The brain regulates all vital functions. It is responsible for cardiac and respiratory rhythms. It is also the seat of our emotions and thoughts. To maintain this active organ, it is necessary to take care of it by keeping it in good health. But do you know that some habits can damage it? These 5 bad habits are very common and can destroy your brain. Here is how to preserve this organ.
The Impact of Aging on the Brain
With age, our body undergoes many changes: muscle mass decreases, the skin loses its elasticity, hearing is impaired … And the brain doesn’t escape the effects of aging, including the free radicals. The more time passes, the more our brain cells will weaken. It will be difficult for this organ to make new neural connections, and everyone is likely to suffer from memory problems.
A brain that evolves well is a brain capable of retaining its old neural connections and create new ones. It is a brain that manages to preserve memories, to obtain new information and to communicate with others.
The bad habits listed below prevent the brain from functioning normally. Some can even destroy the existing connections. Here is what to eliminate from your daily routine.
Processed foods and frozen ready meals are an easy option after a long day of work, but their consumption is harmful to your health, especially the one of the brain. To develop normally and process new information correctly, this organ needs nutrients and healthy fats. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods. These are rich in fructose, a noxious substance to the brain.
A study published in 2012 in the Journal of Physiology at UCLA, demonstrated that a diet high in fructose could, over time, damage the memory and learning ability. Fructose also increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Lack of Sleep
We all need sleep and rest to allow our bodies to recover. Doctors recommend sleeping 7-8 hours a night, but often we don’t respect these hours and we sleep much less. This bad habit has harmful effects on the brain.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently conducted a study on mice and they proved the link between lack of sleep and the permanent loss of brain cells.
Lack of Physical Activity
The practice of physical activity is beneficial for the brain. Sport promotes the production of dopamine, the hormone of happiness. This hormone is necessary for the short-term memory and for good reflex. Try to do some sports by practicing the activity that you like best!
High Stress Levels
The current lifestyle exposes us to stress in one way or another. But to protect your brain, it is necessary to find ways to cope with stress and prevent it from taking over your life. If nothing is done, stress has the ability to inhibit the growth of the brain and change its size.
Yale University researchers conducted a study which showed that stress generating events such as divorce, illness or death of a loved one could affect the brain and lead to a narrowing of this organ. They found a reduction in the volume of gray matter and decreased ability to cope with problems. These changes in brain structure may even lead to self-destructive behaviors like depression, overeating or addiction.
Poor or Nonexistent Social Life
Socializing is important for brain health. A study by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has just proved it. This study demonstrated the link between the volume of the amygdala, the part of the brain essential for decoding emotions, and social relations.
Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, in the Nature Neuroscience journal, says: “Increased amygdala probably allows humans to more easily identify, recognize and learn social and emotional signals from others, and allows us to develop complex strategies to advance our life. These findings show that the amygdala plays a critical role in social behavior.”
Not having a social life is therefore one of those bad habits that destroy the brain. How about surrounding yourself with friends?