Trying to get your mind around the complex workings of the human brain is somewhat of a brain teaser. We’ve seen incredible modern advancements in neuroscience with 29 Nobel Prizes awarded just for neuroscientific research over the past 120 years, but there’s still much to discover. What we do understand is that the brain is similar to other body parts in performing optimally given a healthy diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep.
Feed The Oxygen Thief
Did you know that our brain uses 20% of the oxygen and blood in our body? When you consider the role that this organ plays as Commander-in-Chief of everything we do, it makes sense that she might need her fair share of fuel. To ensure that the brain gets its daily needs get plenty of fresh air and keep your blood healthy and flowing freely around the body.
Tip: Take 30-minute walks daily and keep your blood sugar in order by choosing low GI foods.
Water Your Mental Garden
You may picture the brain as densely packed with neurones and tissue. Surprisingly, roughly 75% of our brains are water. This is why when you are thirsty, you get headaches, can’t concentrate and feel sluggish. Even small levels of dehydration can have a negative effect on your brain functions, so drink plenty of water every day.
Tip: The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 11-12 cups and men 15-16 cups daily.
Sleep On It
There’s an urban myth that humans use only 10% of our brains. Not only do we actually use all of our brains, we’re even using that 10% when the rest of our body is sleeping. This busy organ is already doing enough just keeping a fairly relaxed person operating normally. When our stress levels are notably high and we’re not giving the brain time to rest and recover with good sleep, we risk emotional distress and memory impairment.
Tip: Aim for 8 hours sleep each night and keep your brain stimulated by learning a new skill or hobby.