Today, at the request of many of my readers, I am listing below the 12 best things to “feed” your brain to help it, and you, function at your most vibrant. At this time of year, I know my brain can use a little help because temptation is all around us. Every little change we can make will help us focus more clearly and have better concentration. Here, based on the latest research, I am listing 12 brain ‘foods’ in rough order of importance.
The Best Brain Foods in Order of Importance
- Cut back or eliminate eating refined sugar—white or brown sugar and maple syrup.
- Cut back or eliminate processed foods made from wheat—cookies, crackers, breads, breakfast cereal. (By a country mile, number 1 and 2 are the most important choices you can make for the health of your brain.)
- Eat a like an Italian, or Greek, or other culture from the Mediterranean region (such as the Mediterranean diet).
- Reduce your stress level: put more fun in your life. Add quiet time or meditation into your day. Seriously consider adopting a pet.
- Exercise moderately every day. Do enough to raise your heart rate to at least the lower end of the target heart rate range for your age: (The formula there is 220 minus your age.)
- Develop a daily gratitude practice by looking for and acknowledging things going right in your life.
- Get at least 7 hours (and ideally 8 hours) of good quality sleep each night. A key here is to be in bed, lights out by 11pm.
- Strengthen, or develop new friends: join a group, sign-up for a class, call your old classmates and plan a “want to see” people reunion (none of the bullies or meanies allowed). Volunteer somewhere out of your comfort zone.
- Learn to play a musical instrument. Challenging, (I’m doing it!) and so rewarding!
- Develop a meditation practice: Eastern-based, religious-based, or spiritually-based meditations are all great, and the benefits come from devoting twenty minutes a day to a structured practice of some kind.
- Challenge your brain with Neurobic exercises (see my Fun and Fitness for Your Brain blog post for a few suggestions and more information about this brain fitness approach.)
- Love with all your heart, and learn to live from your heart—your emotional brain. 😉
Pick and choose from this smorgasbord of delicious options, the more of these you taste and add to your diet, the better you will feel, the sharper your cognitive skills will become, and you will be super-charging your memory! Yum-yum.
Until next time… Be Vibrant!