also interesting was the fact that a stronger effect on memory occurs when the phone is at the right ear during a conversation.
That is why scientists recommend reducing phone calls or using a headset during calls.
lack of oxygen
Spending the whole day in a stuffy office, and then the rest of the evening at home in front of the TV or buried in the screen of a smartphone, a person deprives his body of precious oxygen. An insufficient amount of it contributes to a decrease in brain performance. This is expressed in fatigue, poor concentration and a decrease in the rate of reactions.
People who have a habit of covering their heads with a blanket during sleep tend to feel more overwhelmed and tired in the morning than those who sleep with open windows and in well-ventilated rooms. This is due to the fact that, under the covers, a person begins to breathe already “recycled” air saturated with carbon dioxide, thereby causing the brain to experience oxygen starvation.
Insufficient amount of clean water consumed
Water is necessary for our brain as much as for all living things. The human brain is 80% composed of this valuable fluid. It is with its help that nutrients are delivered so that it begins to function more efficiently.
In the case of dehydration, the brain begins to suffer one of the first. A person begins to experience weakness and fatigue, and he develops headaches and changes in blood pressure.
Doctors recommend in such cases, instead of a pill, first drink a couple of glasses of clean water. As a rule, relief comes almost immediately.
There is a lot of research on the harmful effects of cigarettes and alcohol on the human body.
The brain of a smoker or a person who regularly consumes alcoholic beverages (regardless of their strength) undergoes serious neurobiological changes.
So, smoking helps to reduce the thickness of its cortex, as a result of which mental abilities and the level of thinking decrease. And the ethyl alcohol contained in alcohol destroys the connections between neurons, which also does not lead to anything good.
People who suffer from bad habits accelerate the ageing process of their brain several times compared to those who lead a healthy lifestyle.
Insufficient physical activity
Sports and a healthy lifestyle are necessary for the body to maintain muscle tone, increase endurance and improve overall condition. Thanks to physical work, the blood begins to actively circulate throughout the body, saturating the brain cells with nutrients and oxygen. This is the best way to affect long-term memory.
In addition, people who do not engage in any physical activity often suffer from excess weight. As a result of obesity, there is an increase in the number of free radicals and inflammation, which leads to a decrease in the number of brain cells. This, in turn, contributes to memory problems and premature ageing of the organ itself.
The brain, like the body, needs nutrients that come into the body with food. Accordingly, if a person eats foods that are not enriched with vitamins, minerals and other useful nutrients, the brain begins to experience a deficiency, which leads to a deterioration in its work.
Here is a list of what to avoid:
- fast food;
- fried and fatty foods;
- smoked meats;
- products containing trans fats;
- ice cream;
- too spicy or salty food;
- products containing sugar and sweeteners.
Ideally, these products should be abandoned forever since they do not carry any nutritional value for the body. But if forgetting about your favourite hamburgers or sweets is not realistic for you, reduce their consumption to 1 time per month.
In addition to junk food, strict diets that exclude essential micronutrients from the diet also negatively affect brain function.
Skipping breakfast also causes great harm to the main organ. Scientists studying the effect of food consumed on the brain have come to the conclusion that children who eat breakfast regularly have better academic performance compared to those who skip the most important meal of the day.
Poor sleep negatively affects the human body and especially the brain. After a badly spent night, concentration, productivity and energy decrease. Instead, they appear bad mood, apathy and irritability.
Sleep quality is affected by many factors, including:
- too many or too few hours of sleep;
- insufficient darkening in the room;
- uncomfortable bed and pillow;
- uncomfortable room temperature
- lack of oxygen;
- lack of silence during sleep.
During sleep, the important hormone melatonin is produced in the human body. Thanks to it, the ageing process slows down, overall well-being and condition improve. Melatonin has anti-stress and antitumor properties.
That is why people who competently approach the issue of sleep preserve the health and youth of the brain for a long time.
We have considered far from the entire list of habits and things that negatively affect the brain, but even this is quite enough to take a critical look at your lifestyle. And now, understanding what exactly harms the health of the brain, we can introduce new, healthy habits into our lives.
How to keep your brain healthy?
To maintain the productivity of the brain, you do not need to spend money on expensive drugs or collect a consultation from doctors. Keeping the clarity of mind is within the power of each of us; it is enough just to change your lifestyle a little.
We have prepared some recommendations for you:
- Eliminate bad habits. Smoking and drinking alcohol is not good for anyone. Your body will thank you, and the efficiency of the brain will increase significantly.
- Go in for sports. Spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising or taking long walks in the fresh air. Soon you will notice how your sleep will improve, your mood will increase, energy will increase, your body will also tighten up, and muscle tone will appear.
- Improve your sleep quality. Darken the room and remove all sources of noise. Remember that melatonin is produced in total darkness. Establish a regime of activity and rest, allocating 6-8 hours a day for sleep.
- Chat and have fun. Entertainment and relaxation in the company of other people are good for the brain because they help reduce stress levels in the body and start rejuvenation processes.
- Minimize the time spent on the Internet. Instead, hang out with friends, go for a walk, or read a book. The latter, by the way, is useful not only because it will make you more erudite but also because it involves those areas of the brain that may not be included in ordinary life.
- Increase the complexity of the assigned tasks. By regularly training your brain by solving difficult questions and mastering new skills, you start the process of forming new neural connections, thereby keeping the brain youthful for many years. You can train your brain anytime, anywhere. And our online program “Cognitive Science” will help you with this, in which you will not only study in detail many thinking techniques but will immediately be able to put them into practice.
- Eat right. Eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals and other beneficial substances. Don’t skip breakfast, as its absence leads to low blood glucose levels, which, in turn, negatively affects brain function. Eliminate junk food from your diet and add vegetables, berries and fruits to it on a regular basis. Do not forget about the drinking regime. Drink 2 litres of pure water a day (black tea, coffee and sugary drinks are not included in this number).
Introduce into your life such correct habits as healthy eating, physical activity, regular brain training and adherence to sleep patterns, and you will forget about problems with memory concentration and keep your brain healthy for many years to come.
Despite the fact that thousands of studies have been devoted to the brain, it still remains the most mysterious organ in the human body.
Understanding exactly what habits and actions negatively affect the brain allows us to correct the situation in time. With the right and careful attitude to such an important organ, he will reciprocate and save not only his health but also the health of the whole organism as a whole.
Take care of yourself!