Brain health is as important as the health of any other part of the body, as we find out:

How do we care for the brain — the one organ that works 24/7 and yet gets the least attention from us?
Pranayama can help maintain good brain health
Pranayama can help maintain good brain health

As we age, several changes in the body are bound to happen which includes physical, physiological, mental, emotional and cellular etc. Some changes are for good and some changes make us feel weak or create issues within our bodies. Today, let’s discuss about our brain or how a mental health decline can be one of the consequences of ageing. There are trillions of cells in our body and brain which work day in and out on our body and these cells requires optimum nutrition for their functioning. But due to bad lifestyle and eating habits, we tend to affect the functioning of these cells. We can’t really see the brain and that’s why we take it for granted, but our brain is working throughout the day and night doing multiple functions and taking care of our body too. Let’s see what we can follow to keep our brain healthy and enhance its function:

● Deep breathing or pranayama is a must when it comes to improving brain function. Our brain has a lot of information plus it functions non-stop, but due to chronic stress our brain health starts getting affected, so when we do deep breathing we bring in more oxygen into the body and this oxygen helps in suppressing the cortisol levels or the stress hormones. Therefore it helps in relaxing the brain to make it stronger and calmer while also detoxifying it, thus enhancing its function, overall.

● Sleep is when our body undergoes proper healing, recovery, repair and detoxification etc. During sleep, our brain shrinks to 60 per cent of its original size leaving spaces between cells for cerebrospinal fluid to flush the toxins out of the system (blood brain barrier). So, if we are sleep deprived, the brain becomes loaded with toxins. That’s why getting into a deep sleep cycle is very important to help detox the brain!

Good sleep contributes to great brain health
Good sleep contributes to great brain health

● Omega 3 fats are essential fatty acids which are important for reducing inflammation from brain cells and they also help in building a healthy brain and nerve cells for proper functioning. DHA from Omega 3 fats help in improving nerve cell communication which enhances the entire body’s function. Try to incorporate walnuts and flaxseeds in your routine and also include good quality cold pressed oils to get healthy fats which act as food for the brain.

● Activity and movement is very important because when we are active our body releases feel good hormones, endorphins, which makes us feel relaxed and also controls stress. Target 10,000 steps throughout the day a 30-45 minute workout at least three to four days a week to do this.

● Reduce your time on gadgets like phone, TV or laptop because it keeps our brain stimulated. When our pictures are liked by people online or we get more followers we feel rewarded and that is when our body releases the feel good hormone dopamine; this is good for the body. However, when it is secreted during mindless scrolling it can lead to side effects like a decrease in dopamine secretion when actually needed. Avoid this dependency on social media for spurts of dopamine.

Follow these few tips and help keep your brain healthy. You’re the only one who stands to benefit.

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