Morning Boosts for Brain Health
Finding ways to improve your brain health should be a long-term commitment. As we age, the brain goes through several changes that can impact its function and our cognitive capacity. As well as losing volume, the cortex becomes thinner and the receptors don’t fire as quickly; according to one study the volume of the brain decreases by around 5% per decade after the age of 40. For that reason, it’s important to help maintain brain function as regularly and best we can. Here are our favourite ways to boost brain health before you’ve even left the house…
Drink a big glass of water
Rather than reaching for caffeine to wake you up first thing, go for a big glass of water instead. Our brains are made up of over 70% water and even a little loss of that overnight has been proven to affect focus and decision making. In addition to improving cognitive function, it’s also a great opportunity to get some essential nutrients into your body in the form of a daily multi vitamin. Workshop’s Multi Vitamin Formula helps keep your immune system boosted and promote a more anti-inflammatory state in the body.
Do some morning meditation
Meditation ignites your frontal lobes, which are involved in motor function, problem solving, memory, language, impulse control and social behaviour. Studies also show that meditation is a great stress-relieving tool and so is a great way to combat excessive levels of cortisol that have the potential to damage crucial areas of the brain including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), the hippocampus, the amygdala and the frontal lobes.
Wake up naturally
Although they’re a normal part of most of our lives, alarms are bad news for our nervous system because they shock our bodies into waking at a point when we might still be in a deep sleep. As well as increasing blood pressure and heart rate, it can trigger a rush of stimulating hormones like adrenaline. Instead of relying on an alarm to wake, try and practise good sleep hygiene such as getting into a regular sleep routine. That way you train your internal body clock into waking you up naturally and without the need for a nasty shock.
Brush your teeth and your tongue
If you want to stimulate your brain, stimulate your tongue with an electrical pulse such as an electric toothbrush. A well-known acupressure point, the tongue is the point where two meridian points meet, which means it’s possible to boost energy flow by stimulating blood flow. This helps reduce brain fog and poor focus and activate the neural network that's in control of balance.
Eat your omegas
95% of serotonin (our happy hormone) is produced in the gut so it makes sense to eat foods that help encourage its production. Omega-3 fatty acids are nutritional powerhouses for so many reasons, not least because they boost serotonin levels naturally, contribute to proper brain function and reduce inflammation, which some experts believe is linked to conditions like anxiety and depression.
Exercise early (but do it outside)
There’s no doubt that exercise is important for proper brain function – it elevates your heart rate which is a great way of encouraging neuroplasticity in the brain – but go one better and exercise outside. Not only will it expose you to natural vitamin D which is important for nerve growth in the brain, by fostering a deeper connection to nature you’re also helping to reduce stress levels.