How often have you taken care of your brain? Yeah, a sudoku puzzle can do something, or installing that recent meditation app can do a major wonder. But that is not taking care. Your brain must be wanting nutrition from within, exercise and an essential boost.
How can you do this to your brain? Well, to solve all your questions and doubts, we have created this free guide with the help of leading healthcare experts. We will enlighten you with all the knowledge and wisdom that you will require to enhance your brainpower and avoid your brain to age.
But before that, let us understand what happens to our brain as we age. Does it really undergo a stage of cognitive decline? So, let’s get started.
Why do our Brain’s Cognitive Abilities Decline?
Brain ageing is an unavoidable process, but we must face it anyways. We can also prevent it from coming at an early age. We even experience some slight brain decline in our 30s but ignore it. During our 40s, we become instantly aware that our brain must be undergoing a decline, and we must protect against several factors. That’s when people start reading blogs and books regarding brain nutrition, brain gym and nootropics.
Some of the symptoms of normal brain ageing can be listed as follows:
- There is a difficulty in learning something new as your memory cannot hold anything for a long time. If you are trying to learn a new skill, then you might forget halfway through what it is done further.
- You cannot work on several tasks at the same time. Well, it is not a good idea to multi-task, but you cannot manage it all.
- It becomes difficult to recall names and places. Recollecting phone numbers has become outdated so that we will ignore it.
- You forget what you had said to someone, or someone had mentioned to you in the last meeting. If it is crucial, then it is a major problem.
Let us not go into in-depth technical details about brain functioning as it might not interest a layman. Let us try to figure out how you can slow down this brain ageing with natural therapies. Interested? This free guide will surely excite you as it contains simple and easy-to-use natural therapies to slow down the cognitive decline of your brain. Some of the basic ones are listed below:
- Physical activities
- Intellectual activities
- Social engagement
- Stress management
- Eating healthy foods
- Taking rests and enough sleep
There are numerous ways to enhance your brain without taking any steroids or artificial compounds for the same. No need to consult a neurologist, you can do this all from the comfort of your home.
Why should One take a Nootropic to Increase Brainpower?
Before we answer your question of the importance of nootropics, let us first understand what exactly it is. A nootropic has become a recent trend in medical science but has its roots in ancient medicine. A nootropic refers to a substance that can improve cognition, memory and learning powers of a person. Recently, nootropics are sold as being natural and botanical compounds and are excellent for brainpower. Well, not all nootropics are food, and not all are good. You must analyze the quality of a nootropic by its content and take up the final call.
We will discuss nootropics in the last section of this article, but till then understand that nootropics are good, provided you choose the best one from a reputed brand.
Can one Increase Brain Power Naturally?
Before taking any supplements, it is essential to nurture your processing unit, brain from within. And it is totally possible. You can enhance your cognition, memory and learning at home itself, provided you know what to eat, what to do, and what to avoid.
The subsequent sections of this article will guide you with all the simple things you need to add or deduct from your life. Some of these might require self-control, but the outcomes are worthy for your brain. So, get a young and fit brain with the following tips.
Part One: Brainpower-Inducing Foods
Nutrition is essential for healthy brain functioning. Junk foods are the worst for cognition, whereas wholesome foods rich in nutrients can enhance their abilities. Here are certain foods that you can consume regularly for a well-nourished brain.
|Food||Nutrition||How to eat in the best way? |
|Fatty Fish||Omega-3 fatty acids are in abundance in these fishes. It builds brain cells and helps you learn and memorize better. It slows down brain ageing.||Steamed fish for lunch is the best idea. But fresh fish is mandatory and not stale or canned ones. |
|Green Tea||A stimulant, full of antioxidants, green tea makes you focused and improves your performance. It also soothes your anxious mind.||Skip your regular tea or coffee in the morning and replace it with green tea. You can find a lot of flavors, so choose any one of them. |
|Oranges||Vitamin C slows down brain ageing.||A salad or a juice out of oranges will make your day revitalized. |
|Eggs||It is loaded with nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, folate and choline. It boosts your brain.||Eggs can become staple items for your breakfast. You can have an omelet with veggies stuffed in it.|
|Coffee||Loaded with antioxidants, it reduces the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and keeps you alert.||A cup of coffee before 6 p.m. can help. But do not overdose it. |
|Nuts and Seeds||Nuts are great for cognitive abilities of your brain, and seeds prevent brain aging. It also ensures mental clarity and focus.||It is a great snack option. Do not overdose. Just a handful of these will be best. |
|Dark chocolate||It combats brain decline and improves memory. It also makes you feel better without consuming glucose.||A small piece of dark chocolate can do miracles. |
|Broccoli||It improves brain health and safeguards it against any damage.||A salad with broccoli is good for your brain as well as body. |
|Turmeric||It strengthens the brain, improves memory, mood and promotes new cells.||A pinch of turmeric can be sprinkled to your gravies, or turmeric tea can replace your regular black tea. |
|Olive oil and coconut oil||It helps the brain to use neurons in the best possible manner. It also fights free radicals in the brain and fights against aging.||Use as a dressing in the usual salads. Also, you can use sauté, or in gravies. |
|Blueberries||It strengthens the brain and prevents degeneration of cells and tissues.||A smoothie is a great breakfast idea. Or you can add them to a fruit plate. |
|Asparagus||It promotes healthy brain functioning.||You can eat a small amount of it. Yeah. Like a brain tonic. |
|Kale||It is good for the brain’s activities.||A kale sandwich or adding kale leaves to a blended smoothie is the best ideas. |
Part Two: Effective Brain Exercise Routine
Exercising your brain is essential, and you do not have to join any gym or hire a personal trainer for the same. The following simple exercise regimes will let you enhance your brain positively:
- You can evaluate your memory recall by yourself. It is simple. Do not use your gadget to list down things to buy or things to do. Just go for it. You might skip a few items, but you will know how much your brain can take in.
- Learn a new foreign language or a musical instrument. Or you can learn some new skills like video editing or photography. It can be something out of your comfort zone.
- Try to recollect phone numbers of your family members and best friends. This tip will also help you in emergency situations when you forget your gadget. Remember we used to do a few decades back!
- Your daily newspaper is a treasure house of brain gym exercises. Peep into it with a pen and try to solve puzzles and riddles. Sudoku is a new trend these days. You do not have to excel in all these games in the beginning. You just must tease your brain.
- You can draw a mind map or an area map if you have an idea. It will help you brainstorm available options and routes. You might be surprised that you were not aware of them. Or you might find it challenging to draw something you knew by-heart for years.
- You can reach your home by a different route. Maybe you will explore a nice park or a shop or even a bakery. New routes are fascinating.
- You can listen to an audiobook and skip the paperback for a while. It is good to stress on the words and sentences, another way to train your brain.
- Close your eyes and do a usual task like folding clothes. It helps your coordination of the brain with other organs.
- Try to eat noodles with chopsticks for a change. This tip will work if you are not hungry, though. You will learn to coordinate with your hands and the sticks.
- Meet new people belonging to different cultures or backgrounds. There is always to learn from new interactions.
- Eat your meal with full concentration. You will notice that it is enjoyable and tasty. Skip the mobile or TV.
- Calculate in your mind. Even the simple calculations are done using a calculator these days. Test your brain for a while.
- Practice meditation. Use an app in the beginning. It relaxes your brain so that it works in full capacity.
- Try to narrate a story to your friend. It could be something that happened in your college or office. But try to explain it in full detail.
- Take regular breaks. A productive break does not mean checking your phone messages. It should mean resting your brain and involving in something which is not work-related or study-related.
- Do brain gym. Neck rolls, belly breathing, and energy yawn are some of the brain gym exercises.
- Practice visualization exercises. It is not only good for the brain but also for your positive thinking.
Part Three: Brainpower-Inducing Habits to be Incorporated in your Routine
Habits imply the quality of our life and where we are reading. We constantly strive for developing healthy habits such as reading and meditation, to become a successful human being. You can also inculcate healthy habits for an effective brain. Following are the super-healthy habits that can help you to enrich your brain without any external effort.
- Eating at a proper time
Though we follow the habit of eating healthy foods; we tend to ignore the meal timings and end up feeling mentally exhausted. So, eat when it is the mealtime, and not when or after you finish work.
- Eat a healthy breakfast
It is great to have a healthy breakfast in the morning. Do not skip it. Skipping your breakfast will lower down your energy levels and do nothing. So, plan your breakfasts the night before – it could be a smoothie or cereal or toast and omelette.
- Organization is a key to avoid mental confusion
Have you ever noticed that your mind seems to be clogged when your room is messy? So, clean and tidy up your room. Seek some décor ideas from Pinterest. When your room gives you positive vibes, then you will feel mentally energetic and will think of innovative ideas.
- Get enough sleep
At least 6-8 hours of sleep is essential, depending upon your body systems. When you sleep properly at night, you feel mentally energetic for the next day. You will feel cheerful to work or study without any lethargy.
- Keep learning
Do not stop being a student. And those who are already learning, keep learning as it is good for your brain and not tampering with it.
- Read before sleeping
Do not immerse in your smartphone or laptop screen before going to bed. Instead, read something light and crisp. Your memory will also be benefitted.
Download a meditation app or join a class and practice meditation regularly. It might be challenging in the initial stage, but you will get used to it. Your mind will become peaceful, and your brain will work better than earlier.
- Practice stress management techniques
Stress cannot be escaped, so practice stress management and plan for it. You can join a yoga or interact with positive people. Laugh, smile, cry, involve yourself in a hobby. It is essential to express your emotions and share them with your loved ones.
- Drink water
Water hydrates your brain too and keeps it active.
If your mind is clogged with thoughts and feelings, then pen them down into a journal. This works when you don’t have a close friend or do not want constant advice from your loved ones. Your journal is the place where you can confide everything, and your mind will be clear from all worries and thoughts.
- Take a break
Yes, routine always helps us to be productive, but you can mix it up on some occasions. Doing the same things will not take you anywhere. So, try something new and break your routine occasionally.
Travelling will help you meet new people and know their stories. You will gain a different perspective on things and life. It will clear your mind from any clutter. So, travel regularly to new places.
If you have a creative idea, then do not implement it immediately. Brainstorm it first. When you reflect over it, you will be clearer about the concept and know what to do next.
Part Four: Things to Avoid for Increasing Brain Power
Your brain does not need certain things and activities. So, here is a list of them which you need to avoid as much as possible. We know that today’s digital world might compel you to follow artificial methods, but you can be a little conscious about your brain health.
- Foods to avoid
You need to avoid certain foods as they can severely damage your brain and cause a cognitive decline. Here is the list:
- Sugary drinks, including colas.
- Refined carbs.
- Foods with huge amounts of trans fat.
- Processed foods
- Canned fish
- Foods with high salt
- Artificial sweeteners
- Soy sauce
- White rice
- Not exercising at all
This habit will not only damage your brain but will also make your body sluggish. Physical movement can release endorphins in the brain and make you alert and active. It will also help in staving off depression or any other low feelings.
- Sitting the whole day
If you are excusing yourself not to move because you have a lot of work or study, it is tampering with your brain efficiency and nothing else. Though you are productive or studious, constant sitting in one place is not good for brain health. So, include breaks in between your work or studies.
- Too much of stress or tensions
If you are stressed out constantly and do not manage it at all; then it can result in long-term brain damage. So, you must be out of stressful situations or manage them instantly.
- Not socializing enough
Yes, we understand that introverts prefer to be alone, but some degree of socialization is a must for everyone. Try to make like-minded friends, interact with them, plan trips and meet-ups, and have fun.
- Not getting insufficient sleep
Chronic sleep deprivation can damage your neurons and lead to disorders such as anxiety and depression. Hence, sleeping adequately is the key to effective brain functioning. Also, sleep early and wake up early.
- Too much of caffeine
Though caffeine is good for alertness and concentration; excess of it can make you sleep deprived and even anxious.
- Drinking insufficient water
Dehydration will make your brain more sluggish and under-active.
- Hearing music on earphones loudly
Well, it is a trend to use earphones, headphones and Bluetooth. But it can damage both your ears and your brain. Take breaks and decrease the volume. It is cool to listen to high decibel but can be frustrating in the future.
Smoking is fatal and one of the reasons is that it can cause severe damage to your brain. If you take a break from cigarettes and coffee, you will find a massive difference in your attention and memory recall.
- Not getting enough sunlight
Being in a dark room can slow down your brain working. So, get natural sunlight and make your brain effective.
- Avoiding breakfast
It is not good for your body as well as the brain. People who eat breakfast regularly have better concentration levels and are alert in the workplace or school. So, don’t skip it, plan for it.
- Living in a polluted city
Well, this can be brain-damaging, but you cannot escape from it. However, you can reflect on it, or you can take regular breaks to experience fresh air.
Bonus Tip: Nootropics
Well, we have discussed a lot of tips with you to enhance brainpower. If you are still reading, then here is a gift from us – the bonus tip. This tip might sound different to some of you, but believe us, it is too science-based.
We are talking about nootropic supplements that can double up your brain’s capacity to process information, learn new things, memorize and concentrate better. A nootropic is not always harmful to your health. There are several ones in the market that do not cause any side effects and are effective to your brain health.
So, we request you to explore our Nootropics Section that can enlighten you with the information about such healthy nootropics. All of them have been scientifically researched, made from natural ingredients – so no harm in trying it out. But read carefully and enrich your knowledge with our resources.
Conclusively, you can amplify your brainpower with the above natural ways. Also, you can choose to take a nootropic. You could be of any age; a nootropic will always help you instantly and in the long run. Also, you must alter your lifestyle and adopt as the given tips to nourish your brain from within. Your brain deserves your attention, so feed it with positivity and healthy habits, and do not torture it with unhealthy habits.
- https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2013190 – Stress can be brain-damaging
- http://www.betterhearing.org/news/alzheimer’s-brain-awareness-month-what’s-link-between-hearing-loss-and-cognitive-function – Earphones on high decibels can damage your brain tissues and hearing capacity.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665728/ – Sunlight is excellent for your brain’s working.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737458/ – Importance of a healthy breakfast for the brain’s alertness and concentration levels
- http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)32399-6/abstract – People living in polluted regions are more prone to dementia than the ones living in remote areas.
This is Maria co-founder of the NootropicsOfficial, Dietitian & Medical Writer and you all have rightly bumped onto my review site.
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