One of our biggest fears about growing older is that our cognitive functioning will not be what it once was, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
From learning a new language and cooking up a healthy storm in the kitchen to practicing regular meditation and supplementing smartly, there are so many things you can do to keep your brain healthy and stave off cognitive decline.
Here are some simple ways to enhance your brain power and improve your mental health in the long run:
1. Hone your cooking skills
This is a great one. Not only does the process of following a recipe get your brain working in new ways, learning to be a whizz in the kitchen means that you are fully in control of what you put in your body. You should focus your attention on including as many colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet as possible, and on incorporating brain-boosting carbohydrates , omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices into your meals for ultimate cognitive health.
Cooking also involves a certain amount of creativity which is all about using existing knowledge to do new things. This type of thinking will help your brain to forge new connections and keep your neural networks supple and your brain in good health.
2. Learn something new
What have you always wanted to learn but never made it a priority to do so? We all have something. It could be a language, a subject that we didn’t get around to studying at school - philosophy, say, or psychology. You might want to learn everything there is to know about a particular period in history, or you might want to learn a new skill such as carpentry, candle-making or how to play the piano. All of these are great options.
A study carried out at Harvard confirmed what people have long suspected: learning something new slows cognitive ageing and prevents mental decline. The study was conducted by Dr. Ipsit Vahia, who likened keeping the brain active to being physically active, saying: “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health and The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy.” Back to school we go!
3. Supplement smartly
Cognizin® as formulated at 250mg in LYMA is the world’s leading nootropic. Ever wondered why you feel so exhausted after a day’s work? Your mind may only account for 2% of your body weight, but even when at rest it will consume approximately 20% of your body’s energy.
Cognizin® has been extensively clinically tested for efficacy with robust peer-reviewed data. There is evidence to suggest that supplementing with Cognizin® can improve both memory and mood in people young and old, and that it can help to slow cognitive impairment and may even help with dementia prevention.
In one study, after 28 days of supplementation, middle-aged women saw significant improvements in a mental agility test, improved cognitive inhibition and faster recall, and improved attention span and central nervous system functioning.
4. Develop a reading habit
89-year-old billionaire investor Warren Buffet spends up to 80% of his waking hours reading. Research has shown that being a habitual reader may be the secret to keeping your brain in working order as you grow older.
One long-term study interviewed 300 adults about their reading habits over a number of years before their deaths. Upon passing away, their brains were examined and those who read the most had the fewest physical signs of dementia. The same participants had also provided fewer self-reported instances of memory lapse in questionnaires administered over the course of their involvement in the study.
Reading regularly can slow mental decline by up to 30% which is more effective than other forms of mental activity such as sudoku, chess or answering brain-teasers.
5. Get moving and get meditating
Your brain and your body are inextricably linked . If you want a healthy brain, you’re going to need to get your body in good working order, and your brain and body in sync. Movement and meditation are both brilliant places to start:
Research has shown that regular, moderate intensity, physical exercise can improve memory and cognitive functioning in just six months. Regular movement also has mood-boosting benefits and so is integral to maintaining good mental health.
Exercise works its magic on both the body and the brain to improve mental functioning by improving insulin metabolism, acting to reduce inflammatory markers and encouraging the production of growth factors and the development of areas of the brain associated with learning and development. The health of your brain will be given a huge boost by putting on those trainers and heading out for a jog, or by doing that home workout you’ve been putting off.
Working out regularly and practicing meditation can both help you to sleep better and will improve your mood. Problems with sleep, stress and anxiety have all been shown to impair cognitive function.
Furthermore, a clear link has been established between meditation and improved memory. Meditation increases the flow of blood to the brain, resulting in a more robust network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex. Meditating for just 20 minutes a day has been shown to significantly boost memory and focus.
Boosting your brain power doesn’t have to be difficult. With just a few small changes you can dramatically slow cognitive decline. By focusing your attention on learning and development, and by adding a brain-boosting supplement such as LYMA to your wellbeing routine, you can give a much-needed boost to both your memory and your mind.
Originally published Jan 13, 2021.