It’s easy to take for granted how amazing our brains really are. This brilliant organ manages every aspect of your body from your thoughts to your hormones, muscles, digestion and everything in between! Therefore, your ability to relax and clear your mind, to be able to focus and concentrate when necessary is an integral part of your health and something that you can nurture each and everyday with some simple lifestyle practices. These same lifestyle choices that can help boost your brain power may also help protect against cognitive decline, so your brain will be sparking up creative ideas for years to come!
Your brain can be thought of as an engine that needs quality fuel to thrive! We’ve discussed some simple lifestyle tweaks below that will work as quality fuel to boost your brain health and keep your mind ticking away…
It’s no secret that aerobic exercise makes us all feel good but what’s even better is that it can have a positive impact on boosting your memory, relaxing your mind, improving focus & concentration, improving mental health, enhancing creativity AND slowing your overall cognitive decline.
We recommend 30-45 minutes, 3 days a week of brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or similar. Getting used to this regular, moderate exercise early in life will be great for your ongoing brain health. Cardiovascular workouts need not be over the top; remember that some high intensity workouts can raise your stress levels, which in turn will nullify the positive effects on your brain health. It is important to challenge yourself while trying to avoid any stress response in your mind or body. A personal fave way of moving our bodies to nurture brain health is to hang the upper body down towards the ground and let everything hang there loosely, allowing blood to flow to your head, oxygenating and nourishing your mind. This is a great way to start your day by awakening your mind and body alike!
2. Lower Your Blood Sugar
While natural sugar is a great source of fuel for your brain, elevated blood sugar levels have been found to be potentially toxic to your brain. Fortunately, you can keep your blood sugar levels in check through simple dietary choices. Minimising consumption of refined sugars is a great start, including cutting intake of foods like cookies, cakes, fizzy drinks, lollies and absolutely anything that contains high fructose corn syrup. As always, eating more fruits, vegetables and lean protein is recommended for a healthy balance of nutrients. Choose in-season, organic produce where possible for the most nourishing and satiating goodness out.
3. Drink Arepa!
Arepa is a brand new caffeine-free, all-natural, antioxidant rich bevvy that has been designed to clear your mind, soothe anxiety and promote overall healthy brain functioning. Arepa is made with four key ingredients that have been researched for their synergistic effect on giving you a relaxed but mentally alert state. This little brain booster can be thought of as your pocket rocket in a bottle and a great alternative to coffee, minus those not-so-nice side effects. Plus it tastes sooo good with the addition of Hawkes Bay apples and Canterbury blackcurrants. Yes please! You can try Arepa inside the January Delight Box or order in packs here.
There has been a lot of research around the awesome benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on the brain. There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. Omega-3 EPA has been highlighted for its role in reducing risk of anxiety and depression, while omega-3 DHA may help keep your mind sharp and prevent cognitive decline associated with ageing. These healthy compounds can be consumed from oily fish, or on a vegetarian diet in the form of walnuts and flaxseeds. Fish oil supplements are another popular way to ingest good amounts of omega-3s, and in addition to nurturing brain health, these supplements will also help to maintain a healthy heart, skin, hair and eyes.
5. Fresh Air
Sometimes it is important for you to step outside and get some fresh air to clear your mind and ground your thoughts. The amount of serotonin (aka the “happy” hormone!) in your brain is largely affected by the amount of oxygen you inhale. Therefore, by taking just a few moments at regular intervals throughout your day to inhale some fresh outdoor air, your serotonin levels will leap and this will have the important influence of lightening your mood and promoting a sense of happiness and wellbeing. You will be left feeling more refreshed and relaxed!
In addition to this, fresh air can increase your energy levels and help you to think with a clearer mind. As your brain uses up at least 20% of your body’s total oxygen, more oxygen can bring clarity to the brain, improve concentration, soothe anxiety and have a positive effect on your overall energy levels.
What practices do you implement daily to boost your brain power? Let us know in the comments below xo