Quiz: How Can You Power Up Your Brain Today? RESULTS: STRONG BRAIN AS YOU AGE
Your answers indicate that you want to keep your brain young and powerful as you age. Hey, we all want that.
Your brain does a lot for you, and it’s your job to give it the energy and protection it needs to stay young and efficient. Here are a few ways to max out your brain’s energy production while minimizing damage to your delicate brain cells, to keep your thinker young and sharp.
Brain training exercises
Just like you can work out your muscles, you can flex your brain cells to make them stronger and faster. Puzzle books, brain teaser toys and logic games all give your brain a trip to the gym.
Figure out how to solve a Rubik’s cube. (Don’t spin and spin and give up — there’s a method to it. Look it up online and practice so your brain learns something.) Get together with friends and have a night at an escape game solving riddles and puzzles. Work through reaction time games on your phone while you’re in the dentist’s waiting room. The key is to use your noodle consistently and change it up so you’re always on your toes.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a powerful little protein that stimulates your production of new brain cells and strengthens existing ones. More specifically, when you release BDNF, it flips the switch on a series of genes that grow brand new brain cells and pathways. High BDNF makes you learn faster, remember better, age slower, and rapidly rewire your brain. It goes without saying that you want plenty of BDNF as you get older.
Things that increase BDNF:
- Deep sleep
- Polyphenols – antioxidants that stimulate BDNF and protect your brain from stress (think brightly colored vegetables, coffee, and high-quality chocolate)
- Coffee fruit extract – extract of the red fruit around the coffee bean increased BDNF by 140% in several studies
You might think sleeping is a time to rest your brain, but that couldn’t be further from the truth of what’s actually happening. Sleep is your brain’s most active time. While you’re snoozing, your brain is working hard to repair, to clean out waste products, and to make and strengthen brain cell connections from what you learned and did throughout the day.
That’s why it’s crucial to not just sleep more, but sleep better. It’s not enough to just be in your bed. The magic happens during high-quality, restful sleep.
If you need help getting there, here’s an article about ways to get the kind of sleep your brain needs to do what it needs to do.