Can you make your brain younger? Yes you can, says our youth guru Jayney Goddard
Can you make your brain younger? Yes you can, says our youth guru!
For many years it was erroneously believed that the human brain was hardwired like a computer and incapable of alteration once a person reached adulthood. We also believed that after the age of 40 your brain would decline rapidly – shrinking by several thousand brain cells each day.
However, with the advent of magnetic resonance imaging machines, (MRIs), and advanced computer software, scientists continue to gain new insights into how our brains work. This has led to the development and understanding of a concept known as neuroplasticity –or the brain’s ability to grow and make new neural connections – when stimulated and challenged. This is similar to the way that a muscle grows when it is confronted with extra work –it grows to adapt to the new workload that it is faced with.
The ability of your brain to grow and develop lasts well into old age: very recent research shows that the brains of older adults are malleable and can improve in many areas including short-term visual memory in response to focused training. In one recent experiment, after just 10 hours of training the ‘working memory’ of older adults was comparable to the abilities of younger adults.
Challenge your brain in imaginative ways by finding new ways of doing mundane tasks. Try doing something commonplace –but in an unusual way to provoke growth. A good example of this would be brushing your teeth with the hand you don’t normally use (aside from improving your brain, your coordination will get better too).
Participation in some form of physical exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week is vital for increasing blood flow to the brain, thereby stimulating more neural cell production in the brain for reserves as the body ages, possibly preventing neurodegenerative diseases like alzheimer’s.
Women reap a fantastic brain anti-ageing benefit from having orgasms (sadly this positive effect is not so strong in men): functional MRI images show that women’s brains utilise much more oxygen during orgasm than usual, similar to the effects of exercise. This nourishes the brain, which helps keep your mind sharp.
Below are two valuable nutrients that help to reverse brain ageing:
Or more specifically black walnuts if you can get them, are a key brain health food. An ounce contains 560mg of short-chain omega 3 fats,known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).Walnuts contain the highest amount of ALA of any nut.
Wild blueberries are even more powerful than normal ones in protecting our brains from oxidative tress. You can buy dried wild blueberries here in the UK. Cooking does not destroy the beneficial components of these fruits.
Helps to improve circulation and blood flow to the brain. Allow a minimum of fourweeks for any benefits to appear.
Chew these to refresh your breath and take advantage of the herb’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Contains curcumin which has incredible health benefits and is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance. Inflammation is strongly related to brain degeneration –both structural and functional.
Drink this in tea form to encourage restful sleep and to help decrease any agitation.
Contains silymarin which helps to clear amyloid plaque, a substance that inhibits cellular communication and is often present in the brains of dementia patients.
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