Brain boosters can help you keep your mind sharp despite your age. While staying mentally fit is always important, it is especially essential for older adults. Yet, learning simple ways to keep sharp is best when you start early. Try these straightforward brain boosters to see improvements.
Brain Boosters Can Help You Stay Sharp: Here’s How
What are brain boosters? How can they help you stay mentally sharp? If you’re looking for ways to stave off dementia or augment your brainpower, these simple ways can offer the boost you’re after. There are no gimmicks, no medicines to take, and nothing too complicated.
Nourish Your Brain
Everyone loves to eat. Some enjoy food for the experience of connecting with others and for the good feelings it gives them, consuming tasty food, while others relish all types of cuisines. Yet, researchers know that eating certain foods can nourish the brain, providing delicious brain boosters to add to mealtime.
Check out the benefits of these eleven brain-nourishing foods:
- Avocados are good for blood flow and contain healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats. They also contain magnesium and fiber, which are essential for healthy brains.
- Blueberries are a low-calorie, high-fiber superfood packed with antioxidants to help ward off degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Broccoli is rich in vitamin K and fiber. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage) can also help prevent stroke and heart attacks.
- Coconut oil is excellent for keeping the brain sharp. When combined with exercise, it may boost alertness and mental clarity. It helps protect the brain against aging, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Coconut oil supports healthy neurons to promote memory and guard against brain cell damage. The oil may reduce anxiety and depression by elevating mood and serotonin levels.
More Brain Boosting Foods
- Eggs are a terrific breakfast choice. They’re also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, folate, protein, and choline – all essential for brain health, function, and development. Choline, in particular, is linked to improved memory and mental sharpness.
- Green leafy vegetables are a staple of a heart-healthy diet. But they’re also essential brain boosters that stave off cognitive decline and help the brain remain sharp. Green leafy vegetables contain folate, vitamins E and K, beta-carotene, and lutein.
- Salmon, a delicious and nutritious fish, is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Eating salmon increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids with the added benefit of reducing inflammation and improving brain function and health.
- Turmeric is a spice with marvelous anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce brain inflammation and stimulate new stem cell production, which is helpful for stroke survivors and prevents Alzheimer’s disease.
- Walnuts contain vitamin E, healthy fats, and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, benefiting brain health.
- Dark chocolate boosts mood, improves mental cognition, and prevents memory degeneration.
- Water is more than refreshing. For brain health, water improves concentration and cognition, increases blood flow, balances mood and emotions, and maintains memory function. Water also helps relieve headaches.
Exercise Provides Potent Brain Boosters
Research from the University of Portsmouth shows moderate physical exercise improves brain power despite insufficient sleep. The key results show how physical activity provides a buffer against everyday stressors.
Why does exercise mitigate sleep loss and boost brain function? Researchers say that cognitive performance improves with exercise due to several factors. These include brain-regulating hormone changes, brain blood flow, motivation, and arousal.
Why It Matters
According to researchers, the prefrontal cortex is integral to task performance and highly affected by stress. However, it is not solely responsible for cognitive performance. Instead, brain acuity is a product of multiple, coordinated processes in various brain parts.
So, to keep the brain sharp, engage in regular moderate exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Managing Stress Helps Keep the Brain Sharp
Research shows that stress can significantly affect human cognition. Learning to manage stress keeps the brain sharp and optimizes cognitive functions. Yet, other research shows that moderate stress exposure can benefit the brain.
This so-called good stress can help improve brain function,. It also lessens the risk of developing a mental health disorder, and offer protection against future stressful events.
Tips to Manage Overwhelming Stress
How can you manage stress that overwhelms the brain and creates problems? Try yoga, music, meditation, walking in nature, exercise, and doing relaxing activities. Successful stress management means taking advantage of natural brain boosters.
Engage the Brain With Puzzles and More
Nothing keeps the brain active and sharper than constantly engaging it. There are many opportunities to do this, ranging from pleasant and quick puzzles to word games, more challenging puzzles, card games, and others.
- Listen to music – and fully immerse yourself in the sounds. See what mental images the music brings up and muse gently on them.
- Dance – Movement choreography isn’t as important as moving. Take an online Zumba class, dance with your partner at a party or club, or learn new steps with an instructor. Dancing boosts your brain’s memory and processing speed.
- Keep learning – Harvard Health Publishing recommends that people learn new things. Learning activates brain processes that maintain cells and stimulate inter-cell communication.
- Meditate – Research shows that meditation benefits many physical and mental processes. Besides helping to curb anxiety and depression, meditation is one of the natural brain boosters that increases cognitive skills, like memory. Meditating can also improve your mood, which is something everyone can use when things aren’t going well.
Reframe Your Thoughts to Be Intentional
It takes some practice to change how you see things. Think of the glass half-empty versus half-full analogy. The optimistic person will view life challenges as a half-full glass, while the opposite is true for the pessimistic individual. Yet, everyone can change how they view life’s experiences.
The key is to be intentional.
This means a more proactive approach to remaining cognitively sharp, aware, focused, and confident. It doesn’t matter if you have specific cognitive deficits. To stay sharp, begin a lifelong journey using brain boosters.
What being intentional involves.
How do you practice being intentional? Here are some tips:
- Create measurable goals. Set small goals that you can realistically achieve. With conscious intention, they’ll be less formidable and more approachable. The more you reach small goals, the sharper your focus, attention, and intention.
- Begin a daily routine. What you want to accomplish today depends on how you arrange your schedule. However, this doesn’t mean that every minute must be structured. Allow time to do things necessary to daily living and add in those that help you work on achieving your goals. This is intentional.
- Cement social solid relationships. Social connections are essential brain boosters. They create a sense of camaraderie, close bonds, and the reassurance that there’s always someone you can turn to.
More Brain Boosters Tips
- Remove distractions. Get rid of unnecessary distractions. These nonessential conversations, activities, and interruptions interfere with your daily goals. Also, steer clear of toxic individuals who don’t contribute to your overall healing and commitment to mental sharpness. Eliminate distractions to improve cognitive focus.
- Become more organized. Clutter is the bane of clarity and focus. When everything is a mess, it’s hard to think clearly. Take time daily to tidy your space. Good, simple organization helps boost daily concentration – allowing you to pursue your goals better.
- Be aware of automatic distressing emotions and thoughts. Be mindful of the worries and inner voice telling you you’re not up to par. Acknowledge the thoughts. These may require addressing with a mental health professional.
- Set challenges. You want to progress toward your goals. This is a natural progression once you succeed with smaller ones. Challenge yourself with intention/ This boosts your self-confidence, self-esteem, and cognitive abilities.