There are a lot of myths about brain health, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your most important organ. The brain is the body’s control center, and it’s responsible for everything from basic bodily functions to complex emotions and thoughts.
But how do you make sure your brain is in good shape? You can start by making some simple lifestyle changes that will boost your mental fitness. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B12, D and E can help keep your mind sharp.
- Get enough sleep every night. Your body needs sleep so that it can repair itself. The same is true for your brain — if you don’t get enough sleep, it won’t function at its best level the next day.
Sleep is incredibly important to the brain. It helps your memory function at its best, refines your ability to learn, strengthens your immune system and even makes you more resistant to disease. If there’s one thing you can do every day to improve your mental fitness, it’s getting enough sleep each night.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can damage nerve cells in the brain and make thinking difficult or impossible at times. Alcohol is especially dangerous because it affects nearly every part of the body — including the brain — when consumed in large amounts over time.
- Exercise regularly. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have higher IQ scores than those who don’t exercise at all or those who only work out sporadically. Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including to the brain, which allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach it. When your body is properly nourished through regular exercise, it becomes much easier for neurons in the brain to maintain their connections with one another and send signals throughout the body faster than before.