The brain is the most important organ of your body. You can move, think, and speak because of this complex organ. All the functions of your body are controlled and maintained by this small yet incredibly robust biological structure.
From memory to mental health to basic tasks, the brain constantly keeps on working to keep you alive. Genetics plays a key role in the well-being of your brain. However, your brain still needs to be treated with care.
It also needs sufficient rest and exercise, like any other body part. This article will discuss the activities to avoid when you are training your brain to be more fit.
Avoid Skimping on Sleep
Sleep is a vital aspect of your daily lifestyle. Good quality sleep for sufficient hours is incredibly essential for survival, just like food and water. Sleep is crucial for all brain functions. It is the peak time when your brain removes toxins, restores the nerve cells, regulates immunity, and much more.
During sleep, the brain removes all types of stress your body has encountered during the day and prepares it to survive for the next day. Despite constantly working during sleep, your brain also gets the time to take some rest.
Numerous studies have shown that sleep deficit can take a significant toll on your brain. Sleep deprivation can also lead to temporal lobe damage and even permanent brain damage. The temporal lobe mainly controls your memory, emotions, speech, and sensory processing.
After a night with little or no sleep, you will experience detrimental effects. You will most likely feel tired, cranky, and quite disheveled. This is because the lack of sleep disrupted your cognitive and emotional abilities.
Poor quality of sleep also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders, and various ailments. It also hinders learning capabilities, memory strength, and the ability to retain information. As adults, we need at least seven hours of sleep per night.
A routine of good quality sleep for an adequate period boosts all brain functions. It significantly improves the memory strength of your brain so you can retain information better. It also enhances your immunity.
The overall functions of your entire body are in top-notch condition when you get sufficient slumber. So if you want to be your best and sharpen your brain, it is important to catch some zzz’s regularly.
Avoid Cutting Out All Carbohydrates
The brain comprises only two percent of the entire body weight of a human being. Despite being small, this complex organ has the highest energy and oxygen requirements. The brain of an adult uses about 20 percent of the oxygen supply and around 30 percent of the energy supply. You could say the brain consumes 50 percent of the body’s resources.
Glucose is the primary source of energy for the brain. The brain has an incredibly high rate of metabolism and utilizes around 5.6 mg glucose per 100 gm per minute. Only carbohydrates can meet this whopping rate of energy requirements.
Moreover, the brain can be considered a picky eater. It prefers to obtain its glucose from carbohydrates rather than simple sugars. Glucose from simple sugar also harms the brain. This issue will be discussed later in this article.
Brain function lowers as soon as glucose levels drop. Such deterioration can be replenished with the immediate intake of carbohydrate-rich foods. Hence, it is best to avoid the no-carb diet fad.
The absence of carbohydrates results in the absence of readily available glucose for the brain. This lack will have damaging effects on the memory capacity, learning abilities, and thinking processes. It is ideal to keep the blood sugar stable and provide your brain with sufficient amounts of glucose from carbs.
Include fiber-rich carbohydrates in your daily diet. Opt for diets rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies, and beans. Juices and sweets should be only consumed occasionally. Go for cereals and fruits with a low glycemic index. Such whole foods are healthy sources of energy for your brain. This will also ensure that your brain is in excellent condition.
Avoid Consuming Excessive Sugars
Although it’s bad news for people with a sweet tooth, too many sweets or overconsumption of sugar can damage your brain. If you want to boost your brain health, it is best to minimize the intake of refined sugars. Unrestricted amounts of sugar increase the risks of brain inflammation.
It also causes damaging effects on the hippocampus of the brain. The hippocampus controls the information storage a.k.a memory and the learning capacity. In other words, excessive sugar can have harmful effects on your learning and memorizing abilities.
This does not necessarily mean you have to avoid sugar at all costs. A little sugar in your daily cup of morning coffee or an occasional indulgence in a cookie will not cause any alarming issues. However, without your knowledge, you might be consuming large amounts of added sugars if you are eating a lot of processed foods and drinking sweet beverages, especially sugary soft drinks.
There is a misconception that bottled or canned fruit juices are healthy options. Packaged fruit juices have high levels of sugars, mainly for preservation. Some juices have the same amount of sugar as a regular cola drink.
Always read the nutrition labels of everything you eat. It is wise to keep your total sugar intake within 30 grams or about 7.5 teaspoons of sugar. It is best to avoid foods with a high glycemic index. If you happen to indulge in sweets for a day, do not beat yourself up.
Nothing drastic will happen if you consume sweets and other forms of refined sugars but bear in mind that it is a slippery slope since sugar is very addictive.
Avoid Stressing Too Much
Stress is a natural human reaction that keeps us alert and can not be avoided entirely. However, it can be controlled and kept to a minimum. Excessive stress is very injurious to brain health. It causes significant destructive effects on memory and cognitive functions.
Chronic stress can also lead to strokes, which can lead to severe brain hemorrhage and even death. People who are constantly stressed have a higher risk of developing dementia and diseases like Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, stress can be managed effectively by exercising and meditating.
Simple breathing exercises also effortlessly help in controlling stress and anxiety. If you are leading a hectic stressful life, now is the time to make lifestyle changes to lower stress levels. Controlling your stress levels can go a long way in preserving the optimum conditions of your brain.
The brain is the most important organ of your body. Your entire body is dependent on your brain. Such a small yet complex organ needs to be in good condition for you to function effectively.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle with proper sleep, regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and controlled stress levels. With minimal effort, your brain performance can stay at its peak for a long time.