How to Have a Healthy Brain

How to Have a Healthy Brain

Having a healthy brain is simpler than you might think. Put the good in and keep the bad out. There are a few good things that your brain needs to function well, and there are a few bad things that your brain can’t handle very well.

When you put the good in and keep the bad out, you are well on your way to  to knowing how to have a healthy brain and attaining optimal brain function.

How to Have a Healthy Brain – Put The Good In

How to Have a Healthy BrainWhat are the good things your brain needs to function well? Nutrients, rest and activity, and healthy human connection are the big three for optimal brain function.

A well-nourished, rested, and active brain with healthy human connection is a healthy brain.

Let’s look at nutrition first, and then we’ll tackle the rest/activity blend, and finish up with human connection.

 

 

Nutrition For Brain Health

Nourishing your brain isn’t all that complicated. A well-rounded whole-foods diet that is rich in antioxidants is the best “brain food” you can get.

There is no magic pill, no perfect food, no secret formula. Just common sense and eating real food. And I don’t know about you, but that’s good news to me.

I don’t need to be some guru, or spend hours in the kitchen every day, or spend a lot money on exotic superfruits. I simply need to eat real food, the way God made it. I can manage that.

That said, there are a few nutrients that are a little more important than others when it comes to brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants, are all key to proper brain function.

Eating fatty fish, leafy greens, walnuts, and berries is a good way to get those essential compounds into your body. And don’t forget tea and coffee. (As a bonus, these are great fat burners as well). Here is a list of healthy foods to lose weight you may like.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and healthy fats provide healthy nutrition for your brain, and of course for your whole body at the same time.

Do your shopping at the perimeter of the grocery store, and enjoy eating REAL food.

The Rest/Activity Blend

How to Have a Healthy BrainWe need adequate sleep (of decent quality) and we need activity. If one or the other is missing, your brain simply won’t function at its very best.

How much sleep do we need? The answer varies depending on your age. Babies need as much as 18 hours, while adults usually are fine with 7 to 9 hours per night.

 

Good sleep hygiene is crucial for getting enough sleep. Get up at the same time each day. Put away screens (including television) at least an hour before going to bed.

Avoid eating, exercising, or arguing immediately before going to bed. Keep your bedroom temperature cooler than would be comfortable for daytime use.

If you can, it’s a good idea to have your desk and other work equipment out of your bedroom. Remove the television from the bedroom too; having a television in the bedroom makes it too easy to continue watching the news or the latest Netflix show long after you should be asleep.

If you need white noise, use a fan or a soothing instrumental CD or you can use a white noise machine.


What kind of activity? How much? The official Department of Health and Human Services guidelines suggest that healthy adults aim for 150 minutes of moderately vigorous activity per week.

That comes out to just a little over 20 minutes a day. Taking a brisk walk at lunchtime, playing frisbee in the park, or joining a swim team are just a few of the many fun and relaxing ways to meet the exercise recommendations.

The benefits of regular vigorous exercise extend far beyond brain health, including improved mood, fewer cravings, easier weight loss, and better overall fitness.

Your Brain Needs Human Connection

The need for human connection was infamously demonstrated in experiments by Frederick the second, who wanted to find out which language children would speak if they had never heard anyone speak.

A number of babies were deprived of all language and had no more touch than was needed to care for physical needs, raised by nurses who were forbidden to be affectionate.

To the king’s dismay, his experiment failed before the babies were old enough to talk. They died for lack of touch and human connection. Human connection is more than just something that’s nice to have.

Human connection is essential for staying alive, and absolutely necessary for thriving. If the friends that you have now are causing more stress than joy, look for new friends.

Find people with similar interests. Join a book club, a gym, or get a season pass to the pool. Join a small group at church. Practice being a good friend (believe me, its much easier to find good people willing to be friends if you are a good friend to have).

How to Have a Healthy Brain – Keep The Bad Out

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What are the bad things that will prevent your brain from functioning well?

In no particular order, and very briefly, here are some suggestions for avoiding the worst toxins.

Stay away from synthetic scents, Styrofoam, and anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Limit processed foods. Wear cotton clothes instead of synthetic blends, especially for underwear and anything that touches your skin.

Cut out sugar, aspartame, alcohol (except for the occasional small glass of red wine), and fish that are high in mercury. Don’t drink out of plastic. Use essential oils for perfume and avoid synthetic scents.

Use unscented laundry soap. If you must use air fresheners, find one that’s made with essential oils. Gently but firmly remove toxic relationships from your life. Choose music with a positive message and avoid rock and heavy metal genres.

There’s more, but since focusing on fear and negativity is bad for your brain, I won’t spend more time on the bad stuff. Instead, focus on getting the good in, and getting the bad out will largely take care of itself.

When you do identify something toxic that needs to go, remember that you are doing this because you want something better. Framing removal positively is good for your brain.

How Many Ways Are There To Win?

I love to look for ways to combine multiple healthy actions into one activity.

Making a gorgeous etched glass water bottle with friends. This combines avoiding BPA and other plastic chemicals with drinking more water AND quality human connection.

  • Attending a dance class. Exercise? Check. Human touch/connection? Check. Another winner.
  • Picking berries at a pick-your-own patch. That’s physical activity, sunshine, and BERRIES! Can we say that’s a good idea?!
  • Do a prayer walk with a friend or a group from church. Exercise and connection (with God AND with people!).
  • Take your family or a good friend and go thrift shopping for good quality cotton clothes. That’s frugality, social fun, and nontoxic clothes, all in one fun activity.
  • Drink a berry smoothie while relaxing after walk. Rest, activity and antioxidants is a sure winner!

How are you winning with brain health? Drop your comments, suggestions, and questions below on your thoughts about how to have a healthy brain.

20 Comments

  1. wahoo, I am a lover of walnut, don’t know it has a way of helping my brain remain healthy. But I was told walnut is not too good for pregnant woman, don’t know how true this is, kindly help out.

    • Hi Noah,

      Thank you for visiting. I have never heard that about walnuts but you have me curious and I am going to do some research. Glad you found value in this article today. Hope to see you visit again. Be Well!

  2. Great write up for a healthy brain. I love this write up and I will follow the instructions therein. But please what are the samples of a diet rich in antioxidants.

    • Hi Mason,

      Thank you for visiting. I am going to send you over some information based on your question. I appreciate you visiting and inquiring. Be Well!

  3. love reading from your blog Nate, you are always coming up with lovely articles that help stay healthy. Keep it up and don’t relent. Looking forward to reading more health-related write-ups from you, especially those that have to do with brain and heart.

    • Hi Michael,

      I really appreciate your kind words and you taking the time to leave a comment here. I am glad you found it helpful to you and I hope to see you here again soon. Be Well!

  4. Hmmm, the article is educative. You have a nice write-up. But I have a question for you. ‘You referred to tea and coffee has a fat burner’ how truly proven is this because I love taken tea and people do relate it to the reason why am fat

    • Hi Alice,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you got a new perspective from this article. That is always my goal. I am going to send you some details about your question because its subject that is very interesting to me. I will send it over today. Thanks for visiting. Be Well!

  5. wahoo, having a healthy brain has been my major concern because all human activities are centrally controlled by the brain. This article has given me great insight on what to do to have a healthy brain.

    • Hi Francisca,

      I am glad you found this article useful. I enjoyed your excitement. I appreciate your viewpoint on this topic. I hope to see you again here soon. Be Well!

  6. This article sincerely has been enlightening. I have a son who is addicted to sleeping with the television on, but reading this article makes me realize how dangerous it is to his brain and I will be able to educate him and recommend him to also read this your article. No more television in the bedroom.

    • Hi Veruca,

      Thank you for visiting and your kind words. I am glad you found it enlightening. I am thankful you can associate what I am saying with your own personal experiences. I hope you come back and visit again soon. Be Well!

  7. Cool, write up, thumbs up. I have a question to ask; is 150 minutes of moderately vigorous activity per week achievable? that is 20 minutes a day. Because in this part of the world we are exposed to vigorous work all-day

    • Hi Peace,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you liked the article. Yes 150 minutes is definitely achievable and it is a good way to start so that you gradually increase and that is more sustainable. Thanks for adding value to this topic today. Be Well!

  8. Have just learned something new and great from this your article, that is how our brain can remain healthy through human connection. The experiment by Frederick the second is a wonderful lesson.

    • Hi Genesis,

      Thank you for visiting. I am glad you found my article useful. I appreciate you stopping by and reading and providing your viewpoint on this topic. Hope to see you again soon. Be Well!

  9. This is wonderful, so the use of some air freshener, perfume, synthetic scents, synthetic wears, can also affect our brain health and should be avoided and removed completely around us. Have gain from this

    • Hi Sarah,

      I am glad you found this article helpful to you. I appreciate you visiting. I hope to see you stop by again and share your thoughts. Be Well!

  10. You have done well writing about having a healthy brain. I have taken my time reading this article and I found it interesting and enlightening for every age. Our brain needs to be given much attention for us to be able to perform excellently well in life.

    • Hi Alex,

      Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your kind words. I am glad you found the article useful and I am hoping you stop by again and provide your thoughts. Be Well!

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