Wednesday, May 24, 2017
GROWING A BETTER BRAIN
It is never too late to be a better person with an amazing brain. The first steps to a healthier, stronger mind are eating a balanced diet, regular exercise and getting plenty of sleep. Here are more suggestions. TAKE A NEW ROUTE TO WORK. The brain functions mainly out of habit. When you do something unfamiliar, the brain fires off neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters improve communication between the different areas in the brain. WRITE THINGS DOWN. You will remember the grocery list or a new word easier by using a pencil instead of typing. Writing helps you process the information. In a study students using pen-and-paper wrote down only what was important, while students who used a laptop in class mindlessly transcribed. SNACK ON SEEDS. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds both contain magnesium. Most of us do not meet the 400mg per day that is recommended. Magnesium soothes the nervous system which keeps you calm. It also fuels brain growth. DRINK MORE MILK. Calcium will keep your brain cells healthy. One study found that participants who recently had milk also had higher levels of an antioxidant called glutathiune. Glutathiune prevents cellular damage in the brain. Try to drink three 8oz. servings a day. Low-fat and skim milk are fine. You can also get calcium from cheese, yogurt and dark leafy greens. SWAP IN WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. Whole-grain bread is an excellent source of zinc. Zinc helps the olfactory part of the brain process smells and flavors. These two senses decline as you grow older. PLAY BALL. To give the circuits that connect your eyes, hands and brain a good workout, throw a tennis ball against a wall. Then catch it with one hand. You can also bounce it on a racket. For a greater challenge, use a smaller ball (Ping-Pong). Any throwing and catching will do. READ A NOVEL. Research has shown that fiction gives you emotional intelligence. It helps you empathize with others, the way you would with characters.