Healthy Habits that Boost Brainpower and Mental Sharpness
When we think of “boosting brainpower,” tasks like crossword puzzles, reading and even learning a new language might first come to mind.
While these things can certainly help to improve intelligence and mental clarity, what likely has an even larger affect is the ordinary choices we make on a daily basis.
Whether you’re looking for a way to improve your focus, enhance your intellect or simply just want to ensure your brain stays sharp and healthy now and later on in life, the following healthy habits are proven ways to protect and enrich your mind.
Keep Your Gut Healthy
A growing body of research shows that the condition of the digestive system actually plays a pretty significant role in our overall health. Specifically, researchers are finding a strong link between digestive health and the brain. “The bacteria that reside in the gut appear to play an important role and are able to communicate with the central nervous system notably through neural, endocrine and immune pathways,” says Dr. Helene M. Savignac Ph.D., an expert in neuropsychology, cognitive and behavioral science, and the brain research manager for Clasado Research Services Ltd. “By influencing the balance and types of bacteria present, studies show that it may be possible to lower stress, affect cognition/brain processes and mood.” What can you do to enhance your digestive health? Well, to start, certain foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and coconut keifer can help maintain the “good” bacteria needed to keep your gut running smoothly. Additionally, you can follow these six simple steps to better digestive health.
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is so important for many different reasons. Sleep deprivation — especially when it’s chronic — can negatively affect nearly every aspect of your health, but it especially takes a toll on the brain. According to an infographic on Mic.com, lack of sleep can cause long-term memory loss, emotional instability, feelings of fogginess and confusion, and even brain shrinkage— just to name a few of the negative effects. What’s more, according to Help Guide experts Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D, some studies have shown that regular, quality sleep is necessary for flushing toxins from the brain.