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Do you know that your daily habits may actually be hurting your brain? Eliminating these bad habits from your daily routine can help your brain and improve your life, reports Sade Oguntola.
If you’re like most people, you would probably have one or two bad habits that can lead to serious brain damage. When it comes to brain power, there are things that boost it and things that stop it from functioning. Although people even think that the brain can always be smart and intelligent before the senile stage comes, a smart brain can be destroyed by various personal habits and addictions.
Avoiding these bad habits can help to keep the brain sharp and healthy. Here is a list of things to avoid to prevent serious brain damage.
Smoking doesn’t just cause cancer and other health issues. Smoking, whether it is cigarettes, cigars or a pipe kills brain cells. It robs the body of oxygen and essential nutrients the brain needs to survive.
New research which suggests a direct link between smoking and brain damage was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry. It found that a compound in tobacco provokes white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells, leading to severe brain damage.
In addition, on the long-term, smoking can shrink the brain tissue to cause senile dementia. It can also cause hardening of the blood vessels that supply the brain.
Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical changes in the brain that can cause learning and memory problems.
Researchers, aside linking air pollution and higher levels of depression and anxiety, said that prolonged exposure to polluted air can have visible, negative effects on the brain, which can lead to a variety of health problems.
Scientists, writing in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, said air pollution causes a decreased learning and memory abilities.
Sleep allows the brain to rest and relieve fatigue. A study published in the Neuroscience journals indicated that short-term sleep restriction prevents the balanced growth and depletion of brain synapses, which are the connections between nerve cells where communication occurs.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping the first meal of the day not only means eating more at lunch, but also increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular illness (such as hypertension and heart attack) as well as brain damage according to a study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA)’s annual conference back in 2003.
Without breakfast, there is a lowering of the blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.
Head covered while sleeping
Sleep with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effect.
Aside oxygen concentration dips impairing brain function, this has been linked to learning impairment, stroke and premature death.
The lack of oxygen while asleep may be far more detrimental than when awake, possibly because the normal compensatory mechanisms don’t work as well when you are asleep.
Eating too much sugar
Overeating, poor memory formation, learning disorders, depression – all have been linked in recent research to the over-consumption of sugar.
Research indicates that a diet high in added sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, our brains can’t form new memories and we can’t learn (or remember) much of anything.
Moreover, too much sugar also interrupts the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.
Working the brain during illness
Any stress, including that from working while sick, when it becomes unremitting hurts the brain. In a series of studies reported in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, researchers looked at the effects of long-term exposure to stress hormones, especially cortisol, on the brain function of older adults, young adults, and children.
The researchers found that older adults with continuously high levels of cortisol performed worse on memory tests than older adults with moderate or low cortisol levels. They also had, on average, a 14 per cent smaller hippocampus, the area of the temporal lobes involved with memory.
According to the medical research, after people eat too much during the dinner, a kind of special substance in the brain can be increased, which can induce the formation of atherosclerosis. If people always eat too much for dinner, both atherosclerosis(hardening of blood vessels) and the premature ageing of brain can arise.
Inadequate intake of water
Dehydration can be a negative factor in nearly every disease and condition. Dehydration also kills brain cells. The human brain is mostly water. Without water, brain cells cannot function. They shut down and die. So, in preventing loss of brain cells, drink water instead of soft drinks or energy drinks to prevent dehydration.
Junk food and snacks have little or no nutritional value. Filling up with junk food will not only kill brain cells, it will have a negative effect on nearly every system and organ in the body.
Lack of stimulating thoughts
Thinking is the best way to train the brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage. Stimulated thoughts, including meditation is beneficial for the brain. Recent compelling evidence from scientific researchers at Yale, Harvard, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed that meditation can allow us to “grow bigger brains.”
Brain scanning technology [i.e. MRIs] showed that meditation boosted thickness of brain structure dealing with attention, sensory input, and memory functions. The thickening was found to be more noticeable in adults than younger individuals.
Meditation is known to boost brain activity, coherency of brain waves, strengthen neural connections, and thicken gray matter.
Reading, solving word puzzles, and taking part in intellectual conversation may slow the effects of memory loss. An active brain is better equipped to resist disease. Increased blood flow from both physical and mental exercise improves the connections among nerve cells.
According to Robert Friedland, MD., in a submission to the book, The World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets (Bottom Line Books, 2008), “A seven-year study of 2,000 people over age 65 found that those who engaged in high levels of reading, physical exercise or just talking with friends reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 38 per cent.”Share
written by Max Brown, October 31, 2012
written by Nicola, October 31, 2012