Caring for your Brain

So you weren’t born with Einstein’s IQ. It is still not too late, before you get a complex, to train your brain and improve cognitive skills. Like the rest of your body, your brain too responds surprisingly well to being cared for. There are several things that can help you improve the capacity of your brain or as we age, arrest the loss of brain mass.

You are what you eat, literally and therefore including plenty of high quality fats from avocado, olive oil,  walnuts, sunflower seeds, ghee, dark chocolate etc helps develop your brain. Similarly, dark leafy vegetables help and so making this a part of your diet has been shown to have an impact on your brain.

Your brain can be trained and this works in wonderful ways to your benefit. Repetitive practice of even simple math develops your brain. Playing Sudoko does the same thing. Similarly, learning something new or different strains the brain to grow new synapses. You can use wikipedia random to discover completely random or new information.

Meditation is a wonderful tool that helps your brain. Even a few weeks of mindful meditation can result in a cortical thickening of the hippocampus which governs learning as was discovered in a study by Harvard. Another study at UCLA found that mediation helped in maintaining brain volume. Simply spending twenty minutes a day has been shown to have long lasting impact on your brain.

Finally exercise seems to have a positive impact not just on your heart, lungs and muscles but also your brain. It does this by increasing the blood circulation to your brain. Also, studies have shown that running for example can lead to new cell growth in the brain. The benefits of exercise seems to stem from the ability of exercise to reduce inflammation in the body, reduce insulin resistance and stimulate growth factors or chemicals in the brain that result in the growth of your brain.