What are the best strategies to boost our brains through the summer? Faced with so much information we don’t know what to believe. It is often difficult to separate the scientific facts from the latest health trends. Two fascinating advances in medicine over the past decade must be highlighted. These scientific subjects present us with real motivation to raise the bar on our commitment. The fields of Neuroscience and Genetics have revealed dramatic data.
Superfoods, exercise and meditation are not only good for your heart and brain but they can also alter your entire genome & your DNA right down to their very tips.
This is even more so in the field of neuroscience. In recent times brain health is at the top of everyone’s minds and the demand for best strategies continues. There remains a tremendous gap between what the general public thinks is healthy for your brain and what the science actually shows. Neuroplasticity refers to the changes in brain structure and nerve pathways due to effects from the environment, physical activity, behaviors, thinking and emotions.
The big implication here is that if our brain changes itself based on our experiences, then by changing our experiences we can actively reshape our brains. The fact that our brain and our genetic material can heal, repair, recover and renew provides the much-needed inspiration to implement these five strategies to into our lives.
- Fill your mind with health
One way to consciously change our experience is to learn how to apply mindfulness to our everyday life: the ability to be intentionally aware of our experience as it is unfolding. And by being more aware of our present experience as it is happening, wonderful changes may occur in our grey matter. UCLA psychiatrist Daniel Siegel confirms that numerous global research studies have demonstrated how neuroplasticity is enhanced by the practice of mindfulness.
- Meditate on it
Much research has been conducted using EEG (electrical brain activity) as well as PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans to observe patterns on people who have been meditating for long periods of time as well as during a meditative practice. Increased blood flow through vital brain regions as well as neuroplastic changes have been documented. Whether you choose to practice (TM) Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness meditation, or visualizing exercises, you will undoubtedly boost your brain health, defuse your stress and even enhance your immune system. There are many meditation apps available that are extremely easy to use.
- Go for a HIIT!
Exercise is essential for defusing your stress levels. Any type of exercise that you do is beneficial. But in recent years HIIT or High intensity Interval Training has been shown to significantly enhance much more than just energy and immunity. It enhances brain function, memory and neuroplasticity too.
Exercise at a moderate pace interspersed with brief moments (e.g. one to two minutes) of increasing intensity such as a sprint and then revert back to the moderate pace. This will also burn off your excess circulating adrenalin leading you into a much-needed recovery mode.
If you are exercising outdoors in the summer heat, make sure to always use sunscreen!
- Brainy Food
Your brain requires a constant source of energy. A meal will only provide three -hour worth of brain fuel. Therefore we have to make sure to eat a small mid- morning and mid-afternoon snacks. A quick biscuit or chocolate will play havoc with your concentration and mood, causing spikes in sugar and deep troughs of energy depletion.
Ensure your food choices for meals as well as interval snacks bursting with essential super ingredients for brain and body stamina. Power up brain and body with antioxidants in salads, vegetables and fruit, especially berries, plant- based proteins in beans, lentils, tofu and omega 3 fatty acids in salmon, nuts and seeds. Nothing is better than ensuring your taking your daily Andorralife Brain Boost as well as daily antioxidants and supplements.
- Take care of the Tips
At the ends of every natural strand of DNA are specialised regions called Telomeres, which protect the rest of the strand from damage, just like the caps on the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell reproduces, these tips become shorter, until vital parts of the DNA become exposed and start to malfunction. Stress, smoking and alcohol hastens the shortening of these tips of the DNA in all our cells. The great news (thanks to Nobel prize winner- Elizabeth Blackburn) is that we have an enzyme in our body -Telomerase that repairs these tips of DNA. Even better news is that regular exercise stimulates our telomerase enzyme.
Of course, these strategies are easier to read about than to put into practice. These are skills we have to learn, implement and most importantly, sustain over the long term.