Before we understand the co-relation between food, exercise and brain age, let’s know what is the function of the brain?
Brain and its function
The brain consists of three main parts i.e., cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem. The cerebrum is responsible for speech, memory, senses, movement. The visual processing takes place at the occipital lobe, near the back of the skull and the cerebrum is also called as a seat of complex thoughts. The cerebellum is involved in motor control, while the brain stem function is to relay information between the brain and its body.
Brain scan technology reveals that the size of the brain shrinks as it gets older which consequently affects learning and memory. According to the research done by the academics for journal neurology, older people who followed Mediterranean diets loss less brain volume than others who didn’t.
Its natural that as people get older they tend to retire from work, take a seat back following their earlier dreams, stay away from all major decisions and become dependent on others. Just to bring people out of such thoughts, here are few examples of great achievements by people.
- At the age of 57, Frank Dobesh rode the first 100 mile bicycle race even after being diagnosed with brain tumour.
- At the age of 58, Akio Morita, Sony chairman introduced Sony walker an idea no one liked during those times.
- At the age of 44, George Washington crossed the Delaware River to capture Trenton, NJ.
Following the right eating habits and lifestyle is the key to keep your body and mind healthy.
Here, are few tips:
Best Foods to keep your brain healthy
The best foods to keep your brain healthy is by following a Mediterranean diet (as mentioned above) and its proved that a reduced calorie intake will reduce memory loss at old age. The list below consists of foods that you can add to your diet to keep your brain healthy.
- Olive oil: Olive oil consists of polyphenols which are powerful anti-oxidants that prevent anti-ageing.
- Wine: Consuming alcohol in moderation has immense health benefits, such as protecting you from diabetes, cardiovascular and age-related memory loss. The best drink can be red wine that contains resveratrol, a compound which activates genes that slows cellular ageing. Not more than one glass is recommended on most days.,
- Green leafy vegetables: Such as carrots, red peppers, squash, broccoli, nuts, blueberries, strawberries, seafood, poultry, whole grains are other foods that should be consumed in greater proportions.
- Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds are great nutrients for brain health.
- Avocado: Avocado is another such essential good fat for the brain.
- Fish: Being rich in a vital mineral, selenium, fish and seafood is fantastic for brain health.
Foods to avoid include reducing the consumption saturated fat and cholesterol, trans-fatty acids from red meat, butter, cheese and processed foods.
Want to slow down the ageing of your brain? Here are some tips to follow:
1. Physical exercises
Research proves that exercising increases the tiny blood vessels which increases oxygen rich blood supply to the brain, increases the development of nerve cells and connection between brain cells. This improves memory, efficiency of brain and reduces mental stress.
2. Controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels
High levels of cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure increase the risk of dementia. Therefore eating the right foods, sleeping adequately and exercising regularly is highly necessary.
3. Limiting your alcohol and tobacco intake
Many studies have proved that low alcohol and tobacco intake lowers the risks of dementia.
4. Building a friends group
Being socially active has many health benefits like increasing life expectancy, reducing mental depression and stress.
5. Brain music therapy and mental gymnastics
Exercising your brain by solving puzzles, such as Sudoku can improve the health of the brain. Music therapy for the brain is the slow emerging field where music is used for the brain in order to improve focus and concentration.
Meditation is a powerful form of activating the parasympathetic nervous system and calming the brain. The frequency of thoughts slows down as you continue practicing meditation on a regular bases. Stress and anxiety levels also stabilise, decreasing inflammation in the body and allowing the body to heal effectively.
We often ignore the health benefits that adequate and quality sleep brings to us. Sleep is the time the body and mind relaxes and heals. During sleep all destructed cells, muscles, organs and so on, rejuvenates and replenishes. These cells build immunity and strengthen the body and mind. A restful sleep also encourages detoxification. The body detoxifies all toxins processed within the system, which is then eliminated through acidic urine, foul breath and dirt in the eyes. Likewise, the mind regenerates and releases negative emotions and thoughts, leaving you with a much calmer state of mind when you wake up in the morning.
Brain ageing is a problem not only for the old but for the young as well. Following the right lifestyle i.e., by maintaining a proper balanced diet, meal timings and being consistent with sleep cycles will reduce brain ageing.