The Ultimate Guide to Improved Brain Health and Mental Clarity

The Ultimate Guide to Improved Brain Health and Mental Clarity

The average human brain weighs 1.4 kg for adult men and 1.3 kg for adult men. If you want to imagine the size of your brain, your two clenched fists are about the size of your brain. From the outside it has crevices and creases and looks like a large walnut. Imagine from this small organ, sensations and information from the outside world and from inside the body are processed to stimulate an appropriate bodily response.

The brain is like a vast computer that processes all information. While computers have different wiring systems and chips to process information, the brain has neurons to receive, transmit, and process data or stimuli.

Can you tell how many neurons there are in the brain? This is about 100 billion neurons or nerve cells! That’s not all. An extra trillion of supporting cells in the brain stabilize brain tissue and neurons!

How can you improve brain health?

Improving brain health is crucial for promoting well-being and well-being. However, the brain remains a complex organ and neuroscientists are still trying to decipher many unknown brain functions. However, what is clear to these neuroscientists is the role nutrients have on brain health. Plus, they also discovered that exercise and physical activities are strongly linked to brain health!

Do you feel like it’s hard to concentrate because of stress? Having trouble remembering where you last put your car keys? Do you have a mental fog, especially at the end of the day? All of these challenges are just a few indicators of your brain health.

Read on to find the latest insights from scientific studies on how to improve your brain health naturally.

How can you improve your mental energy and mental acuity?

You’re in for a busy day with deadlines nagging at you all day. However, by late afternoon, you find yourself staring at the computer and struggling to process the information. You feel like your brain is just flabby. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

Hitting a wall in the late afternoon while catching up on your deadline feels like the world is closing in on you. You need that extra brain fuel to fuel you, but you can’t find it. Do not worry! The good news is that you can improve your diet to boost brain energy.

Here are some scientific ways to increase your mental energy.

Avoid diets high in refined sugar

It is best to avoid diets high in refined sugar to improve your brain health. These include sugary drinks such as cola drinks, desserts, sugary cakes, and junk foods high in refined sugar. A study [1] found that people whose intake of added sugar (refined sugar) was more than 33 grams/day or six teaspoons a day had lower scores on the Mini Mental State Examination compared to those whose diet contained less refined sugar. Additionally, the same study found that the higher the refined sugar intake (greater than 6 teaspoons per day), the lower the Mini Mental Examination (MMSE) scores. The MMSE is used to measure cognitive impairment in individuals.

To avoid excessive consumption of refined sugar, consider that a 350 ml cola drink contains 39 grams, which is more than the recommended 33 grams/day of sugar. This is 18% more than the daily allowed intake of refined sugar.

Animal model studies [2] showed that rats fed with a sugar solution, in particular sucrose, showed memory and spatial learning disorders. These studies reiterate that high-sugar diets may impair spatial memory by damaging a region of the brain called the hippocampus. This part of the brain is responsible for memory and spatial learning.

Brain fog and poor mental acuity are signs that your brain might not be working well. Constant brain fog can be an early sign of cognitive impairment. Therefore, improving your diet by eliminating excess refined sugar could help boost mental energy during the day and reduce brain fog.

Try a “Traditional” Diet to Improve Brain Energy and Mental Acuity

Traditional Mediterranean and Japanese diets improved cognitive and brain functioning [3]. Specifically, in older adults at risk for dementia, these diets were associated with dementia prevention or delays in disease progression. [3].

What are cognitive functions? These refer to the mental processes that allow individuals to remember, recognize, adapt to constantly changing conditions in the environment, and learn. These cognitive functions include learning, slimming, memory, speech, drawing, and writing. When some or most of these cognitive abilities are lost, an individual is said to suffer from cognitive impairment. One of the most well-known diseases characterized by cognitive impairment includes dementia.

Like older adults, you can sharpen your memory and improve your learning by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, and meat, as seen in the Mediterranean and Japanese diets. However, the exact mechanisms of how traditional diets may improve memory function and brain learning are still unclear. The effects of these diets are thought to be multifactorial. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of fruits and vegetables in traditional diets are also proposed to influence brain health.

The gut-brain connection

Did you know that your gut health can influence your brain health? Some might laugh that the brain is connected to the gut and vice versa. However, this connection is no joke. Have you ever been in a heartbreaking situation? Or, in the face of certain conditions, do you become nauseous? Do you have butterflies in your stomach before singing on stage? All of these expressions are used for a reason. The digestive system is sensitive to your emotions. Emotions such as fear, excitement, sadness, anxiety, or anger can trigger stomach upset or certain symptoms in your gut.

The brain is known to directly affect the intestines and stomach. Thinking only about food can trigger the release of digestive juices before the food even reaches the stomach and intestine. The connection is not one-way. When the intestine and stomach have health problems, they send signals to the brain like a troubled brain sends signals to the intestine.

In recent years, the results of studies [4] emerged and showed that gut microbiota, the microorganisms living in the gut, are associated with learning, memory, mood, stress, and even neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental diseases. A study [5] suggested that probiotic supplementation is linked to mental flexibility, better cognitive functioning, and reduced stress in older adults. Although further studies are still needed to determine if the same results can be seen in younger populations, the study findings [5] are promising. This indicated that consuming probiotic supplements could indirectly improve brain health, brain energy, and mental acuity.

Support a healthy diet with regular exercise

Studies [6] showed that frequent and consistent moderate physical activity each week can lead to improved mood, reduced risk of depression, better sleep, and improved mental clarity. So how long and how often should you exercise to get mental health benefits? As studies have pointed out, you should do moderate to vigorous physical activity such as brisk walking and running or aerobic exercise at least three times a week to improve your mental health. You should engage in 160 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. This equates to two hours and 40 minutes of exercise per week divided into three sessions.

Aim for at least 40 minutes of exercise per session to maximize mental health benefits. Interestingly, a review of studies [6] reported that the benefits of exercise are enhanced when a nap follows. Therefore, exercising before napping can lead to more excellent mental acuity and health benefits than exercise alone. So the next time you exercise, you can plan to take a short nap after walking or running around the neighborhood.

Try intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting means eating food for the first 6-8 hours and then going without food (fasting) for the next 14-16 hours. You oscillate between eating and not eating.

A review of the literature [7] found that intermittent fasting is associated with improved mood. Improved mood after fasting may be due to better sleep quality, changes in neurotransmitters, and synthesis of neurotrophic factors. The ketones released during intermittent fasting are also suggested to improve brain recovery and mitigate brain damage. These ketones have also been linked to reducing inflammation, thereby protecting the brain from damage. Additionally, intermittent fasting is associated with better cognition and reduced brain-related diseases. [7].

In a nutshell, protecting your brain and improving its health is key to ensuring that you have enough brain energy and mental acuity to perform your daily tasks. The good news is that you can incorporate walking and exercise into your daily routine, nap at regular times, and eat a healthy diet to boost your brain health! You can also take probiotic supplements to improve your mental health. Your choice of probiotic supplements will depend on your preferences. However, there are many probiotic supplements available now. You can visit your doctor and ask which probiotic supplement will help you improve memory and learning or your mood.


Photography: PopTika/ShutterStock

The information in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health-related topics. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition or treatment and before embarking on any new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or don’t delay in seeking it because of something you have. read on this site.

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