6 WAYS TO IMPROVE COGNITIVE FUNCTION AND BRAIN HEALTH
The brain is the command center for the nervous system, which connects every part of the body. When the brain isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to brain disorders and diseases, like migraines, memory loss, mental fatigue, dementia and Alzhiemer’s disease, to name a few.
Maintaining a healthy brain is important for health and longevity – the longer and better your brain functions, the healthier you will be.
Here are 6 ways to improve cognitive function and achieve optimal brain health for years to come:
1. Close your eyes to clear your head.
If you are feeling unfocused, closing your eyes for 30 seconds can sharpen focus and improve memory recall. According to British researchers, by taking a brief break from visual distractions, you’ll calm your basal ganglia – the brain region that controls your ability to think clearly.
2. Improve recall by reading before bed.
Whether you’re looking over notes for work or studying for school – by reviewing the material right before you go to sleep, you’ll improve recall by 12%, according to researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital.
This is thanks to the way slow-wave or deep sleep helps the brain consolidate memories.
3. Keep your brain young by playing your favorite board game.
French researchers found that playing your favorite card or board game twice a week will have your brain functioning as if it were 9 years younger. Plus, you’ll score 25% higher on brain function tests and cut your risk of developing dementia by 48%.
Challenging yourself with fun games keeps your brain’s memory center energized and boosts the flow of nutrient-rich blood to brain cells.
4. Take a nap in a hammock to improve your memory.
A study published in the journal Current Biology found that being rocked to sleep helped people perform three times better on a memory test than those who slept in a standard bed. Researchers believe the rocking motion of a hammock helps synchronize activity in the areas of the brain that play roles in sleep and memory.
5. Plant flowers for better brain health.
According to Cornell University researchers, digging in dirt exposes you to two powerful brain-boosters – the healthy probiotic bacteria you inhale when you’re near soil and the vitamin D your skin makes when it’s exposed to UV light.
Gardening twice weekly can double your ability to remember facts, names and directions, and cuts your dementia risk by 55%. Just be sure to wear a broad-spectrum SPF when you go outdoors!
6. Take a daily high quality supplement specifically formulated for brain health.
Today’s diets are lacking in many essential vitamins and nutrients that support optimal brain function, thanks mainly to modern commercial farming practices and soil degradation.
Modern agriculture is focused on producing crops maximized for size, fast growth rate and resistance to pests, rather than nutrition. What nutrients the plants are able to get in their short growing season has been compromised because of soil degradation – the depletion of important nutrients in the soil due to the use of powerful fertilizers and the farming of one specific crop in one area for too long.
A large-scale study published in the British Food Journal found that essential nutrients like calcium, iron, potassium, vitamins A and C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, magnesium, zinc and copper in vegetables have significantly reduced over time.
Adding high quality supplements to your day is one way to get the important nutrients your brain needs to function optimally.
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