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Brain Fitness: Healthy Brain! Healthy You!

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Featured Image -- 522As the body needs regular exercise to stay fit and healthy, so also, the human brain needs to be exercised regularly for optimal brain health and cognitive functioning. The brain is the organ of the body that controls our thought processes, thinking, feeling, reasoning, planning, problem solving, creativity, memory, learning and many more. Everything that we are or do emanates from the brain.

How effective you are able to process information, recall facts and events, make strategic decisions at work, study in school, etc, are determined by your brain’s health.

Five proven ways to increase alertness, double information processing speed, focus and boost brain power: 

1. Balanced Brain Healthy Diet. Eating well not only enhances physical health, it can also improve your mental health and reduce the risk of developing age-related cognitive decline as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Include in your diets foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish and egg yolks), protein (beans), antioxidants(tomatoes, carrots, spinach, red grapes, green tea etc), fruits and vegetables, and vitamin B, Vitamin C; and with the recommended levels of carbohydrates optimize brain health.

basket of fruits

2.  Regular Exercise. Exercise and physical activity increase blood and oxygen circulation, improves coordination and helps prevent conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which increase the risk of developing dementia. According to a study carried out at the University of Georgia, exercising briefly for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions.


3.Continuous learning. “Use it or lose it” is a cliché that explains how the brain works. If some aspects of the brain are not in use, then the cells in the brain slowly degenerate.  The more the brain’s function is used the healthier it becomes. Learning new skills or languages, working on crossword puzzles, taking classes and learning how to dance all challenge and maintain cognitive function.

4. Stay Social. Socializing with friends, volunteering, traveling and doing favorite leisure activities with others keeps the mind active and reduces stress, which can harm brain health. As humans, we have an innate desire to interact with other people. Research has shown that older adults who engaged in steady social activity had the slowest rate of memory decline when compared to those who were less socially active. Thus leading to a conclusion that being socially engaged makes you mentally engaged, which enhances brain health.sleep-150x150

5. Adequate Sleep. Lack of sleep undermines optimal brain health. Poor sleep has been linked to developing Alzheimer’s disease while sound sleep has been discovered to have a restorative effect on the brain. During sleep, the brain flushes out toxins that have been compiled during waking hours. Lack of sleep impairs reasoning, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

Now that you have these 5 keys, you can begin to optimize your brain’s health for peak performance

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Author: mhcbiofeedback

Dr. Morayo Jimoh, a Chartered Educational Psychologist, is also a neurofeedback therapist in private practice. She obtained a Doctoral degree in the field of Psychology of Education from University of South Africa (UNISA). She is a member of the following associations: 1. Association for Applied psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB); 2. International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR); and 3. American Psychological Association (APA). 4. British Psychological Society 5. Psychological Society of South Africa Her field of interest is neuropsychological learning disabilities in children. Dr. Morayo Jimoh is a lecturer in Child Development in the Department of Early Childhood Education and Development under Distance learning at University of South Africa.

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