Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to cognitive health
Did you know that the brain has 86 billion nerve cells?
Because of this complexity, the success rate of a brain transplant surgery is lower than that of a heart transplant.
Only a limited number of trials have been conducted so far.
This means that you’ll be stuck with one brain, healthy or otherwise, for the rest of your life.
The brain is the seat of our awareness, from where it controls the entire bodily organs. Obviously, we need to take good care of it.
But, do we?
In fact, most people don’t even believe that the brain requires any attention/care.
That’s why we need to be aware of our lifestyle that contributes to the degradation of our cognitive powers. While researching, I came across some surprising behaviors I never thought could harm the brain.
So, without further ado, I share some brain-harming habits you might want to quit/avoid asap.
The Devastating Effect of This Everyday Food Item
What is that one food you don’t actually need yet still want?
As a hint, it is one of the world’s most valuable crops.
What if I told you that the sugar in our diets was introduced by accident rather than choice.
Yes, sugarcane was originally used as a “fodder” crop for cattle.
The rest is history — The sweet flavor wrecked our lives.
According to a Harvard study, excessive sugar consumption leads to shrinkage of the brain. Neuronal connections in the brain are harmed as a result. This hinders learning capabilities and memory powers.
Another study shows that consuming too much sugar can increase your risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of cognitive impairment.
Blood sugar levels rise when you consume sugar. Insulin is released as a result of this. Hormone insulin aids in blood sugar regulation. Brain cells are damaged when insulin levels are too high.
A Forbes article confirms that a high sugar intake is linked with a lower score on cognitive tests.
So, limit your sugar intake; prolong your brain’s health.
Here’s What You Can Do:
Experts at Harvard suggest avoiding sugary drinks such as carbonated beverages, fruit juices, and sports drinks.
Avoid sweetening your coffee, tea, cereal, yogurt, and other foods.
Fun fact: Sugar is often disguised as “corn syrup,” “fructose,” or “HFCS.”There are 53 other interesting names you can find here.
Say “NO” to foods containing those names as ingredients.
Replace sugary snacks with dry fruits and dehydrated fruit chips.
Remove jams, peanut butter, and “Nutella” from your diet. Introduce handmade mixed nut butter, apple sauce, and “berry-reduction” sauce (that can serve as spreads) as substitutes.
Instead of heavily sugar-loaded cereals, eat oatmeal and porridge.
Replace ice cream with sugar-free frozen yogurt.
I took a “No Sugar Challenge” and learned many ways to combat sugar. You can read about how I slowly quit sugar and how you can replicate it:
Here’s What Happened When I Didn’t Eat Sugar for 240 Days
No, I did not lose weight but reaped some serious health benefits.
The #1 Silent Killer of Cognitive Powers
Inactivity is comfy. Motion is bliss.
Here’s why I say so:
When you stay in one place for too long, your brain does not receive the necessary stimulation it requires. It is starved of oxygen and nutrition.
Because of this, one’s cognitive function and memory deteriorate.
Another research has shown that a lack of physical activity can lead to deterioration in cognitive function and increased chances of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Inactivity produces tension and worry, which also damage the brain.
Here’s What You Can Do:
Every hour, get up and move around
Every thirty minutes, stop what you’re doing and stretch for a minute or two
Take a stroll after meals(lunch/dinner)
Workout for at least 30 minutes
Avoid escalators and elevators
Bike whenever and wherever possible
Park your car in the farthest spot
Manually wash your vehicle
Mow the lawn
Engage in light exercises like spot marching, pushups, etc. while watching TV
Here are 12 other ideas to squeeze healthier habits:
12 Realistic Ways to Squeeze Healthier Habits Into Super Busy Schedules
Busyness itself is an indication to stay fit and healthier
The Most Ignored Productivity Rule
Busyness is the new normal. But time is scarce. That’s why we work as much as we want against “as much as we can.”
I am talking about multitasking.
Stanford University researchers showed that, unlike popular belief, multitasking is less efficient than focusing on one job at a time.
Multiple studies suggest that multitasking reduces productivity, increases errors, and damages the brain.
Doing too many activities at once prevents your brain from getting enough time to focus on a single task and learn it thoroughly. This leads to memory loss and concentration issues.
Multitasking has also been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
So, if you want to keep your brain healthy, limit the amount of time you spend multitasking.
What You Can Do:
Make a list of the three most important things you need to accomplish today. More than three overwhelms, and less than three underperforms.
Set a timer for when you’ll finish each of these activities, so you don’t get interrupted.
Take breaks to relax your brain.
Don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t meet your promises.
Your productivity will skyrocket once you stop flitting back and forth between tasks.
You can stop multitasking once and for all if you use these strategies to increase your focus:
90 Percent of the Productivity Game Is Focus. Here’s How to Harness It.
It’s a myth that you need “more time.”
So, what’s the best brain protection?
Be mindful of threats and make tiny lifestyle modifications.
These practices may seem simple, but they’re essential if you want your brain to stay healthy and perform at its peak.
You don’t have to give up everything you enjoy; just limit your participation.
Let me know if I missed any other brain hazardous habits.
CONTRIBUTED BY Darshak Rana
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