The brain is more powerful than any computer. We use less than 10% of our capacity which is why someone once said that the graveyard is the richest place – in it lie all the people who had great potential they never really realised . Here are some tips to boost your brainpower:
1) FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A rather picky eater, the brain demands about 60g of glucose every hour. Primarily obtained from recently eaten carbohydrates only in extreme instances of deprivation will the brain use other substances for fuel. For optimal brain function you need to ensure a constant supply of energy to the brain by eating small but more frequent nutritious meals. According to a study by University of Wisconsin, the brain may actually react to excess food as if it were poison! The resulting immune response may cause cognitive deficits.
TIP# Avoid sodas, fizzy drinks and junk foods. Foods that release glucose slowly (eg. Fruits , vegetables & whole grains) provide a steady supply of glucose to the brain. Think berries and oily fish these are high in anti-oxidantst, walnuts and flaxseeds these are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, both crucial for brain health. Fish also contains iodine, which improves mental clarity.
Alot of us often neglect our diet, leading to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. B vitamins play the role in the formation of brain chemicals such as dopamine, epinephrine, myelin and serotonin each of which plays a role in keeping your brain alert and healthy. Dopamine and serotonin help improve your mood.
- Magnesium protects the brain from neurotoxins.
- Vitamin C and E are cucial anti-oxidants that can intercept free radicals before they affect the brain.
- An improtant supplement to consider is ganoderma lucidum, a mushroom extract which has a plethora of health benefits including speeding up metabolism, acting as anti-oxidant, enhancing the immune system and improving brain function.
TIP# Consult your doctor before taking any supplements as some may interfere with the absorption of medication you might be taking.
3) PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Fact: Exercise helps boost blood flow to the brain, which in turn helps support the efficient working of neurons and regeneration of new ones. Regular exercise increases the size of the hippocampus (yes hippocampus – the region of the brain which plays an important role in learning and memory). All this translates into improved memory, concentration, body-mind co-ordination and lowered risk of degenerative brain diseases.
TIP# Hit the gym, or try 50 minutes of brisk walking three times a week.
4) MENTAL EXERCISE
We a living in a world with a plethora of gadgets to help us with the simplest and most complex of mental tasks, making our brains lazy. The brain slows down because it is not exercised as often as it could be.
TIP# Challege your brain by using your left hand if you normally use your right, multi-tasking, juggling and playing strategy games. Even keeping up with political shenanigans can boost your brainpower!
5) GIVE IT A REST
The brain can do its reviewing much faster when you are asleep than when you are awake.
TIP# Get 7 hours of sleep daily ( a luxury to most of us). Consider taking a nap during the day. A nap can help solidify long-term memories, such as events or skills you are trying to master. Slow down on alcohol have at least three alcohol-free nights a week.