Today I will focus on the brain – our central control system for the entire body. Some of the jobs of the brain: It rules our emotions, relationships, metabolism, hormones, and nerves and every other thing that happens in the boy. The brain orchestrates our bodily functions, such as digestion, and movement coordination. It sorts and stores information, processes our emotions and is always operating in the background whether we are aware of it or not. All of that and it weighs only about 2.8 pounds!
To keep your brain healthy, consider:
Physical: First, breathe deeply! Oxygen is important to brain health and a good deep breath can also help reduce stress and restore balance and calm. Do physical and mental exercise like reading, memorizing, puzzles and brain teasers. Challenge your brain by doing something new like learning to play an instrument or learning a new language. Most importantly, keep active! Regular exercise is important. So is getting out often and interacting with other people. Exercise increases oxygen levels and blood flow to the brain. Interacting with other people and getting some physical activity will both stimulate your brain in a variety of positive ways, often releasing chemicals and hormones that have a positive impact on brain health. Recent studies have shown that physically and mentally active people have a reduced risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Nutrition/Diet: Your brain is a glucose hog! It uses more glucose than any other organ in your body – about 60% of all the carbohydrates taken in. To make sure that your brain gets the fuel that it needs, make sure you are getting a big dose of complex carbohydrates in your daily diet. All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose to produce the energy molecule known as ATP. The key is to eat the right kinds of carbs like those found in wholegrains like oat, muesli, brown rice and whole grain bread. BUT it is always best to eat natural foods (like black beans, carrots, berries, and pears – to name just a few!) rather than processed foods. Follow this link to see a list of healthy sources of carbohydrates at Common Sense Health. For more information on complex carbs, check out this page on Livestrong, too.
The key is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, and your brain in all three of these critical areas.
To your health!