That’s right, you can grow your brain! It was only about ten years ago that scientists discovered that your brain can generate new neurons throughout your entire adult life. This process is called “Neurogenesis”.
These new cells can take over the function of damaged cells and provide protection against dementia and Alzheimer’s. They will help you learn faster and retain more of what you learn. You can boost or inhibit this process by various habits and techniques. I decided to learn those techniques and start giving my brain a growth boost! Here they are in descending order based upon my view of their relative importance. This is your action plan for superior brain growth.
- Exercise – In addition to the other well known and documented benefits of exercise, we can now add neurogenesis! The best thing you can do to grow and improve your brain is aerobic exercise. This is not in dispute. Of all the reasons to exercise, and there are many, this is the one most responsible for me getting off of my butt and making the time and priority to exercise. I started by just walking.
- Eat Blueberries – The ingredient that seems to trigger neurogenesis is anthocyanin. It can also be found in blackberries, black currant, bilberries, and black raspberries. Eat dark berries for your brain! One cup per day of blueberries is enough for the neurogenic effect.
- Take Anti-depressant Drugs – I don’t recommend you take anti-depressants, but they are an effective stimulator of new growth so I list it here. It is the truth. There are a lot of side effects and you don’t need to do this to boost your brain growth. I was a victim of Dr. Drug for many years. Do the other nine and forget about this one.
- Learn, Learn, Learn – Not only does learning improve as a result of neurogenesis, scientist now believe that learning itself stimulates neurogenesis. (this should not surprise us) Learn a variety of new things that are unrelated to what you normally do. Variety is key.
- Meditation – Practice mindful meditation. Learn how to practice mindful meditation here. Aside from neurogenesis, mindful meditation will do wonders for your positivity.
- Take Care of Your Brain – Anything and everything you do to make your brain healthy will improve neurogenesis. Protect it and grow it! How To Take Care of Your Brain
- Avoid Caffeine – I know, I know! I love caffeine too, but its long term impact on your brain is bad. I would suggest you make a strengthening decision. Go back to yesterday’s article, How To Take Care of Your Brain, and read the part about holding your brain in your hands. Take care of it. Take the long-term approach. Your mind will thank you.
- Avoid Stress – Stress inhibits neurogenesis so do whatever it takes to reduce it. Advance Life Skills has a nice article on One Dozen Simple Stress Busters.
- Restrict Your Calories – Calorie restriction is a universally agreed upon method for life-extension. Well, it turns out it is an effective brain extender as well. Read about Calorie restricted diets.
- Take Ibuprofen – There is evidence that Ibuprofen reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s and can stimulate neurogenesis. Take small amounts because too much is not good for you.
So how can you start each day with a brain growth boosting routine? Get up in the morning and eat a cup of blueberries and take an Ibuprofen. Then do cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes. The synergistic effect of doing this together will increase your results. When you are done exercising, meditate for 25 minutes. Follow that with a low calorie breakfast and have a cup of decaffeinated green tea.
Get on the rocket ship of brain health! You will not regret it. Your children and grandchildren will thank you and you will understand what they are saying. Think about it.
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