Your brain is your life. Brain health is the ability that enables you to perform mental functions such as thinking, judging, remembering and easy talking. The famous mantra ‘Use it or lose it’ best suits the brain.
The saying ‘A healthy body in a healthy mind’ states the development of brain. "A fine brain in a fit body is the concept of healthy and happy living. As early as the Greek and Roman civilizations, man seems to have understood the importance of the brain-body connection, which unfortunately appears to have been lost over the years,” says Dr. Kothari, a senior consultant and motivational speaker of India. A man’s success of performance depends more on his development and usage of brain power. Maintaining good health is important for good brin functioning.
Ten suggestions to improve your brain function
1) Right from the conception, the brain growth is to be taken care of
Brain growth is an important factor that needs to be cared right from the conception. Ensure that the kids even in the stages of fetus, infancy and childhood get proper care to improve brain. They should get adequate supply of amino acids, which play an important role in brain function.
2) Food for brain
Brain, just like a machine, requires good quality fuel. Nutrients that aid brain development should be added to food. Children with deficiencies in iron and iodine are known to have weaker scholastic abilities. In the elders, omega-3, a fatty acid, arrests cognitive decline. Anti-oxidants, minerals and Vitamin E are also essential for brain functioning.
3) Rich activators of brain function
Fish varieties like mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Plant sources like flaxseed, canola, walnut and Soya oils are also rich in omega-3. Unrefined, minimally processed cereals and grains which are rich in thiamine and VitaminB1 are inevitable for brain. Other vitamins like B5, B6, B12 and iron are rich activators and are indispensable for brain function.
4) Deficiencies that affect brain growth
Zinc deficiency is the common agent for Alzheimer’s disease in elders. As stated above, iron and iodine deficiencies are the reasons for poor brain function in children. Some polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for the optimum health of the brain function. Brain needs adequate supply of blood, oxygen and nutrition.
5) Use it or lose it
Exercises increase levels of brain chemicals that encourage the growth of nerve cells. By regular exercise one can train his brain to make use of it for his optimum performance. Regular exercise avoids also early aging of the brain and improves concentration and attention. Researches advocate the “use it or lose it” theory to enhance the brain power. It is unfortunate that many of us, busy in modern life, do not challenge the mind or stretch its abilities.
6) Improve your memory
Memory is an important part of brain work. Cicero says, “Memory is the receptacle and sheath of all knowledge.” It can be improved by practice. It declines as you age. It also happens because, as you age, you neglect the practice of memory and do not really observe things carefully or try to remember them. Conscious effort is needed to keep memory sharp. Simple memory games can keep your brain active and sharpen your memory. Nowadays a lot of information about memory exercises is available.
7) Avoid depression
There is a link between depression and brain function. Stress hampers brain function. People under depression and stress have poor concentration, memory, attention span and judgment. They develop brain problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s and other diseases easily.
8) Boost your brain function with yoga
Satguru Joggi Vasudev, founder of Isha Foundation, while explaining the enhancing methods of brain says, “Yogic processes greatly enhance the health of the brain. They improve levels of oxygen supply, cleanse and assist the rejuvenation of the brain cells. Yoga helps improve memory and decision-making skills.” Yoga helps to gain good physical health of the brain combined with a calm yet alert mind and enhances lateral thinking and decision-making capabilities. Regular practice of yoga can promote cohesiveness of the brain enabling optimal utilization and balanced output.
9) Ayurvedic herbs enhance brain functioning
There are many Ayurvedic herbs and medicines that enhance brain functioning. Herbs such as Ashwagantha (Withania somnifera), Shanku pushpam (Convolvulus pluricaulis), and Brahmi (Herpestis monniera) are very effective for brain. Today they are available as readymade preparations from Indian stores.
10) Brian stimulation
Constant stimulation of the brain through a range of activities such as music, puzzles, solving crosswords or riddles, etc., is helpful for enhancing the function of the brain. Curiosity and involvement in knowing things and commitment to lifelong learning can stimulate brain and keep you young and energetic.