Many of us worry about our memories after a particularly forgetful moment.
And now an expert has revealed the four everyday habits that can damage your brain health and worsen your memory.
Dr. Miriam Ferrer, van Cambridge, explained: ‘Mind wandering is so common that it is the fastest growing area of cognitive science research.’
She explained that bad habits can range from not brushing your teeth to eating processed foods.
Here she revealed the bad habits that affect brain health, along with 10 quick and easy-to-follow tips to change the pattern…
Dr. Miriam Ferrer reveals new research showing 33 percent of us forget people’s names and 61 percent say they lose their train of thought up to 10 times a day
1. ‘JUNK FOOD’ CONSUMPTION
We all know that a diet high in fats and carbohydrates is bad for our bodies, but perhaps not many people realize that this is actually bad for our brain health.
Dr. Ferrer explained, “In addition to being high in calories and low in vitamins and minerals, fried foods are often high in oxidized fats.
‘Oxidized fats are a source of free radicals – molecules that in large quantities can lead to oxidative stress and inflammation.
‘Oxidative stress and inflammation have been linked to various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
‘Because the brain has less defense against free radicals, it is more sensitive to oxidative stress than other organs that are better able to withstand it.’
Fitness, wellness guru, and nutritionist Penny Weston has detailed how processed foods affect the brain.
Penny, who runs the Made Wellness Center in Staffordshire, said: ‘There are a lot of studies on how processed food affects our brains.
“Diets high in processed foods increase insulin levels and cause inflammation throughout the body and that includes our brain.”
Diets high in sugar can lead to poor mental health by affecting your mood, memory and behavior.
Penny described how sugar spikes can make us “wired, irritable and tired.”
She said: “Processed meats, such as bacon and sausage, are full of sodium, preservatives and sodium nitrate, all of which have been shown to cause problems in the body and can lead to dizziness and brain fog.”
Penny recommends eating a balanced diet rich in all the essential nutrients that come from plant-based goodness, such as plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and plant-based protein.
Keep an eye on portion sizes, cut back on high-fat, high-salt, and high-sugar foods, and find snacks that you enjoy that also nourish your body.
Penny emphasizes that there are many foods that are good for the brain and help prevent diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
She said, “It’s a good idea to eat a nutritious, antioxidant-rich diet.
“Foods like blueberries, which are a great antioxidant, are beneficial for cognitive function.”
Broccoli also helps lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease because it contains glucosinolates that, when broken down by the body, produce isothiocyanates, a molecule that neutralizes cancer-causing toxins in the body.’
Penny added, “Leafy greens are very good for you, especially kale, spinach and arugula, as they are packed with vitamins B, E and K, all of which aid brain health and improve memory and focus.
“It’s also great to add plenty of pumpkin and sunflower seeds to your diet, as they are loaded with minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper, which help with nerve signaling.”
Fatty fish is also good for your brain because it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which your brain needs to build brain and nerve cells.
Finally, she said, “If you’re looking for a tasty spice, turmeric has a lot of benefits for the brain.
‘It’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Research has shown that it reduces the symptoms of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.’
2. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SUNLIGHT
Sunlight makes us happy and ensures that our body produces vitamin D, which is not actually a vitamin but a hormone.
Vitamin D was initially discovered for its role in bone health, but we now know that it also plays a critical role in many functions of the body, including the brain.
Data from epidemiological studies suggest an association between low levels of vitamin D and various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Ferrer: “While it’s not clear how vitamin D protects the brain, researchers believe it may be partly by protecting brain cells from free radicals (thereby preventing oxidative stress and inflammation) and by having an opposing effect on cortisol (the ‘ stress ‘hormone) – high levels of cortisol and stress are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders.’
3. BEING A BAY POTATO
Dr. Ferrer explained that couch lounging is not only bad for your physical health, but can also affect your memory.
She said it’s good for your mind to get up and walk around the park or garden.
Exercising, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk, improves blood flow throughout your body, including your brain.
She added, “Good blood flow to the brain means your brain cells get more oxygen and nutrients, while getting rid of the ‘bad stuff’, like free radicals, that can be harmful to your brain.”
4. DRINKING CROSS DRINKS OR ALCOHOL
Penny explained that sugary and alcoholic drinks are also harmful to brain health.
She explained: ‘Sugary drinks, including juices and fizzy drinks, contain huge amounts of sugar, which is detrimental to our brain health, as it causes inflammation in the brain and can contribute to memory loss.
“Alcohol can also cause a lot of problems, including brain fog, because of the sulfites, and foods high in trans fat and artificial ingredients can cause inflammation in the body and brain, which studies have shown can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” .’
10 QUICK TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN HEALTH
1. Eat well
Dr. Ferrer recommends a diet rich in antioxidants, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
She explained, “Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause damage if their levels get too high.
“They are linked to multiple diseases, including a decline in cognition, as well as diabetes and heart disease.”
2. Try a new activity
A mentally stimulating activity can help build the brain and cognitive function.
It could be learning to play an instrument, learning a language, or a new hobby that stimulates the brain.
Learning something new can improve memory, focus, and day-to-day functionality.
3. Stay connected
There is some evidence that being socially active helps maintain thinking skills and slows cognitive decline later in life.
In addition, those who remain socially active and engaged with others report being happier and healthier overall.
Socializing can boost attention and memory, plus help boost cognitive function; you may just smile and talk, but your brain is hard at work.
4. Move around
Physical activity is good for your body and mind because exercise increases blood flow and oxygen supply to your brain.
Dr. Ferrer said, “Even just taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator can make a difference.”
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells communicate with each other
During sleep, your brain works to repair itself, so try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
Sleep is important to our overall health, which is why our brains can’t escape.
Excessive worry and stress have been shown to reduce performance on cognitive tests.
Dr. Ferrer suggests trying yoga, meditation, a walk, or listening to music to relax and clear your head.
Stress management can reduce health problems related to stress, including cognitive problems and a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
7. Check your blood pressure
Having high blood pressure can lead to cognitive decline and heart problems. Check your blood pressure regularly.
Blood carries oxygen, glucose and other nutrients to the brain, which it needs for energy and to function optimally.
High blood pressure can also cause blood clots to form in the arteries leading to the brain, blocking blood flow and possibly causing a stroke.
8. Reduce sugar
Over time, high blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the brain that carry oxygenated blood.
Brain cells can die if they don’t get enough oxygenated blood, which can lead to dementia.
Dr. Ferrer recommends cutting back on our sugary drinks and drinks, as well as following doctor’s recommendations to control high blood sugar.
9. Reduce alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for cognitive decline because it disrupts the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the appearance and function of the brain.
Not only can alcohol make it harder for the brain to control balance, memory, and speech, but it also impairs judgment.