This is your brain Use it or lose it.
Abstract: Our brain is a magical machine. More we use more active and fertile it is.Always keep it engaged and have mental and physical exercise  apart from having good food

Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise. The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it. Only recently have scientists been able to learn how the neural network of the brain forms. Beginning in the womb and throughout life this vast network continues to expand, adapt, and learn. Take a look inside the brain at a cellular level to find out how our three pound masterpiece look like and even how we learn. Elastic comes from the Greek word for drive or propulsion.It is the tendency of a material to return to its original shape after being stretched. Elasticity is a basic animal drive that powers your muscles, giving  flexibility,mobility and grace.Plastic again is derived from Greek word that means molded or formed. Brain keeps on changing shape all the time according to experience. Plasticity gives your brain  fluidity, versatility and adaptability. Brain cells communicate at the rate of 15 million per hour. Our brain at the time of birth has around 100 billion neurons in about 700-800 grams. With age brain decreases in volume,you cannot avoid it. But some lifestyle changes can slow process, according to a new study by researchers at University of California, Davis. The four factors that were associated with faster declines in brain volume were:1) High blood pressure2)Diabetes3)Cigarette smoking4)Being overweight or obese. These researchers subjected 1352 adults with average age of 54  who had no sign of dementia at the start of the study. This study continued for 7 years and they found that and with the help of MRI scans and cognitive  tests they found that all these 4 risk factors  were responsible for decline in the brain size.People with high blood pressure in midlife more quickly developed a condition called white matter change, in which areas of blood vessels in the brain are damaged, compared with those who had normal blood pressure.People with diabetes had faster shrinkage in a brain region called the hippocampus, which is involved with memory. Smokers had more rapid overall brain shrinkage than nonsmokers, and also showed faster white matter changes.These participants showed a decline in their  ability to make decisions, plan, organize, and pay attention to and remember details. Overweight people in  middle age exhibited  the fastest rates of decrease in brain volume and the most rapid declines in executive function. As we know aging is unavoidable but healthy mind and body is possible with quitting smoking, avoiding diabetes, controlling blood pressure and losing weight.

Brain and walnut look similar

                       
Although many people have tried to correlate the shape of brain and walnut and explain the reasons but   most of them have said that walnuts are number1 brain food. It is made up of 60 percent fat made up of omega-3 fatty acids and walnuts are loaded with omega -3s. Walnuts are very useful to keep your brain calm and restful giving you good sleep.Actually walnuts are found to triple the melatonin levels in our body. Melatonin is the chemical that is responsible for sleep.
To keep our brain in good shape we need to have regular physical as well as mental exercises.
Physical exercise:Walking is good for our overall health but it is better for brain. When we walk, blood flow in our legs increases providing more oxygen to our brain. Stroke risk was decreased by 57 per cent in senior citizens who were regular in walking.Their memory  and concentration was much better than people of 40-50 age group people. Just moving your toes or other fingers of your feet when you get up in the morning gives a renewed energy.Running grows more brain cells. More you run more you get brain cells. Based on exercise and health data from nearly 5,000 men and women over 65 years of age, those who exercised were less likely to lose their mental abilities or develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Inactive individuals were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s, compared to those with the highest levels of activity

use your brain to fight dementia

(exercised vigorously at least three times a week). But even light or moderate exercisers cut their risk significantly for Alzheimer’s and mental decline. Active life full of exercise is like antidepressants and active brain.
Mental exercises:Operating your computer  mouse with the  hand that you are not used to or doing anything which you don’t like will put your brain to work harder. This is an excellent brain exercise. Your brain experienced the same difficulty when you were trying to  learn mathematical tables, a new language or new experiment. Travel is another good way to stimulate your brain. It worked for our ancestors, the early Homo sapiens. Their nomadic lifestyle provided a tremendous stimulation for their brains that led to the development of superior tools and survival skills. In comparison, the now-extinct Neanderthal was a species that for thousands of years apparently did not venture too far from their homes. (Maybe they were simply content with their lives – in contrast to the seldom-satisfied sapien.) Early humans gained a crucial evolutionary edge from the flexibility and innovation required by their strategic lifestyle, which also led to a more diverse diet that allowed their brains to rapidly evolve. Try to include one or more of your senses in an everyday task.Get dressed with your eyes closed.Wash your hair with your eyes closed.Share a meal and use only visual cues to communicate. No talking.Combine two senses:Listen to music and smell flowers.Listen to the rain and tap your fingers.Watch clouds and play with modeling clay at the same time. Break routines:Go to work on a new route.Eat with your opposite hand.Shop at new grocery store.Watch less television, because “your brain goes into neutral. Better play cards,scrabble or start a new hobby.

Brain goes into neutral with constant TV watching

According to a new finding  people who engage in mentally stimulating activities throughout life — especially in early and mid-life — have less buildup of beta-amyloid protein in their brains in older age. Beta-amyloid is the main component of the sticky brain-clogging plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.The findings add to the growing evidence that a variety of lifestyle factors may help people lower their risk of developing memory problems with age. Previous research has identified a host of brain-boosting factors, among them: eating a healthy diet,exercisingsocializinglosing weightquitting smokinglearning a second language and staying generally physically healthy are important.The authors of the current study, published in the Archives of Neurology, say that cognitive stimulation is but one of many interrelated lifestyle habits — including occupational, social, community and recreational activities — that may ultimately affect brain health long term. For the study, researchers surveyed 65 older adults, average age 76, about their lifetime participation in brain-challenging activities and other lifestyle factors. The researchers used PET scans to measure the amount of beta-amyloid accumulated in the volunteers’ brains and gave them tests of memory and thinking. For comparison, researchers also included 10 patients with Alzheimer’s and 11 healthy young controls, average age 25. Overall, participants who reported being more mentally active throughout life had less beta-amyloid, a finding that was independent of age, sex or education. Brain beta-amyloid levels in people who reported engaging in the most cognitive activity — at least a few times a week — were similar to those of the 25-year-old controls. People who did the least brain exercise — less than a few times a month — had beta-amyloid levels similar to patients with Alzheimer’s. On tests of memory and thinking, however, all participants scored normally.The researchers found that participants’ current cognitive activity had little impact on beta-amyloid levels. Rather it was the frequency of mental pursuits in earlier life — from age 6 to 40 — that mattered.
The mind-sharpening activities measured in the study were cheap and easy for anyone to do, the researchers said, including:Reading books or newspapers,writing letter or emails,going to the library and playing games
It’s not clear exactly how mental activity may protect against the accumulation of Alzheimer’s proteins. The authors theorize that exercising the brain makes it more efficient, and that a fitter brain may produce less amyloid(1).
Smart foods or super foods  are very useful for you brain
Blueberries are  also called brainberries:
This modern name blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects ofage-relatedconditionssuchas Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills. Adding just  1 cup of blueberries a day in any form — fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried significantly reduces  the risks of this dreadful disease.

Wild salmon. Deep-water fish, such as salmon,sardines and herring are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and  possess anti-inflammatory properties.I recommend them for cleanliness  and the  plentiful supply of  Omega-3s. At least  4-ounce serving, two to three times a week keeps your brain healthy and fit.
Nuts and seeds. Higher levels of vitamin E which is stored in nuts and seeds  are very effective in stopping the  cognitive decline as you get older. Adding  an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini(sesame paste) are very useful for your brain. For those on sodium-restricted diet, should  buy unsalted nuts.
Avocados. Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. Avocado is a fatty fruit containing  monounsaturated fat and  contributes to healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow means a healthy brain. Avocados also lower  hypertensionwhich  is a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities. A lower blood pressure  promotes brain health. Avocados are high in calories so we should  add just 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado to our daily meal as a side dish.

Whole grains. Every organ in the body is dependent on blood flow .Whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain breads, and brown rice can reduce the risk for heart disease. While wheat germ is not technically a whole grain, it also goes on Kulze’s “superfoods” list because in addition to fiber, it has vitamin E and some omega-3s. Kulze suggests 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal, 1 slice of bread two-three times a day, or 2 tablespoons of wheat germ a day.
Walnuts –This  brain food contains highest amount of omega-3s.

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