Eat foods with healthy fats. The brain is 60% fat and its 100 billion nerve cells have membranes that are lined with essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for brainpower. You can find these important nutrients in fish such as salmon and sardines or in vegetarian foods such as walnuts and ground flax seeds.
Don’t let your cholesterol go too low. Many people worry about their cholesterol getting too high, but if your cholesterol is too low this is also a big problem. Low cholesterol is associated with depression, suicide, and autism.
Don’t poison your brain. Don’t overestimate your body’s ability to manage the toxic load it has to deal with nowadays. You may not be able to do much about exposure to car fumes and other environmental pollutants, but you can certainly take important and meaningful action by limiting things like alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs (including over the counter medications).
Drink coffee? The jury is still out on this one. While one article will point to its negative effects, such as the lower flow of oxygen to the brain that results from excessive caffeine, another will point to its positive association with a reduction in risk for dementia. What is my take? I would say moderation is key. If you love your morning cup of coffee and don’t feel like it is affecting you in a negative way, enjoy it. If you find yourself drinking cup after to cup to boost your energy levels, you may just be masking a nutritional deficiency that you need to do something about.
Learn something new. The brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Your brain needs a constant stream of challenges to maintain its ability to function optimally. Push yourself out of your comfort zone by trying a new activity or learning a new skill. Are you a couch potato? Challenge yourself to a physical activity that you have wanted to do but haven’t fit into your schedule. Curious about something? Get a book, take a course, find a Meet-up group and connect with other people who share your curiosity. Your life will be richer and your brain will be stronger!