Tips for a healthy brain- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

As we age, several changes in the body are bound to happen which include physical, physiological, mental, emotional, cellular changes etc. Some changes are for good and some changes make us feel weak. Today, let us talk 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 day out on our body and these cells require optimum nutrition for their functioning.

A deep sleep cycle 

But due to bad lifestyles, 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, performing multiple functions and taking care of our body too. Let us 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. 
  •  Sleep is when our body undergoes proper healing, recovery, repair, and detoxification. During sleep, our brain shrinks to about 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 is why getting into a deep sleep cycle is very important to help detox the brain!
  •  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 helps 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 are very important because when we are active our body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, which make us feel relaxed and also control stress. Target 10,000 steps throughout the day a 30 to 45 minutes workout at least three to four days in a week to do this. 
  •  Reduce the time you spent on gadgets such as mobile phones, 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 another 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.

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

Deepika Rathod
Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic 
Healing Systems. The writer is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.