Do you want to have a fast brain capable enough to replace Grant Gustin in the famous Netflix series The Flash? Trust me, it is a miracle statement we all secretly wish to have.
Memory, like art, is a skill that you can surely sharpen. Musicians spend hours trying to perfect their notes, painters spend countless nights in search for the perfect stroke of art. But what they don’t realize is that on the backend of all this, the brain constantly rewires itself to find the perfect pattern to memorize your skills.
It is the practice and health of the brain which translates into the sharpness of a memory and how well a person can remember a thing.
A few everyday life activities tend to affect memory
How To Make Your Brain Smart?
Before that, it is essential to know that memory is a two-way road in which the quality of the information when being memorized should be fine so that the brain can retrieve it later in the same form without any distortion.
But, the good thing about memory is that it can be made better and sharper with a wee little bit attention to our day in, day out activities. Now, who wouldn’t want to have a super-mind like Mandark?
1.A Sound Body Has A Sound Mind
As your body inhales fresh air, it strengthens your mind; they both work in a unison. Looking after your health and making sure that you are doing everything you can for healthier purposes is one of the few steps which can ensure cognitive health.
If you are suffering from any serious disorders such as diabetes, thyroid problems, abnormal cholesterol and blood pressure and depression then these conditions are not meant to be taken lightly as they have a direct impact on the health of your brain as well. Know about the diabetes before it hits you.
Moreover, the medicines prescribed by your health care consultant should also be discussed at length regarding the possible side effects which they may have on the cognitive abilities in the time to follow. It is also of immense importance that any shock or direct injury to the brain should be avoided at all costs.
2.How To Keep Brain Healthy? Eat ‘Brain Healthy’ Food
It is essential to avoid the brain from aging fast and losing its capabilities of robust memory. In order to do so, a healthy diet plays an important role. Eating too much or too less is not an option since these habits are known to cause most common disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Such eating habits also contribute towards the increased risk of the brain having conditions also known as small strokes.
Antioxidants play a key role in contributing towards the health of the brain. It is carried out by protecting the brain cells from potential damages of the oxidizing effect. Berries are a rich source of antioxidants and so is the green tea which not only helps the gut of an individual but also the brain cells.
To be precise, it is essential to adhere to a diet regimen which is ‘brain healthy.’ A healthy diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, white meat, low carbohydrates, low-fat dairy products and proteins. It is also necessary to make sure that the portions of the meal are controlled and excess of salt, sugar, and fat must be avoided at all costs. Do not forget the nutty nuts.
Fluids are of immense importance along with a balanced diet for the brain to stay healthy. A well-hydrated body functions well and is well suited for the body to actively get rid of the harmful by-products of the metabolism such as urea. A brain-healthy diet not only prevents the brain from aging fast but can also contribute towards a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The physical exercise is wrongly associated with only the physical health as people believe that by doing so they are only training their muscular skeleton. Well, as far as we want it to be true it is not, working out and doing any other physical activity even the household errands which may require physical work beneficial for the brain health.
When a person is physically active they tend to be more in control of themselves and are capable of greater strength and agility. Physically sound people are active and their energy level is always higher than average and also the incidence of adverse diseases is reduced. The physical activity also serves as the morale booster and as a result, the person feels less depressed.
The question that what is in it for the brain can be answered by the fact that brain smart people are the way they are because their brain is capable of maintaining new and old neural connections more than an average brain. Physical activity while avoiding the risk that we discussed earlier also helps brain take care of its old neural connections and also make it easy to form the new ones.
A number of studies have also indicated that physical exercise and active lifestyle results in an increase in the size of the brain, hence the capacity of the brain to learn more and be smart. Moreover, oxygen is necessary for the brain to work smartly and for that purpose, the best source of rapid and uninterrupted supply of oxygen can be the aerobic exercises in which a person indulges in a day.
4.Be Mentally Active
Having an active brain means that the person is intellectually indulged in the activities that are keeping his brain active and his cognition is in his control. Happiness and mental health are directly related to the active participation of a person in his hobbies and other activities such as serving as a volunteer in community work.
Indulging yourself in mentally active processes may lead to a smarter brain even in the older age. It has been seen that in people who are entering into old age the cognitive capabilities tend to decrease but for the people who constantly indulge themselves in learning more skills and get to do things which require mental skills such as puzzles and other assorted hobbies are more brain smart and tend to slow down the process of aging of their own brain.
Being mentally active not only promotes the brain to stay smart with the addition of new neural connection in the brain reserve but also decreases the risk of developing severe cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It has also been a much-accepted phenomenon that playing strategy games and putting your mental skills to test while playing a mentally challenging game on the computer but the scientific evidence is not present; nevertheless, the games are fun and challenging for us all. Some mind stimulating games are:
Apart from this, one can also indulge in other activities in which there is a need to process information by the brain at large such as viewing television; listening to the radio; reading newspapers; reading magazines; reading books and visiting history museums.
5.Adhere To The Social Instincts
A smart brain has its appetite for social connections fulfilled. Being social animals, it is one of our basic instincts to be in touch with other human beings and connect with them socially. If a person is isolated from the rest of his human connections then depression and anxiety will prevail and most probably this will lead to a major decline in his physical health as well as mental stability.
One can literally satisfy their urge to connect socially by stepping out in the society and indulge in community programs or other social activities. It allows the person to meet like-minded people and then share his views and opinions. Social connections make the person indulge in cognitive activities that result in the form of a smart brain.
Few personal habits we adopt due to social pressures causes diseases, which have a toll on our memory. Beware what to adopt and what not to!!
Does sticking to social media count as a social instinct?
Yes, balance is the key. Being engaged in an activity with the fellow human beings and sharing thoughts with them results in a positive perception towards life and makes the brain process more information in the form of thoughts and ideas. An active social bonding may also reduce the risk of developing certain psychological ailments.
Social interactions also slow down the mental aging. Older people who are socially isolated tend to lose the robustness of their cognitive abilities readily as compared to the old age people who are socially active and have formed intellectual connections with the like-minded people consequently prolonging the duration of life in which they are brain smart.
6.Health Problems Have A Toll On The Brain
Under the influence of any of the serious health disorder, the body of a person as a whole undergoes stress and the brain has to experience the stress as well. This kind of stress and the progression of an acquired disease simultaneously alter the brain and pose considerable threats to the cognitive abilities of a person.
Heart disorders of all kinds pose an equal threat to the brain tissue in terms of suffering from a brain stroke. Additionally, the process of dementia accelerates under the disorders of the systemic circulation. Diabetes apart from associated with an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s and varying cardiovascular disorders is also associated with memory loss and cognitive degeneration. Delirium and depression make it difficult for a person to focus on one thing and priorities things in his life and leads to confusion and decrease in the cognitive abilities.
If all these possible threats are considered which are associated with different diseases then it becomes apparent that certain health disorders are not meant to be taken lightly and they should be managed with therapy at the earliest, since they eventually take their toll on the person who is brain smart.
7.Injuries May Affect The Brain
Head injuries can be serious in most of the cases, if the brain tissue is damaged as a result of the skull fracture. The shear force can puncture the brain and the extent of the damage can predict about how many cognitive abilities the person is going to get back after recovery.
Brain cells do not reproduce completely so the cells once damaged cannot be replaced. If one or many parts of the brain which deal with the cognitive abilities are damaged then it will have a direct effect on how the person uses his brain and how much control he regains if he makes a recovery.
In order to avoid such incidents and to prevent the brain from suffering at the expense of such an occasion, it is advised by the safety experts that traffic rules, safety measures, and precautionary guidelines should always be taken into consideration while on the road. Wearing a helmet, a seatbelt, and the safety gear can be the thing keeping you from losing cognitive abilities in the case of an accident.
In order to avoid losing balance and to have a better balance, the physiological health experts strongly recommend physical exercises and meditations so that the person is well aware of his surroundings and in control of the center of gravity of his body.
8.Medication May Be Keeping The Brain From Being Smart
Certain medicines generally have the tendency to interfere with the working of the brain and to some extent affect the cognitive abilities. Same stands true for some other medications when they are taken in a combination. They interference with the normal working of the brain may be apparent in the form of confused state of mind, loss of memory, experiencing hallucinations and being delusional.
The physicians prescribe medications in order to treat some health disorder but once internalized the medication has the tendency to interact with the contents present in the digestive system which can be in the form of food, fluids, and other medicines.
In the younger population, this may not be a problem but the people who are of old age usually notice altered cognitive abilities. Some of these medicines are:
- Anti-allergy medication.
- Sleeping pills.
- Antipsychotic aids.
- Medicines to treat anxiety or depression.
- Medications to treat muscle cramps.
- Muscle relaxant drugs (which are taken orally).
9.Food For Thought Exists
Healthy foods and certain dietary habits promote the health of the brains. On the other hand, food related health issues are also well known where eating certain foods in excess over the period of time leads to accumulating health conditions. Some of these issues include cardiovascular disorders, obesity, and diabetes to name a few. The contributing foods for these diseases are usually rich in fats and also teeming with salts of sodium.
Fats and sodium may have a positive role in the body at a certain level but it is essential to understand that in excessive amounts when consumed daily, these foods result in a deteriorating effect. The relation between high carbohydrate diet and the brain health was discussed at length by Dr. Richard J. Wurtman in his study, published in Obesity. The study suggests that many patients learn to overeat carbohydrates (particularly snack foods, like potato chips or pastries, which are rich in carbohydrates and fats) to make themselves feel better. This tendency to use certain foods as though they were drugs is a frequent cause of weight gain; and can also be seen in patients who become fat when exposed to stress, or in women with premenstrual syndrome, or in patients with “winter depression,” or in people who are attempting to give up smoking.
Neurotransmitters are employed by the brain to carry out its function by communicating amongst brain cells. The neurotransmitters are synthesized when the specific diet is provided to the person containing essential components which form the neurotransmitters. In order to avoid stress, depression, and anxiety it is essential for the brain to form neurotransmitters which communicate between the parts of the brain that promote positive thinking and a more constructive attitude towards life. Adhering to a healthy diet, which does not contain bad fat or other unhealthy ingredients, ensures that conditions of the body are welcoming for a sound mind and that it does not create an environment which makes the brain undergo stress.
10. How To Make Your Brain Smart? Does Smoke Kill Brain Cells?
Tobacco smoke consists of thousands of compounds including nicotine. Many constituents have known toxicity to the brain, cardiovascular, and pulmonary systems. Nicotine, on the other hand, by virtue of its short-term actions on the cholinergic system, has positive effects on certain cognitive domains including working memory and executive function.
Because of the number of compounds present in tobacco smoke, a complete picture of organ-specific toxicity is not yet available. However, there is sufficient evidence at the epidemiologic level to support the conclusion that a history of smoking is clearly associated with preclinical changes in the brain (atrophy, silent infarcts, and WMHIs), accelerated cognitive decline (executive function, verbal memory, the speed of processing), and increased risk for dementia.
A study carried out by Gary E. Swan and Christina N. Lessov-Schlaggar in order to analyze the effects of smoking on brain abilities and cognition, published in Neuropsychology Review, discussed the two tone effects which may be experienced by some. Acute administration of nicotine, as distinguished from tobacco smoke, appears to enhance measures of vigilance, selective attention, working and verbal memory, and executive function in adult nonsmokers and non-deprived smokers. Most likely this performance enhancement effect is mediated by activation of the cholinergic system and subsequent downstream effects on neurotransmitter release including dopamine and serotonin.
Although there has been evidence of the use of medicinal nicotine in order to manage disorders of the nervous system but the evidence is not strong enough to support the claim. In a study concerning an animal model, it was found that instead of alleviating the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease the presence of nicotine actually promoted the neuropathology process. This suggests that the oxidation potential of nicotine is damaging and cannot be recommended for prolonged use because of relatively few effects in the form of brain response enhancement.
11.Can Responsible Drinking Make Me Smart?
Alcohol consumption has been well known for robbing human brain off its connections with the rest of the body. This effect becomes apparent in the form of inability to comprehend a situation quickly, and a distortion (impairment) in communication. Further effects of excessive alcohol consumption results in:
- Inability to recall.
- Inability to speak coherently.
- Slurred tongue.
If the alcohol consumption is continued over the longer periods of time then it may result in:
- Difficulty in maintaining balance.
- Blurred memory which may lead to a lack of memory.
- Sudden emotional outbursts.
- Lack of coordination and hence inability to comprehend a situation.
- Fluctuating body temperature.
Of all the effects, which arise after short and long-term alcohol consumption, some are reversible. Over the period of time, the ability of the body to tolerate the effects of alcohol also diminishes slowly and the person with old age eventually becomes more sensitive towards the effects of alcohol as compared to a young person.
Excessive alcohol use can cause structural and functional abnormalities of the brain and this has significant health, social and economic implications for most countries in the world. Even heavy social drinkers who have no specific neurological or hepatic problems show signs of regional brain damage and cognitive dysfunction, according to a review by Clive Harper, published in Alcohol and Alcoholism.
In the brain, this has been demonstrated clinically, with imaging and clinical techniques. Many alcoholics can also develop cirrhosis of the liver that can impact on brain structure and function and others develop nutritional deficiency states (vitamin B1 deficiency) that can cause severe brain damage and dysfunction. The most affected parts of the CNS as a result of alcohol consumption are:
- White matter.
Clearly, nothing good can come out of alcohol consumption as far as the cognition and brain development is concerned. There is no way that alcohol can contribute towards a sharper memory and certainly it does not help in maintaining the memory robustness as the person ages.
12.Sleep Tight To Make Your Brain Alright
A well-rested body contributes to a sound brain. If the body does not get enough rest then apart from disturbing the circadian rhythm of the body, the brain suffers at the hand of lack of sleep. Improper sleep can exude itself in many forms:
- Lack of appropriate sleep.
- Poor sleeping habit.
- Disorders preventing a good sleep.
Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder which is observed in the elderly people. Sleep apnea allows the breathing pattern of a person to become shallow during the sleep thus making oxygen availability scarce to the brain. Oxygen is crucial to brain cells and a prolonged deficiency may lead to irreversible damage and even fatality.
Edward O. Bixler and colleagues studied the association between sleep apnea and the age, published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The study highlighted the fact that although sleep apnea is more common in adults usually greater than 50 years of age but the severity in the younger adults of this condition is far greater than the elderly people. This condition leads to impaired daytime functioning in various neuropsychological and affective domains. The most common abnormalities are executive dysfunction, impaired vigilance, depression, and possibly anxiety.
It is crucial to consult a physician if you observe one or more of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time because it may be one of the signs that you are suffering from sleep apnea. In order to bring about sufficient cognition and response in an individual, it is essential for the brain to be well rested and well oxygenated while the person is resting.
13.Beware Of The Miracle Pills
In the modern day world, the e-commerce sector is booming with success; as it has made the process of acquiring a particular product extremely easy. This trend has also made it possible for the so-called wonder drugs to make their way to the people who are suffering from memory issues. It is very easy to get tempted by the medicines and drugs which allegedly claim to cure the memory problems hence making it sharp like a sword. Some of these products also claim to prevent the onset and progress of dementia. While the scientific community has not endorsed any such medications as yet for day to day administration, there are some supplements which are prescribed by the doctors to enhance the metabolism which may have some effect on the brain indirectly. It is advised to consult the doctor and then proceed to consume any such supplements and medications.
The so-called memory cure medicines can not only cost a fortune but also pose a considerable threat to the person consuming them because there is no evidence of safety approval of such medications. In the official records, to date, there is no drug that has been successfully designed to cure dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, so watch out for those fake ones.