Lifestyle Magazine

Build Brain Power by Harnessing the Power of Neuroplasticity

February 21, 2019

Human brains are moldable. They are constantly breaking and forming new neural connections between brain cells, and can shrink or expand as you learn new things. Just a few years ago, this was thought to be impossible.

This isn’t just another cool fact that’s good to know. Knowing how your brain works can actually help you build brain power and delay age-related dementia.

How Neuroplasticity Works

The brain is made of a huge number of neurons that work together to perform both simple and complex tasks. These neurons are connected by a unique pattern of pathways.

When your brain needs to perform a task such as recall the lyrics to your favorite song, the neural connections fire up in a specific sequence until the task is done.

Neuroplasticity occurs when your brain modifies existing neural networks and creates new ones. It deletes neural connections that you haven’t used in a while and strengthens the necessary ones. This process happens continuously throughout your life as you learn and memorize new things. 

How to Build Brain Power

Keep learning new things

Nothing keeps your brain cells active like learning new things. Studies show that enrolling in an art or dance class can improve your attention, memory and promote neuroplasticity and growth.

Similarly, learning a new language activates the hippocampus, which is the memory center of the brain, and actually makes your brain bigger.

Exercise

The benefits of working out go far beyond physical fitness. Regular exercise generates new neural connections in the hippocampus, and improves your thinking and memory.

This is because exercise improves blood, oxygen and nutrient supply to the brain and stimulates the production of a hormone that promotes the formation of new neurons and connections. It’s why doctors prescribe physical exercises to ward off mental decline in patients over 50.

You don’t have to work out for months before you begin seeing changes in your memory and your brain’s ability to plan and organize. If you do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise a week, you should start seeing results within 4 weeks.

Read regularly

You probably already know that reading is good for the brain, but do you realize just how beneficial it is?

Reading regularly keeps the part of your brain that deals with language active, and strengthens neural pathways in this area. This mental stimulation can help reduce stress, which is bad for your brain, and also reduces the risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Support Your Brain with Healthy Food

Your brain needs nutrients to make new brain cells and create new neural pathways. Important nutrients that boost brain function include omega 3 fatty acids, Magnesium and Vitamins D and E.

Eating lots of brain foods such as blueberries, nuts and seeds, whole grains and salmon helps to keep your brain well-nourished and healthy.

Modern science has revealed the marvelous truth that you don’t have to play the cards that were dealt you. It’s within your power to have a stronger, healthier and younger brain.



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