10 Ways to Improve Brain Health and Function
The human body is a fascinating machine – with its efficiency surpassed only by its complexity. However, the most incredible piece of equipment is the part that rules it all – the human brain. With over 100 billion neurons that connect and join together to create over 1,000 trillion synapses, the human brain contains more neural connections than there are stars in the galaxy.
Unfortunately, your brain doesn’t come with an owner’s manual. While everyone is different, scientists estimate that most people are only using about 10 percent of their brain’s total capacity. With such a powerful tool constantly at our disposal – it’s easy to forget just how delicate our brains can be.
So let’s look at some ways that you can take care of your brain and get the most out of this elite piece of machinery.
TOP FOODS FOR BOOSTING BRAIN HEALTH
While the health concerns of a poor diet are far ranging – multiple studies have found that poor nutritional habits lead to a decline in cognitive behavior and an increased risk for dementia.
By working the following foods into your diet, you’ll increase your chances of maintaining healthy brain function well into old age.
In India, where turmeric is a frequent ingredient, population studies have revealed a lower proclivity to Alzheimer’s. While turmeric probably isn’t the only reason, it has been shown to activate genes that help to reduce inflammation that weakens and destroys brain cells. Try adding a teaspoon daily.
More than just a morning survival necessity, coffee can improve your brain’s ability to learn by nearly 10 percent and can even relieve headaches and migraines by constricting blood vessels in the brain that are opening too wide. On top of this, caffeine suppresses a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which influences attention, alertness, and sleep. By blocking adenosine, other brain chemicals like glutamate and dopamine are stimulated and flow more freely – giving you a surge of energy, improved mental performance and overall slowing the effects of aging on your brain.
Your brain is 60 percent fat – most of which is the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Eating wild salmon, also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, has been proven to boost learning capabilities and academic performance in children as well as ward of depression and hostility in young adults and cognitive dementia in the elderly.
Not all nuts are created equally – but most are pretty darn amazing for your brain. Walnuts are rated the top for your brain health as they have a significantly high concentration of DHA. Almonds and hazelnuts are also a great source for Vitamin E, which has been linked to less age-related cognitive decline. While fewer studies have been done surrounding peanuts, they are extremely high in niacin – which multiple reports have linked deficiencies with a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
OTHER WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN HEALTH
Get Some Proper Sleep
Your brain needs plenty of rest in order to get rid of, and replace, damaged cells. By getting eight hours of good quality sleep per night, you are ensuring that your“cell-factory” is creating the best quality replacement parts as possible.
Regular exercise isn’t just great for the body – it’s great for your mind, as well! Studies show that leading an active lifestyle not only helps to ward of age-related cognitive decline, but it can actually reverse the brain’s physical decay over time.
Embrace Alone Time
Your brain is more than just a hard-wired machine – it also has emotions. Studies have found that psychological traits like self-confidence, intelligence, and outgoingness can be difficult for your brain to separate and can alter your ability to process information. When it comes to problem solving, a study by Virginia Tech found that certain group settings can alter the expression of your IQ and fool your brain into thinking it’s dumber than it actually is.
Cut Back on TV
Your mother always said TV would rot your brain – as usual, she was right. It turns out that watching too much TV can overload your brain with rapid-fire stimuli. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that people who watch TV or internet-based broadcasts for four or more hours a day have a lower mental acuity score. On top of this, a study by Iowa State University found that students who watch more than two hours of TV a day are twice as likely to be diagnosed with some form of attention disorder.
Your brain is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. All while firing messages at 268 mph to manage your body, your mind, your thoughts, your behaviors and, therefore, your whole life. Take care of your brain and it will take better care of you.
10 Highest Radiation Cell Phones & How to Protect Yourself
Cell phones have become ubiquitous pieces of technology in our lives. About 96% of Americans now own at least one cellular device, if not multiple. And while we’re constantly reassured that these devices are physically safe and pose no risk of harm, cell phones and smartphones do give off a certain amount of radiation. In fact, when looking at the fine print of any cell phone user manual, you should find a warning telling you to keep your phone at least two inches away from your body at all times to avoid radiation exposure.
These potentially harmful radiation levels are measured in units called SARs, or the Specific Absorption Rate of the radiofrequency energy emitted by a device.
Is Cell Phone Radiation Dangerous?
Could your cell phone use be giving your body unhealthy amounts of radiation? Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2011, mobile phones were classified as Group 2B – possibly carcinogenic (not Group 2A – probably carcinogenic). That means there “could be some risk” of carcinogenicity, so additional research into the long-term, heavy use of smartphones needs to be conducted. However, with 5 billion cell phone users worldwide (260 million alone in the U.S.) answers should probably come sooner than later.
Although no conclusive evidence has been produced, some experts, like Dr. George Carlo, former chief scientist of the cell phone industry’s $28 million safety research project, believes we could be on the verge of a major health crisis. Specifically, he believes the world could be on the precipice of 500,000 brain and other cancer cases annually, because of the proliferation – and rising power – of cell phones and smartphones.
Some health ailments that experts have already theoretically attributed to high cell phone use include increased headaches, high blood pressure, earlier onset of Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Additionally, concern for men’s health regarding cell phones has made international headlines. A meta-analysis of ten past studies, led by researchers at the University of Exeter, U.K., found a small but consistent drop in sperm quality if the men had been exposed to mobile phone radiation. While researchers found no link between mobile phone radiation and an actual drop in fertility rates, the finding could contribute to understanding the global — and still unexplained — drop in sperm count.