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12 Ways To Improve Brain Health For A Better Life

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Your brain health is important – and not just for your mental well-being. It impacts your physical health, too. In fact, many experts believe that what we do to improve our brain health can have a positive impact on conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia, heart disease, and more. 

Today, we're sharing 12 science-based ways to improve your brain health and protect yourself from these conditions. But first, let's talk more about what brain health means and why it's so important to our overall health.

What is Brain Health?

Brain health refers to the way our brain functions – from how well we remember things, to how we process information and make decisions. It also includes our ability to pay attention, multitask and manage stress. 

When our brain is healthy, we're able to live independently and enjoy a good quality of life as we age. But when our brain health declines, it can have a ripple effect on every area of our lives.

Why is Brain Health Important?

There are many reasons brain health is so important. 

For one, our brains control everything we do – from the way we move and breathe, to the thoughts and emotions we experience. It's responsible for our memories, personality, and even regulates our hormones. 

It's no surprise when our brains aren't functioning at their best, it can impact just about everything. 

In addition to that, brain health is important because it's linked with many chronic diseases. For example, research shows that people with Alzheimer's disease have different brain pathology than those without the condition. And studies have also shown a link between heart disease and dementia, as well as diabetes and cognitive decline. So, taking steps to improve our brain health means we may be able to protect ourselves from these conditions down the road.

12 Science-Based Ways To Improve Brain Health

Now that you know why brain health is so important, let's take a look at 12 science-based ways to improve it!

Get Moving

Exercise has been shown to improve brain health in a number of ways. It helps to increase the size of the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory), and can also improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia.

We're going to mention cognitive function at a few points in this article, so let's take a moment to explain what it means. Cognitive function refers to our ability to think, learn, and remember. It's what allows us to make decisions, solve problems and remember information.

In one study, researchers found people who exercised four times a week for six months had better cognitive function than those who didn't exercise at all. And in another study of older adults, those who did aerobics three times a week for six months saw an improvement in memory and executive function (which refers to our ability to plan, organize, and complete tasks).

Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat has a direct impact on your brain health. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-three fatty acids has been linked with better cognitive function and a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Here are some brain-healthy foods to include in your diet:

  • Salmon
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Avocados

How do these foods help improve brain health? Blueberries, for example, are high in antioxidants which help to protect the brain from damage. Salmon is rich in omega-three fatty acids, which improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation. Nuts and seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals that support cognitive health, while dark leafy greens contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Get Enough Sleep

Your brain is a busy place, and sleep is essential for brain health. When we sleep, our brains clean out toxins that build up during the day. Without enough restful slumber to go around (an average of seven or eight hours), you'll find yourself feeling sluggish with poor memory performance - not good if your goal was something more creative! Make sure there's no shortage of ZZZ’s by making these healthy changes tomorrow morning.

Stay Social

Staying social is important for brain health, too. Studies have shown that social isolation can lead to cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia. Work hard to stay connected with friends and family members!

Challenge Your Mind

The brain is a complex organ that requires mental stimulation in order to function at its best. Puzzles, crosswords and other challenging activities can be therapeutic for people looking after their brains by keeping them active while also improving cognitive skills such as memory retention or problem-solving abilities with time.

Manage Stress

When we're stressed out, it takes a toll on our brains. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation in the brain, which has been linked with conditions such as depression, anxiousness and Alzheimer's disease. So learn how to manage your stress levels effectively. There are all kinds of ways to do this, but it’s important to find the one that works best for you! For some, it might be meditation. For others, it can be vigorous physical activity. But whatever it is, make it a priority to manage your stress!

Get Some Sun

Sunshine is a good source of vitamin D, which is essential for brain health. Vitamin D plays a role in neuroplasticity – the process by which our brains form new connections and improve their function. Neuroplasticity is an integral part of our overall brain health. In fact, it's thought to be one of the main reasons why some brains are able to adapt and improve with age and others don't do this as effectively.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to overall brain health. When we're feeling stressed or anxious, it takes a toll on our brains. Make sure you take care of your mental health by doing things like practicing self-care, seeing a therapist, or talking to a trusted friend or family member.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Too much alcohol can be harmful to our brains. Excessive drinking has been linked with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Alcohol can affect the brain by damaging brain cells and impairing cognitive function. So, if you think you might be drinking too much, this is another good reason to address this habit.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad for our brains – no surprise there! It increases the risk of conditions such as dementia and stroke, and can also lead to cognitive decline. That means, if you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your brain health today.

Supplements for Brain Health

Certain supplements can also be helpful if you're hoping to improve brain health. For example, omega-three fatty acids, B-vitamins, and antioxidant supplements have all been linked with better cognitive function.

Of course, it's always best to get your nutrients from food first. But if you're not able to get enough of these nutrients from your diet, supplements can be a good option. It's also important to speak with your doctor before adding any new supplements or medications into your routine.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Another strategy for helping you improve your brain health is giving vagus nerve stimulation a try. It works by sending electrical impulses to the vagus nerve, which is located in the brain. This stimulation has been shown to improve cognitive function and relieve symptoms of conditions such as depression and anxiousness for many people. It can also improve your sleep, promote faster recovery, provide mood-boosting benefits, and promote your overall sense of well-being.

With transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), this nerve can be accessed through the ear, rather than needing to be surgically implanted. If you're interested in giving tVNS a try for yourself, explore Xen by Neuvana. This patented electronic device is designed to provide non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation while you go about your day, including in the comfort of your own home while you listen to your favorite music.

Start to Improve Your Brain Health Today

So, there you have it! Twelve science-based ways to improve your brain health. Implementing even just a few of these strategies can have a big impact on your overall well-being. And if you're looking for an easy and convenient way to try vagus nerve stimulation, Xen by Neuvana may be a good option for you.