Are you tired? Can’t you concentrate? You forget things? Or getting too stressed at work? The problem is that you are forgetting to take care of an essential part of your body: your brain.
Our brain is the most important part of our body which controls everything we do from breathing to walking, eating to sleeping etc. It’s the central processor unit of our body, it is the part that interprets what we see and hear, smell and taste.
Everything we do influence our brain in a certain way, some activities prevent normal brain functioning and some even damage its structure in long term. And we are repeating these actions daily for years and years. Can you guess what happens? Your own habits are killing your brain! But don’t worry, changing your lifestyle can change both brain and body health.
Here are some terrible daily habits that damage the brain.
- Skipping breakfast– Breakfast is the most important meal in the whole day, after a night of sleep, we need some food. Otherwise, the brain gets no nutrients and is easily damaged. If you don’t supply it with energy, it will need to use reserves and it will have to make an extra effort to maintain correct functioning. A lack of breakfast could cause a general lack of energy, loss of concentration and memory, bad moods, poor physical and intellectual performance.
- Sleep as much as necessary- For many people, a good night’s sleep is a luxury they can’t afford or just can’t seem to get. Responsibilities often keep them up late Or they have to get up early the next day. When they do lie down, many people can’t fall asleep or have trouble staying asleep all night. The result: a morning marked by fatigue, irritability, and poor concentration. Not sleeping for long period of time reduces healthy brain cells.
- Too much sugar/ too much salt- A diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, our brains can’t form new memories and we can’t learn (or remember) much of anything. Levels of BDNF are particularly low in people with an impaired glucose metabolism—diabetics and pre-diabetics and as the amount of BDNF decreases, sugar metabolism worsens.
If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. To maintain our physical and cognitive health as we age, we may need to cut down on the salt and become more active.
- Overeating- Overeating may not just increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer – it may also be damaging your brain.
- Smoking- The worst of all habits here. It has many side effects but for the brain, it causes shrinkage and dementia related issues like Alzheimer’s.
- Covered head during sleep– It sounds weird but we need as much oxygen as we can get during the night, this habit limits you to breathe in whole oxygen. Also, you get more carbon dioxide this way.
- The polluted air– The brain needs a lot of oxygen and this polluted air deprives us of it. You can’t wear a mask all the time, of course, it is not much you can do with this.
- Working when ill– Many adults and students tend to forgo their health for their careers and studies. When you are sick, your body and mind both need rest, so taxing them by working when you’re sick will reduce the efficiency of your brain and can even lead to long-term brain damage.
- Rarely talking/no social life– Introverts and people who tend to speak less face a higher risk of reducing the efficiency of their brains. Intellectual conversations are an exercise for the brain, like the gym is for the muscles. One large study from Michigan University found that people of all ages who talked and socialized with friends, family, and neighbors performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t talk or share their feelings with others. Get in the habit of calling or visiting family and friends often; it’s good for their brains, too. If your social circle has narrowed in recent years, look for ways to expand it. Try taking an adult-education class in a subject that interests you, join a club or audition for a community theater.
- Eat appropriately- incorporating delicious fruits and vegetables that will stimulate brain activity. Ingesting fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids is also recommendable, as these fats promote communications between neurons. Drink 3 or 4 cups of tea or small cups of green tea in a day to improve your short term and long term memory and to reduce your risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
- Exercise regularly. Everyone has heard the arguments for living an active lifestyle. Studies have consistently shown that regular exercise is necessary to stay physically fit, keep the heart and lungs functioning, and maintain a healthy weight. Exercise can help older adults maintain their mobility, prevent falls, and can even protect against cancer. “It promotes the release of endorphins and maintains neural connections and synapses intact, keeping the brain younger.
- Alcohol– Alcohol-related brain damage is the damage that occurs to brain structures or function of the Central Nervous System as a result of the direct neurotoxic effects of alcohol intoxication or acute withdrawal. The damage that occurs from heavy drinking/high blood alcohol levels causes impairments in judgment and decision making and social skills. These brain changes are linked to poor behavioral control and impulsivity, which tend to worsen the existing addiction problem.
P.S.: If you liked this post, you might also like BAD HABITS THAT CAN RUIN YOUR HEALTH (WORTH QUITTING) and Are you craving for pizza, burger or fries? HERE ARE FEW HEALTH FACTS THAT YOU MUST KNOW
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