Boost your brain power

Posted on: 24 March 2015 by 50connect editorial

Rob Hobson shares some simple tips to help keep your brain in tip top health

Boost your brain power

Did you know that you only use a mere 10% of your brain, which is pretty incredible really.  Plus, as you go through life you can expect to loose about 7% of your total brain power.  But there’s a new theory out that called ‘neuroplasticity’ – which is all about a new theory that simply proves that our brains can change.   We can train areas of our brain and it’s never too late to do so. 

Below are a few simple tips to boost your brain power.

You are what you eat, so eat well

Rob Hobson, Healthspan Head of Nutrition says: ‘Fats actually make up 60% of the brain so we should ensure we get the very best fat in the diet. Fish oils- omega 3 in particular help maintain brain cells so foods such as mackerel and sardines should be eaten and if you don’t eat then I do suggest supplementing your diet.”

Get enough sleep

It’s not just about getting sleep it’s about getting undisturbed sleep. Chronic disturbed sleep can actually affect your memory and sleep is when your body regenerates cells. The most effective sleep is before midnight.

Enjoy a ruby  

One of the main spices in curry powder is turmeric, which could help improve memory, and it contains a compound called curcumin which has a polyphenol antioxidant that can help prevent brain degeneration and inflammation.

Exercise regularly

All the research is there for heart disease, strokes, living longer but exercise also helps to increase brain functions. Every time you exercise you are creating new brain cells so keep moving!

Eat foods rich in B vitamins

Eat foods rich in folic acid and other B vitamins as they help your body to get rid of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that has been linked to an increasing risk of Alzheimer's. Foods that contain these are wholegrain cereals, nuts, milk, eggs, meats, liver, fish, fruits and leafy green vegetables or supplement your diet with a good Vitamin B Complex such as Healthspan’s Vitamin B Complex.

Train the brain

Whether remembering a face or training your brain to remember a telephone number, credit card number it’s about remembering our brain is a muscle and we need to constantly use it. 

Do something new

By trying something different, new this ‘stimulates’ your brain and helps created new neural pathways which increase intelligence. It doesn’t have to be complicated you could try a new recipe or a different type of exercise. 

Ban modern day tools

Ditch the calculator and GPS. Use your brain; recall those times tables and work things out. Ditch the GPS occasionally and pull out that map as believe it or not this exercises the part of your brain responsible for understanding spatial relationships!

Reduce your stress

Stress affects our lives in so many ways but it can kill existing brain neurons and also stops new neurons from being created. Try and replace negative thoughts with positive ones and reduce anxiety as much as possible.

Rob HobsonAbout the author

Rob Hobson is Head of Nutrition at Healthspan. He is a registered nutritionist and qualified trainer for the Royal Society of Public Health. With over 15 years food and nutrition experience he has a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Public Health Nutrition. He has also worked for the NHS promoting healthy eating and has specialised in helping government organisations meet nutritional standards and legislation.

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