In this article, we’ll find out what habits improve brain functioning and even prevent certain diseases. We’ve collected scientific facts that will unlock your intellectual potential and ensure the proper functioning of your brain for many years to come.
Giving up smoking is a significant step towards improving brain health.
According to a study published in 2010, this bad habit doubles the risk of developing dementia. Within the framework of this study, scientists have been following 21 thousand smokers for 30 years. Those people who smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day were twice as likely to suffer from dementia in old age. For those who smoked from half to one pack per day, the risk of developing dementia increased up to 44%. And people who smoked less than half a pack of cigarettes per day had a 37% risk.
Get quality sleep
When we sleep, our brain is still awake — it consolidates what we’ve learned during the day.
However, even if you have been doing useful things all day long — once you didn’t sleep properly, your brain won’t be able to fully process and interpret the new information you’ve received. Also, lack of sleep will hinder you from being fully involved in learning activities the next day.
Adults need from seven to nine hours of sleep so that every day the brain can work to it’s maximum capacity.
Take care of what you eat
There are a number of foods that positively affect our brain.
Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and omega-3 acids found in oily fish improve our memory and overall brain functioning.
Proteins also promote increased mental activity. We get them in through meat, eggs, and beans that contain a large amount of an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine is of great importance for the production of norepinephrine and dopamine — chemicals that transmit electrical impulses between neurons and affect mental alertness.
In recent decades, there has been a remarkable discovery that exercise allows you to solve not only physical, but also emotional and intellectual issues.
Aerobic exercise, such as jogging or walking for exercise, increases your blood flow, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen and glucose in your blood. That is exactly what your brain needs for active work.
Exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells and improves communication between them.
Good exercise can also awaken stem cells in the hippocampus that controls our memory.
Start exercising to be not only beautiful and healthy, but also smart!
When teachers expect more of their students, they try to meet these expectations. Such a phenomenon is known in the psychology of education as the “Pygmalion effect”.
If we set high standards and are helped believe that they are achievable, our chances to succeed increase significantly. Children who feel that no one believes in them give up easily and don’t reveal their potential.
In 2001, Elliot Aronson, a social psychologist, and his colleagues conducted a study: they constantly encouraged children from an educationally disadvantaged community by saying that becoming more intelligent is possible. As a result, these children showed better results in math compared to a matched control group.
As you can see, the good work of the brain depends on your lifestyle. The healthier your habits, the greater your intellectual abilities are.