If there is one organ in our body that is mysterious and complex, it would definitely be the human brain. It’s also the one we neglect the most. If you want to improve your mental health and sharpen your cognitive functions, this is the article for you.
In this article you will:
- Learn the importance of brain health
- Identify the factors around you that affect your brain
- Discover what you can do to improve your brain health
- Best supplements for your brain
Research proves that we can improve our quality of brain health by making lifestyle changes now.
Brain health is so important to me and the intent of this article is to make you aware of how what we do (or don’t do) affects our mental health.
This is a guide specifically for people who want to optimize their brain health and longevity.
Disclosures: This post contains affiliate links. LEARN MORE HERE (but basically it just means that if you purchase the item through the link on this page, we get a small commission and are super appreciative!)
I want to tell you about someone I knew who all of a sudden had the worst onset of a brain condition in his 30’s. It was devastating to watch this father of two go from being a normal man who loved basketball and worked everyday to someone who couldn’t even get out of bed eventually.
The process took about 10 years but each day his health slowly declined. It broke my heart.
Within that time period, I read articles on the human brain and how I possibly could have this amazing medical diagnosis that would heal him. I even read big collage edition books and I was obsessed with finding a cure. But that never happened.
He eventually passed away after receiving at least 20 brain surgeries and being bed ridden for years unable to walk or barely talk.
He was diagnosis with Idiopathic Adult Onset Hydrocephalus and nothing could be done because the doctors didn’t know why, how or what.
I can’t help but look back and wonder what he could have done differently, if anything. These things happen from time to time and I’m in no way stating that this is inevitable for all of us if we don’t take care of our brain.
However, I am saying maybe we should do what ever we can to make sure we have the healthiest brain possible.
Importance of brain health
Brain health is critical for us to think, act and live an optimized life. We need to do everything we can to reduce the risk factors associate with the loss of our cognitive functions so we can live our best life as we age.
When you hear the phrase “Brain Health” it’s referring to how we learn, remember things, concentrate, and how we maintain a clear and positive mind. These are a few of the basic cognitive functions of our brain.
Optimizing your brain health simply means making the most out of our brain and doing what we can to reduce stress on it as we age.
Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and memory loss are some of the concerns most of us have as we get older.
Over the past few years, optimal health has become so important to me because I want to see my children grow up and live amazing lives. I don’t just want to see it, I want to be there and be involved physically and mentally.
I don’t want them to have to be worried or burdened by my health. That means I need to do everything I can … NOW!
There are genetic factors that can impact our brain and are not within our control. However, there are many lifestyle choices we make daily the heavily impacts our brain health and we can absolutely make changes to increase our quality of life.
Lifestyle factors that negatively effect our Brain
As we age, we are exposed more and more to environmental and lifestyle factors that affect our brain and even damages our brain cells. But that’s the good news! That means we have control over our brain health.
Take a look at this list…
- Head trauma
- Certain medications
- Environmental toxins
Are any of these risk included in your current lifestyle? If so, make a change now!
You do not have to wait until you get older. Do you know how it is harder and more work to lose weight and stay fit the older you get?
The same goes for your brain.
Ways to keep the brain healthy
Your brain needs constant exercise, stimulation and nourishment in order to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Here are a few practice ways to do so:
- Exercising on a regular basis improves blood flow to the brain and stimulates chemical changes that also enhances learning, mood and thinking.
- Food is a super important factor when it comes to brain heath. We should consume foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can prevent damage to brain cells. Some of these foods are dark chocolate, berries, pecans, kale, beans, spinach and grapes (this includes red wine!). Bottom line, if you eat lots of fruits and veggie, you are more than likely getting enough antioxidants.
- Mental Stimulation such as any “brainy activity” are found to stimulate new connections between nerve cells in your brain and could even generate new ones. So get out your crossword puzzle and sudoku for 30 minutes a day. This stimulation occurs when we are crafting, painting, drawing or reading.
- Avoid Tobacco... all of it.
- Alcohol abuse has a negative impact on your brain. Try reducing your consumption to no more than two drinks. Alcohol abuse can lead to memory loss and even the ability for your brain to make new ones.
- Mental Health is a complex topic because it is often confused with mental illness or disorder. What I am referring to here is anxiety, stress and depression. People who have these symptoms tend to have poor cognitive functions as well. Finding help or ways to deal with stress and anxiety can improve your mental health state. You can boost your mental health by getting a good nights rest, focusing on your strengths, surrounding yourself with positive people, engaging in activities you enjoy or even writing down what is bothering you in your journal.
- Socializing and maintaining an active social life is so important. It lowers risk of dementia and increases longevity.
- Take a nap for 20 minutes a day. This will enhance your memory, spark your inner creativity and will also help you regulate your emotions.
Brain health supplements and nutrition
In my previous articles, I alway stress the importance of food and supplements. Your brain is no exception.
We get most of the nutrients our body (and brain) needs from what we eat. If you do not feel as if you are consuming enough vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, you are considered deficient. You will need to supplement your deficiencies in order to optimize your health.
Here are a few supplements I have found to be Amazing for your brain and your overall health. I have also added links so you can conveniently order these products. I am not sponsored by any of these companies. These are just a few I have researched and personally have found beneficial.
MCT oil is one of the fastest sources of energy for your brain. It gets to your brain within minutes of consumption so you almost instantly feel the effects. It helps with focus, concentration, memory and brain energy.
MCT oil is odorless and tasteless so you can add it to anything. Most people add it to their coffee, smoothie, or salad.
C60 Purple Power
This is another product that is great for overall health.
Mental clarity and focus increased with C60 Purple Power. People have reported feeling more connected, focused and on task after taking it. Their attitude and motivation are also elevated.
C60 is known for its ability to enhance give you energy that leads to increased endurance and performance.
I haven’t even mentioned the benefits it has on your skin. You can rub it on your wrinkles and skin for a more youthful appearance. It even helps heal sores and cuts fast.
This is one product everyone should take for optimal health.
Omega-3 is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for brain health. It is essential for optimal brain health. It’s the fatty acid (EPA and DHA) your brain (and heart) need and both are in fish oils.
EPA and DHA play important ones in the developing baby’s brain. Studies have linked pregnant women’s fish intake or fish oil use with their children’s intelligence and brain function in early childhood years.
These fatty acids are also needed in adults to maintain normal brain functions. Lower levels of DHA in older adults have been associated with smaller brain size which is a sign of a rapidly aging brain.
It also improves memory and helps with depression.
I mentioned previously in this article about the importance of antioxidants that you get by eating your fruits and veggies. If you do not get enough of these foods, you should take a vitamin supplement.
This is a great way to make sure you are getting the adequate amount of antioxidants your body needs to get rid of free radicles and prevent cell damage.
The supplements above combined with making small lifestyle changes are sure to improve your brain health. You can’t go wrong with one or all of these products.
Now it’s your turn
I hope you enjoyed this post intended for optimal health.
Now, I would love to hear from you:
Which supplement from this post are you excited to try?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.
In general, vitamins are safe for people to use, though you should always check with your doctor before beginning a new supplement. CLICK HERE to read disclosure.
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If you enjoyed this article you should definitely check out some of my recent post!
I’m not using any supplements at the moment but I’d love to try some of your recommendations. I totally agree that we should take care of our mental health too.
Hi Karla! I’m so glad you got something out of this article! Its never too late to start!
As we get older we become more aware of our “brain health” and our mental wellbeing. Thank you for a very insightful and helpful article.
Hi Steve! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!
This post actually made me feel pretty good about my brain health. I’m doing most of these things already. Of course there is always room for improvement.
That awesome Cyndi! Thank you for reading!!
Great tips! I feel like we don’t pay attention to our mental/ brain health enough. Btw- my favorite tip is the nap! Who doesn’t love naps, but it also really makes a huge difference. Really clears things up.
Hi Colleen! Naps are the best!!! Thank your for taking the time to read this and commenting
That’s a very sad and intense story about your friend. Scares you just right to take all your helpful tips seriously. Your post will stay with me and hopefully keep inspiring me to take care of my brain health! Thank you!
Thank you so much Luci! I’m so glad you got one thing out of this article. Thank you for your commment.
Thank you so much for this very informative article for optimizing your brain health! I just recently added MCT oil to my diet and I love it. I am so sorry to read about your friend… I’m currently watching the decline of my father-in-law due to Alzheimer’s and it is so heartbreaking to watch…
Hi Michele! You are so right about the MCT oil. Its amazing. I am so sorry to hear about your FIL. I hope all is peaceful for him and your family throughout this time. Thank you for reading and commenting
I remember playing brain training a lot when I was younger to keep up my mental stimulation. It’s such a MAJOR organ in our body and probably one of the only ones we can’t replace so we should definitely be trying to take care of it!
Hi Jen! Your comment is spot on! I totally agree with you. Thank you for reading!!
I try to take a nap each day but it is hard when work is so active as a teacher.
I know. I have a hard time with that one as well. Thank you for teaching our children!
Sorry to hear about your friend! We do take life and our health for granted. Your post has definitely given me a wake-up call, I am going to pay more attention to my mental health. I agree about the exercise and eating the right food.
Hi Lorraine! Thank you for reading!! I’m so glad you got something out of this article. If you look at the list, its all so easy to do. Just take small steps toward success and you will be just fine,.
It’s amazing how people overlook their mental health. Good tips for managing it.
Hi Trish!! I totally agree with you. Thank you so much for reading!!
Sad to know about your friend. It is an awakening post about mental health. You have suggested great tips for keeping mental health good. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Hi Ruby! I am so happy to know that you got something out of this article. Thank you so much for reading
This was such an amazing article to read. Very insightful as well. I regularly take my Omega 3 and I’ve read about MCT Oil, I just might go out and buy it today. Thank you!
Hi Annabel! I am so happy to hear this. You will definitely benefit from taking these supplements for sure! Good luck!