Did you know that your brain and you are partners? You take care of it, and it will take care of you. But we’ve ignored the needs of our brain because we didn’t know it had needs.
For centuries we’ve been led to believe that our brain is a fixed genetic inheritance and that it would always remain the same, perform the same way. Genetics were king, or queen, as the case may be. All we had to do is to fill up our brain with learning and put out the effort. If we did that we would be home free. NOT TRUE!
From your very first gasp of breath your brain and you are partners. How you take care of it will determine how it takes care of you, and that;s true at all ages. What does that all mean?
We never really gave any thought to what the brain needs to maintain its ability to function effectively. We didn’t know. As a result, people have been going through life with a brain that gets less and less healthy causing a slow, but continuous decrease in its ability to function. The result has been memory loss, cognitive impairment, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimers Disease.
Because it’s a slow process we’ve blamed the decline on age. It’s not age. It’s the health of the brain that affects its ability to function. Regardless of your age, regardless of how educated you are, If your brain isn’t as healthy as it once was it won’t function as effectively as it once did.
What does the brain need to keep it healthy and functioning effectively?
First, you have to keep learning. You don’t want your brain to get rusty. A working, learning brain is drawing blood, keeping tissue healthy and cells functioning. Brain games are great for flexibility in the short term, but what we really need is being exposed to, and learning, new things, formal or informal. That requires the generation of experience-dependent brain cells. The generation of experience-dependent cells requires you to be physically active.
We need to feed the cells and surrounding tissue so they stay healthy and function effectively. It’s the circulating blood in your brain that carries and delivers the oxygen, water, nutrients, food, protein and fatty acids to your brain tissues and cells.
Blood is just a carrier like UPS or FED X. What you eat and drink is metabolized, loaded into your blood and carried to your brain. The contents of your blood not only feeds the tissues and cells of your brain it keeps the vessels that carry that blood flexible and free of blockage. But it can work the other way as well. It’ what the blood is carrying to the brain that’s important
Eating and drinking the wrong things will not only deprive your brain of what it needs to function effectively it damages brain tissue, interferes with cell function, stiffens and blocks blood vessels. The result can be minor or disastrous. In either case it’s certainly not healthy and interferes with the functioning of your brain.
There is good news! Your brain wants to be healthy and function effectively. Your brain is incredibly resilient. You can regain and maintain a healthy, effectively functioning brain. First, you have to Stop the damage doing! Sugar and saturated fat are the two biggest damage doers. Next, continue to be exposed to and learn new things, either formally or informally. Make sure you stay properly hydrated. Eat the right foods, stay physically active and remain socially involved. Sleep is important to the functioning of your brain so make sure you’re getting a good nights rest.