Evidence strongly supports lifestyle modification for better total wellness, including brain health and physical health. It involves a combination of a well-balanced diet, novel stimuli, adequate exercise, proper sleep, stress reduction and social connection.
Brain health is directly linked to mood and lifestyle choices. Physical and emotional well-being shapes brain structure, which is largely influenced by social factors. As we age, the brain changes. It then becomes paramount that we begin training our brains to stay in shape.
Here at Kaizen Brain Center, we believe brain health is mental and cognitive health.
Our goal is to promote optimal brain function by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. Our programs target individual needs based on careful analysis and progress tracking. This is the type of effort that is necessary to achieve optimal brain wellness and prevent cognitive decline.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Better Brain Health
Our brain abilities can suffer from the wrong kind of nutrition. For example, most people know that junk food is related to obesity. But what many don’t know is that current research suggests that junk food can also lead to brain shrinkage. In contrast, eating healthy fruits and vegetables can lead to retention of more brain tissue over the years.
Among the best healthy lifestyle habits, healthy eating scores first place for three reasons:
- Choosing the right foods for your brain can help you avoid brain fog, prevent memory loss, and enhance concentration. For instance, most berries contain beneficial flavonoids that reduce inflammation and increase plasticity.
- Learning to cook with spices will do more than add flavor and aroma. As an illustration, a combination of turmeric and black pepper makes the active ingredient curcumin more viable to both the body and mind. For clarity, curcumin seems to act as an effective antagonist against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
- As nutritional intake increases, gut bacteria improves. Better foods and cooking skills usually ensure optimal digestion and overall physical health.
Intellectual endeavor/Novel stimuli
How much we use our brain defines its functionality. So, by learning new skills or languages, we optimize the brain’s response to stress. On the other hand, lack of mental exercise has a negative effect on cognitive performance. The more one individual broadens his or her horizons, the more agile the mind remains. Similarly, one also develops a better angle for problem-solving.
Kaizen Brain Center is La Jolla’s leading private clinic specializing in state-of-the-art brain therapies. Thanks to advanced biotechnology and treatment protocols, our specialists help people who need neural stimulation, headache relief, and cognitive rehabilitation. Our equipment allows us to look at how the patient’s brain works. So, we can personalize treatments by changing the approach, which is firmly grounded in modern neuroscience. But we would not have gotten here by keeping a traditional approach to brain health.
A simple remedy to rewire your brain is reading. As a 2018 meta-analysis points out, fiction reading can be likened to an empathy workout. After all, most books nudge the reader to take several perspectives. Plus, inspirational stories and vivid descriptions boost our ability to imagine lively scenes and alternative solutions to life challenges.
Jogging and working out make the body feel better. Also, dancing is another example of the direct cause-and-effect relationship between physical exercise and brain health. Even a simple walk outside can lift one’s spirits because moving the body stimulates the release of feel-good hormones-mainly dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. In detail, this bubble bath of neurochemicals in your brain reduces toxic emotions and makes us feel less anxious or depressed.
Some sports teams even go a step further and engage in biofeedback training to boost their cognitive abilities. In the same way, Kaizen Brain Center offers a cognitive fitness program for peerless brain training and personalized recommendations that help advance the athlete’s brain. Doing cognitive exercise routines improves the ability to recover from taxing states of stress.
Getting more sleep
A full night’s sleep is critical to maintaining concentration and productivity during the day. But it also maximizes your mnemonic abilities. Without enough rest, the mind cannot form and retrieve memories efficiently. Mainly because sleep allows for memory consolidation and reorganization.
The neurological impact of sleep is traceable to the intricate nature of every major physiological system. In other words, cutting the hours of sleep determines a drop in natural killer cell activity and other vital processes within the human body. Therefore, we should always aim to sleep at least seven to eight hours of sleep per day.
Some of us manage stress better than others. A little stress is normal and actually healthy. Momentary stress can keep us physically and emotionally safe by preparing our minds and body’s to fight when threatened, flee when in a dangerous situation, or be still until the risk passes. However, when stress is more moderate and prolonged it damages the brain.
Chronic stress leads to brain inflammation, hormonal changes, and shifts in neurotransmitter functioning. The consequence are numerous, including memory impairment, problems with planning and problem-solving, decreased mood, and sleep disruption.
Thankfully, there are highly effective ways to reduce the feelings of stress. Providers at Kaizen Brain Center are trained in evidence-based stress reduction techniques such as neurofeedback, mindfulness practices, and cognitive restructuring.
Socializing with friends and family offers more than just fun and distraction. Research shows that creating and maintaining social connection has beneficial effects on cognition and lifespan. Interacting with others both challenges and stimulates the brain. For example, playing card games with friends has been shown to improve memory.
People who are socially isolated tend to experience faster cognitive decline as they age. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Public health, found that women with a large social network were less likely to develop dementia than women with fewer connections.
There are several ways to expand your social network. Here are few ideas:
- Join a club or take a class.
- Attend events at your local community center or library.
- Host a block party and get to know your neighbors better.