6 Ways to Boost Brain Health

We all want to stay healthy, but sometimes we forget it's not just our bodies we need to maintain. Our mind is an integral element in our physical and mental well being, and without it, we wouldn't be able to function. Keeping your faculties in check is essential for maintaining a sense of emotional strength and mental security, contributing to an overall positive mood and sense of wellbeing.

How to Boost Your Brain Health

When it comes to keeping those minds sharp, proper brain health is key! Here are 6 small ways you can keep your mind functioning optimally.

1. Stay Fit

Heart health isn't the only perk we get from exercising; recent research suggests exercising encourages brain health, too. The study that spanned 30 years examined how aerobic activity sharpened thinking skills and found the fitter people were in their 20s, the better their thinking skills and memory in middle age—especially if that fitness carried on in life. Interestingly enough, not only was the type of exercise (cardio) important, but the amount of time spent was also a crucial constituent . [1] That's a great reason to get back into that fitness routine!

2. Take Turmeric

One study suggests turmeric, a spice often found in curried food, can also boost brain health—in this case, the brain's ability to heal. [2] A compound in turmeric — aromatic-turmerone — appears to stimulate areas of the brain involved in nerve cell growth. While further research is needed, this initial finding could lead to breakthroughs in drugs meant for strokes and Alzheimer's disease.

3. Breath Clean Air

No one likes breathing in polluted air, but recent research suggests it could even be hurting brain health. A study from the University of Southern California looked at almost 15,000 men and women over 50, finding that those who lived in more polluted areas performed worse on thinking tests. [3] How much worse? “Every ten micrograms of fine particle air pollution found per cubic meter was linked to a drop of a third of a point in cognitive scores.”

4. Lower Your Cholesterol

Lowering your “bad” cholesterol levels could even lessen your risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. In the first human study of its kind, one report suggests higher levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lower levels of “bad” (LDL) in the bloodstream are linked with lower levels of amyloid plaque in the brain. [4] The presence of these abnormal proteins are believed to contribute to Alzheimer's, so maintaining your cholesterol by eating a healthy diet and exercising could be key.

5. Avoid Toxic Chemicals

Toxins like lead, mercury, and some of the most common agricultural pesticides — organophosphates — could be damaging the brains of our unborn children; Dr. David Bellinger suggests, “Americans have collectively forfeited…forty-one million IQ points” as a result. [5] But there are other neurotoxins for children: new data suggests fluoride could even be one …read more

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