More tips to keep your brain alert and healthy

Apart from eating oily fish or taking an Omega-oil supplement, watching your diet, exercising and making sure to get rid of stress, what else can you do? Here a few, interesting, tips.

Rosemary oil: there is an old saying, “rosemary for remembrance,” that is still valid today. Putting one / two drops of rosemary oil on each foot, will clear your mind and help you to think clearly. It is proven that rosemary improves your alertness, recall and overall cognitive performance, by increasing blood circulation to the surface of your brain. Make sure, however, not to do this when you go to bed; unless you want to lie awake all night!

Fatty acids (DHA), like Omega-oil, affects the very architecture of your brain. This, in turn, affects your emotional, mental and physical performance. The fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in particular, is the important one, as this is concentrated in certain areas of the brain that require a lot of electrical activity. Cold water fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, are good sources. However, if you don’t eat a lot of fish, use a supplement, as you need 400 – 800 mg a day. For optimum synthesis of fatty acids, add a vitamin B-supplement; 400 – 800 mg a day.

Taking Ginkgo biloba is also a good supplement to boost blood flow to the brain. It improves elasticity, supplies nutrients and takes toxins away.

We all know that smoking is bad for our health, just like drinking too much caffeine and eating plenty of junk / processed / ready-made meals. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels, prevent sleep and dehydrates you. It is one thing to have 2 cups of coffee per day, for example, but when you drink only coffee and more than 2 cups per day, it can become a serious health problem. Alcohol is another substance that is toxic to your cerebellum, which controls coordination and the speed of processing information. Your brain is 80% water; 8 – 10 glasses of water is important.

When you are thirsty it is a signal of your body that it is already starting to dehydrate! The main thing is: there is nothing wrong with drinking coffee, Ceylon tea or alcohol. It is the amount that counts; as is the size of the wine glass! The Europeans drink 1, maximum 2, glasses of wine with their meals; and that is it. It is not necessary to “finish the bottle” once it is open.

Instead of trying to remember everyone’s name, address, telephone number, and so on, make use of a diary in your handbag, on your phone or on your laptop. Life is just easier if you have a “birthday list” written down somewhere, for example.

Mediation and practising yoga are wonderful ways to not only relax, but also stimulate the brain, increase circulation and lift your overall mood. In a study done in 2003, it was noted that, by only meditating for 12 minutes a day, the brain function improved drastically. Not only did it reduce the cortisol (stress hormone) levels, but it also stimulated the circulation to the brain and activity in the frontal lobe. This is wonderful for attention and focus, as well as uplifting your mood.

Yoga, in general, teaches the body and mind to connect; it teaches the pupil to become aware of what is going on inside the body, to work with the breath and to breathe more deeply. Pilates is also another form of linking body and mind, but Yoga takes it a step further. In Yoga, there are certain poses that one does to either relax and unwind, or stimulate and energize both body and mind. Downward Facing Dog will help to “pick you up” when you are feeling foggy and tired. It calms the mind / scattered thoughts and helps you to focus. Standing in this pose, your head is lower than your heart, which helps to bring oxygenated blood to the brain. When you do this pose, you can do it with either bent or straight legs; do remember to look towards your hands or keep your head centred. Don’t look at your feet and relax your shoulders and jaw.

Biofeedback, Body Talk, Core Regeneration Therapy and Regression, are just a few of many techniques that people use today to get rid of the deep-seated stress triggers that is stuck in the subconscious mind. If you are unsure about it, speak to someone who has gone for such a therapy-session and do make sure that the therapist is well-qualified. We are made to function as a unite and, if one part of the unite is out of sync, then the rest of the body is too. For me personally, I think the key to keeping your brain functioning at optimum level for as long as possible, is a good diet, exercise, getting rid of stress and not to grab a tablet (if you don’t have too). Instead, practise the above and eat healthy.

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