Brain Health Habits — How to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Active

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Psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, M.D., Double Board-Certified psychiatrist and brain-imaging expert, gives us much food for thought and motivation in his Public Broadcasting special program Use Your Brain to Change Your Age. In this program, he shares with us his experience of having performed more than 70,000 brain scans on patients over the last 20 years from 90 different countries.
He has seen time and time again successes where brains were in various stages of deterioration and by going through a brain-healthy program were able to reverse the damage and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illness. Dr. Amen recommended three steps to brain health: Love your brain; avoid things that hurt it; give it things that help it. That’s it.

You can play an important role in your brain health You can also have a significant impact on your friends and loved one’s brain health, too. Start by sharing healthy tips with those you love. Engage in regular brain-healthy habits. From using food as medicine to learning a new dance step or participating in a creative writing workshop.

Diet plays a great role in brain health. The brain is like any other organ that is susceptible to (foods) that can protect against oxidation damage. These (good) foods act like little tiny fire extinguishers that help put out those fires that otherwise would cause damage leading to loss of brain function.

Here are healthy Habits that keep your brain healthy and active

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Use all your senses

The more you engage your senses in learning a new thing the more your brain is involved in keeping the memory. In a study, emotionally neutral images were displayed to adults along with a smell. they were not informed to keep the memory of what they saw. Later, they show them a set of images, this time without odors, and asked to identify which they had seen before. They had excellent recall for all images that are odor-paired, and especially those images associated with pleasant smells. Brain imaging shown that the piriform cortex, the main odor-processing region of the brain, became active when people saw objects originally paired with odors, even though the smells were no longer present and the subjects hadn’t tried to remember them. Therefore, exercise your senses as you learn new things.

Don’t skimp exercising or sleeping

Exercise increases oxygen levels in your brain and prevents memory loss and heart diseases. At the same time, exercise enhances the effects of brain chemicals and protect damage brain cells. Sleep deprivation can occur in brain functions and are not able to operate fully which reduces creativity, problem-solving skills as well as critical thinking skills. Remember sleep is necessary for memory consolidation.

Memory-friendly diet

You can eat to boost memory and brain health. You may have heard of the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), which uses a combination of diets to boost brain function. It consists of monounsaturated fat (good fat), omega-3, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. In studies, the MIND diet shown to slow down cognitive decline.

Eat Whole Grains

Rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids, whole grains release glucose slowly into the bloodstream so that your brain gets a steady boost of energy.
They can also promote mental alertness and improve your overall mood. Try steaming or preparing them in a rice cooker. Some examples include bulgur, brown rice, barley, whole-wheat couscous, and quinoa.

Add lutein to your diet.

Lutein is an important natural antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eyes and supports brain health as we age. Dark leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collards, and turnip greens), egg yolks, peas, and corn are superfoods when it comes to providing lutein. Lutein is also available as a supplement.

Eat a diet rich in vitamin E.

Vitamin E helps support brain health. Milk, butter, eggs, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, and dark leafy greens like spinach are rich in Vitamin E. Also, you can take it as a supplement.

Antioxidants Foods

like broccoli, blueberries, spinach and berries, and Omega-3 fatty acids – like fish, can do great wonders for your brain and memory. Rather than having 3 large meals, eat 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day. 8 Antioxidants and What They do for You


Omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in helping the brain function and build gray matter. A breakdown in communication between the brain and muscles leads to scoliosis. Omega-3s help supports the effective treatment that requires retraining the brain to correct postural defects.
Seafood, baked, grill, or saute some salmon, mackerel, kippers, or trout. These are oily fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to healthy brain function and reducing memory loss.

Eat Halibut

Noted for its firm texture and clean taste, halibut is a good source of protein. It’s also rich in selenium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and several B vitamins (niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12). [3]
Regular consumption of halibut will reduce the risks of developing cancers of the kidneys and colorectal. By decreasing high blood pressure, A cooked half-filet (160 grams) of halibut, which is the recommended serving size, provides over 100% of your daily dietary needs 

Avoid Stress

When you are stressed, the brain releases a chemical called cortisol which adversely affects your memory and other brain functions. So if you are frequently stressed out you will find it tough to recall long-term memories – you’ll have that feeling that your mind has gone blank – even when the answer should be obvious. Cortisol also diverts glucose in the blood to muscles and away from the brain, so your hippocampus is again deprived of oxygen.


Healthy food, good exercise, and good sleep all are essential for a healthy and functioning brain. You can prevent memory loss, reverse the damage and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses. Pursuing a hobby, learning a song, dance step, new skill, will keep you mentally active. When you stop learning, your brain cells begin to die.

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