Take care of your brain, be smarter and live happier and more following these keys. Mind and body are connected, so that physical activity, lifestyle, the food we eat and rest determine the efficiency of this important organ as well.
It was written by the Roman poet Juvenal in one of his satires, mens sana in corpore sano; a legacy that became popular and linked to physical exercise. The original verse was preceded by an orandum est ut, that is, “we must pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body.”
Logically, we must frame this religious meaning in the context of the time, between the first and second centuries A.D. The Latin poet referred to the need to have a balanced mind and a balanced body, at a time when they considered themselves independent.
But body and mind are one. Brain health has to do with physical activity, maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps prevent strokes.
The authors of How to invest in your brain: A SharpBrains guide to improve your mind and your life, Álvaro Fernández Ibáñez and Elkhonon Goldberg, also provide some advice to the brain health discussion.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Aerobic exercise increases the number of neurons that are created every day in our brain, so it improves memory, mental agility and speed, as well as preventing cerebrovascular diseases. Stress, on the other hand, diminishes this creative capacity.
Recommendation: Practice physical activity regularly, at least one hour three times a week.
FEEDING. Although the brain constitutes 2% of our body, it consumes 20% of the total energy, according to a research published in the journal Science. Nutrition is, therefore, fundamental, although what matters is the diet as a whole and not specific foods.
Recommendation: It is recommended to consume less salt, moderate alcohol intake, not smoking and lower cholesterol, reducing and avoiding saturated, trans and omega 6 fats. In general, the Mediterranean diet is the best ally.
BREAK. Stress accelerates the aging of the brain, which does not rest andkeep working at night (order experiences and memories, store information …). When a person does not sleep well, he has difficulties in his psychomotor performance and precision movements, as well as problems in maintaining attention and concentration.
Recommendation: Sleep between 6 and 8 hours a day.
COGNITIVE STIMULATION. Novelty, variety and challenges help the brain to be Active and stay young.
Recommendation: Assembling puzzles, performing crosswords, analyzing readings, studying languages or playing chess are good ways to exercise the brain.
Although the cerebrovascular accident is the one that has the greatest impact in most countries due to the number of deaths, there are others related to the brain, “such as neurodegenerative diseases that appear with aging”, such as dementia and Alzheimer's , but “also Parkinson's, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis” have to do with this organ.
Men are more likely to suffer strokes; risk that increases with age. However, improving the lifestyle with the above tips prevents these heart attacks.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the other pathologies, since science has not yet advanced enough to determine its cause and take preventive measures.