Brain Health Is A Lifetime Pursuit, Not Something Left To The Retirement Years
The brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body. It requires ten times the fuel of any other organ as it has to run 24/7 without sleep.
Weighing around three pounds, the human brain is a marvelous creation, containing around 85 billion neurons and trillions of interconnections called synapses.
Throughout one’s life the brain changes more than any other part of the body. It begins to develop around the third week of gestation and continues to grow and develop through to old age (as long as its owner remains physically and mentally active). Its complex structures and functions are ever-changing, as are its neural networks and pathways.
When we fail to ensure the proper health of our brain by not adequately supplying it with the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, oxygen, and rest it needs, this all-important organ falters, sputters, and operates in less than peak performance mode.
In fact, most experts assert that a majority of people have underperforming brains simply because we are not feeding it the nutrients it needs.
A properly feed brain is equipped to be used to its full potential. Additional benefits of a brain-healthy diet include better sleep, improved moods, increased vitality, more focus, and even greater creativity. Plus, you will be better able to cope with stress.
Additionally, as you age the health of your brain will be a vital factor in keeping dementia and a range of brain-related diseases at bay.
Of course, health is holistic. A healthy brain can only occur in a healthy body. There are no shortcuts to this synergistic state. You cannot build a healthy brain while neglecting the overall health of your body.
The corollary is likewise true. Neglecting the health of your body is a direct route to having an unhealthy brain, one that is incapable of peak performance, especially during times of elevated or prolonged stress.
Brain health is a lifetime pursuit. Unfortunately, teenagers, young adults, and people in middle age are building a lifetime of unhealthy habits that could make them prime candidates for dementia in their 60s and 70s. These bad habits include too much junk food and fast food, obesity, and excessive amounts of sedentary time spent in front of computer screens and handheld mobile devices.
Add the high-stress, hurried, non-stop pace of life without daily mental relaxation breaks to the above habits and you have a recipe for cognitive decline and increased dementia levels.
This article is partially excerpted from my award-winning book Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes: How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. The book is the recipient of a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association for bringing “a comprehensive plan of action for improving life through recognizing decision-making patterns that don’t serve us well, don’t enrich our lives, and don’t bring us to our goals and dreams.”