The usage of physical exercise in conjunction with BrainHQ brain training increases your chances of increasing cognitive functions within parameters, including time of exercise and style of exercise. Interestingly, differences between exercise styles, such as opting for cycling over running, is associated with an enhanced brain function during and after working out. Ballroom dancing, an activity with both physical and mental demands has had a higher impact on cognitive functioning over exercise or mental tasks alone, indicating that the best brain health workouts involve those that integrate different parts of the brain such as coordination, rhythm, and strategy. Tips for Choosing The Right Physical Exercise -In general, anything that is good for your heart is great for your brain. -Aerobic exercise is great for body and brain: not only does it improve brain function, but it also acts as a “first aid kit” on damaged brain cells. -Exercising in the morning before going to work not only spikes brain activity and prepares you for mental stresses for the rest of the day, but also produces increases retention of new information, and better reaction to complex situations. -When looking to change up your work out, look for an activity that incorporates coordination along with cardiovascular exercise, such as a dance class. -If you like crunching time at the gym alone, opt for circuit work outs, which both quickly spike your heart rate, but also constantly redirect your attention. -Hitting a wall or mentally exhausted? Doing a few jumping jacks might reboot your brain.
You may know that a Mediterranean diet — rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, whole grains and fish — offers heart-healthy benefits. But a Mediterranean diet may also benefit your brain. Studies show that people who closely follow a Mediterranean diet seem less likely to develop cognitive decline when compared with people who don’t follow the diet.
Research shows that a Mediterranean diet may: Slow cognitive decline in older adults Reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a transitional stage between the cognitive decline of normal aging and the more-serious memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease Reduce the risk of MCI progressing into Alzheimer’s disease
It’s unclear why following a Mediterranean diet may protect brain function. Researchers speculate that making healthy food choices may improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and overall blood vessel health — all factors that may reduce the risk of MCI or Alzheimer’s disease. Studies of the effects of diet on dementia are dependent on the recall of the participants — problematic when some of those studied have memory troubles. More research is needed to know to what degree a Mediterranean diet prevents Alzheimer’s or slows the progression of cognitive decline. Nonetheless, eating a healthy diet is important to stay physically and mentally fit.
People with higher blood sugar levels are more likely to have memory problems, even if they don’t have diabetes, according to a new study published in Neurology recently.
The research tested the memory skills and blood sugar levels of 141 people with an average age of 63. Researchers also carried out brain scans to measure the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is responsible for memory. The research found that those with lower blood sugar levels were more likely to achieve better scores in the memory tests and that people with higher blood sugar levels had a smaller hippocampus volume.
Although both are high in fat, peanuts and peanut butter tend to be a source of healthy fats. And they are also packed with vitamin E.
Both foods may help keep the heart and brain healthy and functioning properly. Other good choices are almonds and hazelnuts.
“There has been some very good research that diets that are high in healthy fats, low in saturated fat and trans fats, and rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts are good for the brain and the heart,” says Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, senior director of medical and scientific relations at the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association.
Forget about ginkgo biloba. A recent study found that this herbal supplement has no positive impact on memory. However, a few supplements are known to encourage the growth of new neurons and decrease substances that can inhibit cognitive function. The gold standard is fish oil. Fish oil has been associated with lowering the risk of dementia because it contains DHA,an omega-3 fatty acid that decreases the production of memory-inhibiting substances in the brain and that may be involved in the formation of new neurons. Increasing your consumption of fatty fish, like salmon, helps; or you can take a daily supplement containing at least 180 milligrams of DHA. Vitamin D may also work, since it stimulates the growth of new neurons and helps clear protein abnormalities associated with diseases that affect memory, such as dementia. You might also consider a folic acid, B6, and B12 complex. All three of these B vitamins are needed to remove the amino acid homocysteine from your blood says Barnard. Homocysteine is produced during normal processes in the body, but if too much of it builds up, it can result in poor brain function.
Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate. For example, one cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E, and 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach has 25% of your daily intake. Exactly how folate may protect the brain is unclear, but it may be by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain, but folic acid helps break down homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels have also been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Your brain doesn’t just have neurons, but also neurotransmitters, which are messengers that bring brain signals from one neuron to the next one. Your brain structure might be good, but if your neurotransmitters are insufficient, your brain won’t work right. Some parts of the neurotransmitters, like the tryptophan, are not able to be made by your body. Thus, you must consume food to get them. However, the body can make tyrosine, but you still need to get the proper foods into your diet.
The greatest sources of food to boost your alertness, concentration, and energy are: -Dairy products
The intuitive notion of a “photographic” memory is that it is just like a photograph: you can retrieve it from your memory at will and examine it in detail, zooming in on different parts. But a true photographic memory in this sense has never been proved to exist. Most of us do have a kind of photographic memory, in that most people’s memory for visual material is much better and more detailed than our recall of most other kinds of material. For instance, most of us remember a face much more easily than the name associated with that face. But this isn’t really a photographic memory; it just shows us the normal difference between types of memory. So how does an exceptional, perhaps photographic, memory come to be? It depends on a slew of factors, including our genetics, brain development and experiences. It is difficult to disentangle memory abilities that appear early from those cultivated through interest and training. Most people who have exhibited truly extraordinary memories in some domain have seemed to possess them all their lives and honed them further through practice.
Which foods are best for brain health? Check this list to see what you should eat to optimize your brain power. -Nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to keep your arteries clear, as well as levels of precursors of serotonin to boost mood. One ounce a day is just right; more is fine, but remember to be careful of calorie overload – an ounce is about twelve walnuts or twenty-four almonds. -Fish (especially wild salmon, whitefish, tilapia, catfish, flounder and mahi mahi) contain artery-clearing omega-3 fatty acids. Serving size recommendation is 13.5 ounces a week (or three servings about the size of your fist). -Soybeans contain heart- and artery-healthy protein and fiber. The recommended serving is one cup a day. -Tomato juice and spaghetti sauce contain folate, lycopene and other nutrients to keep arteries young. The recommended serving is 8 ounces a day of juice; 2 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce a day. -Olive oil, nut oils, fish oils, flaxseed and avocados contain heart-healthy mono-unsaturated omega-3 and omega-9 fats. Twenty-five percent of daily calories should be healthy fats.
Carrots have long been known to be good for the eyes and it turns out, they’re good for the brain, too. Carrots have high levels of a compound called luteolin , which could reduce age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain, according to a study published in the journal Nutrition.
In the study, mice whose daily diet was supplemented with 20 milligrams of luteolin had reduced inflammation in their brains. The researchers said the compound also restored the mice’s memory to the level of younger mice’s.
Olive oil, peppers and celery are also high in luteolin.