Here are 5 easy ways to optimize your brain's health today:
1. Learn a new skill.
Take up a new instrument, language, or craft. Engaging in a novel learning experience allows the brain to establish new neural pathways, and these pathways are refined through practice. Once a skill becomes so rote that you can do it on autopilot, practicing it will no longer change the brain and it’s time to learn something new!
2. Get physical.
Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and interval training on a regular basis increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which essentially acts as fertilizer on the brain’s neurons and increases neural connections.
3. Spice it up with turmeric.
Epidemiological studies of Indian villages in which turmeric is used in abundance have found that Alzheimer’s disease is 75% less common than in the United States. So, add turmeric to your soups, smoothies, and sautés to keep your brain healthy.
4. Eat until you're 80% full.
Practicing caloric restriction has been shown to increase brainpower. When German researchers imposed a 30% calorie reduction on a group of individuals and compared their memory function to a similar age group who basically ate whatever they wanted, the group who restricted calories experienced significantly increased memory function.
5. Increase your DHA intake.
Regular DHA consumption has been shown to increase learning and memory. Eat oily fish, such as salmon, trout, or sardines, or take an algal DHA supplement and reap the health promoting benefits of this essential fatty acid on the brain.