Human brain is truly the most amazing part of your body. It comes up with creative ways to express your thoughts and emotions, coordinates movements from chopping onions to running an obstacle course, stores your most precious childhood memories, and solves the Sunday crossword. But it’s easy to take those powers for granted. To determine the impact of these vascular risk factors on brains, the researchers compared brain scans from people of similar head size, age, and sex.
Brain health is key to mission readiness, and there are several steps that the military community – service members and veterans, health care providers, researchers, educators, and families – can take to maintain a healthy brain. Here are a few important tips to threat your brain –
Good sleep- is one of the most important things you can do for brain health. Sleep also plays a pivotal role in recovery from TBI. You can improve your sleep regimen with these healthy sleep tips:
Aim for a minimum of seven hours of sleep on a regular basis
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and energy drinks within six hours of your usual bedtime
Exercise regularly, preferably finishing two hours before bedtime
Avoid alcohol within two hours of your bedtime
Promote a sleep friendly environment; minimize noise and light and maintain a cool but comfortable room temperature
Avoid use of smartphones or reading devices that give off light for two or more hours before bedtime.
Healthy diet- Brain boosting foods like blueberries, nuts, and fatty fish, cut back on frozen meals, take out, deli meat, and cheese, which are some of the highest sources of sodium in the American diet that can drive up blood pressure. Aim to make half your plate non-starchy vegetables and a quarter of your plate whole grains. The increase in fiber and decrease in ‘empty’ carbohydrates will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood sugar stable.
Helps the brain grow new brain cells. Exercise appears to slow age-related shrinkage and maintain the cognitive abilities that diminish with age. Studies suggest that this is because regular exercise helps spur the growth of new neurons. Helps prevent stroke and some forms of dementia. Exercise helps lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the arteries that supply blood to the brain, which in turn can cause stroke, trouble with understanding and memory, and dementia as you get older. Keeping your brain active appears to protect the connections among cells, and may even help you grow new cells.
Body movement- 30 minutes a day walk, taking a dance class, or going for a swim helps keep you slim and fit, and it could improve your cognitive health, too. A large Canadian study that found the more physically active adults were, the higher they scored on tests of memory and problem-solving. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain. And studies have shown it can increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory, which naturally shrinks as you age.