Our brains are wonderfully complicated things. Although they don’t always operate as they should do, there are all kinds of incredible things they can do. The best thing about our brains is how elastic they are, although they get less so as we get older. But we can train our minds to do new things, and sometimes we can even rewire a particular function from one part of the brain to another. As you age, you might worry about your brain function, especially with the risk of certain age-related illnesses, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. But there are many ways to keep your mind sharp and even to improve your cognitive function. If your brain power needs a boost, try some of the techniques below to start thinking more intelligently.
A nutritious diet can help you keep your brain healthy and performing well, as long as you eat the right things. There are lots of foods that will help you stay alert throughout the day. Most nutritionists place foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA at the top of the list. You can find omega-3s in fish (particularly fish oil), flaxseed and walnuts, to name a few. They have been shown to improve memory and possibly even reduce the risk of dementia. Try eating whole grains to give your brain plenty of energy too.
Supplements and Medicines
Some people choose to take supplements or drugs instead to get a healthier and higher functioning brain. Several of them are nootropic drugs, which you take with choline to improve cognitive enhancement. They are also prescribed to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as other illnesses, to treat their symptoms. Of course, even omega-3s can be taken as a supplement if you have them as fish-oil capsules.
What you do with your brain is just as important as what you feed it. There are lots of ways you can keep your mind stimulated, both with physical and mental exercise. It’s important to give your brain lots of things to do, from puzzles and equations to reading fiction and playing basketball. Doing a variety of activities will use different parts of your brain to keep them functioning and able to handle new things. You can even challenge your mind by doing things with your non-dominant hand – just don’t do anything too dangerous.
Engaging your brain with other people will also help to keep your mind sharp. Humans are social animals, and socializing stimulates several areas of our brains. It’s even more important to spend time with other people as you get older, when aging starts to have an effect on our memories and other neurological processes. Staying social keeps you better able to perform both physical and cognitive tasks.
Whether you’re trying to stay alert as you age or you need help passing an exam, there are plenty of ways you can light up your brain power. Hopefully some of these tips will help you feel more awake, and perhaps more intelligent.