Your brain is an amazing organ. Not only does it control all of the systems in your body; it’s also where your thoughts and dreams develop. To take care of your brain in the best way possible, it helps to understand cognitive function and visit the professionals at Naples Vitality.
What Is Cognitive Function?
When it comes to cognitive function, this is the ability for your brain to process and carry out a task. It can be something small, such as getting up in the morning, or a more complex task, including doing math or building a spaceship. No matter what goal you are trying to accomplish, you need your brain to get you through. Over time and depending on circumstances, your brain processes will change.
Impacts on Brain Function
Throughout your life, you can do things that have an impact on how your brain functions. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs are good examples of this. When these elements are in your system, your ability to complete tasks or make decisions is impaired. The best way to overcome these issues is to stop doing drugs or drinking.
As you get older, it’s possible that your cognitive function will be impacted by other factors, including genetics and illness. Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases may further impact your memory, motor skills, and even your personality. Things such as strokes or high fevers may also influence how your brain works. Fortunately, there are things you can do to slow down the development of these issues.
Ways to Improve Brain Function
You may not be able to escape your genetic code or prevent an illness from entering your body, but there are things you can do to help with your cognitive function. Doing these things may delay the inevitable from happening or reduce the symptoms should they occur. Below are some easy ways to be good to your brain and improve the way it functions.
Get Good Sleep
Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night is one of the best things that you can do for your brain. While you are asleep, this is when your brain has a chance to reset and heal. Studies have shown that when you are sleeping, your brain has a chance to clear out beta-amyloids, which are toxins that can lead to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Making sleep a priority also has other benefits, including being focused and alert the next day. Whether you have a project due at work or you need to keep an eye on your kids, being able to do that with a clear mind will make the task easier to accomplish. Thus, getting enough sleep at night will have a huge impact on your brain’s ability to function.
Eat the Right Foods
Since you were young, you’ve been told how important it is to eat a healthy diet. That doesn’t change when you get older. In fact, it becomes even more imperative. As your body changes, you may not be able to lose or keep off weight like you had in the past and your body may react differently to certain foods.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats are the best things to eat for good cognitive function. These elements can often be found in fish, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains. You might consider the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and fish—all of which are good for your brain. Recent studies have shown that there are flavanols in cocoa beans that can improve your memory and help with brain function.
Keep in mind that we do not necessarily recommend any particular diet for every patient. This is determined on a case-by-case basis in which the doctor makes recommendations per individual patient.
Keep Your Heart Healthy
Your body is an interconnected system, so if there are issues with one system, it will have an impact on other parts as well. This is especially true when it comes to the relationship between your heart and your brain.
Your brain depends on your heart to provide it with nutrients and oxygen, which are transported through the blood. If you have heart disease or clogged arteries, this can impact how well blood is pumped through your system. Keeping your heart healthy will ensure that your brain gets the nutrients it needs to function at its very best.
Every case is unique, but changing your diet and lifestyle can sometimes improve your heart’s health, which in turn can help your brain. Exercise can help keep you stimulated and the heart pumping, which will get the blood moving through the body. This is good for the heart and will help keep the brain active.
Don’t Neglect Your Gut
Studies have shown that there is a connection between the bacteria in your gut and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If the bacteria get out of balance, this could impact how your brain functions.
Depression and anxiety wreak havoc on your brain. They can cause abnormalities to form as well as decrease brain function. It’s also possible that these mental health issues will change how your brain is structured and the connections between the various parts. However, all is not lost. Your brain is incredibly flexible and open to change.
Eating a healthy diet and taking care of any stomach issues can reduce how often you are afflicted by depression and anxiety. Not only will this help you feel better, but it will ensure that your brain is performing optimally.
Hang Out With Friends
Being social is another great way to ensure that your brain is functioning the way it should. While the internet has made it possible for you to connect with family and friends online, it’s not the same as being with them in person. When you hang out with other people, you use different parts of your brain to listen to them and to formulate responses. It can also get the blood flowing through your body.
Taking a few moments every week to get out of the house and interact with others can be enough to get your cognitive function working the way it should. It’s also a good way to stave off feelings of loneliness and depression, which can have an impact on how your brain functions.
Humans are social creatures, and you can’t deny your need to be with others. It may be a lot easier to stay inside and watch TV or read a book, but your brain needs something more. Make it a point to get out and socialize with others to keep your brain healthy.
Learn New Things
Learning new skills, such as cooking, a new game, going to a new city, or picking up a new hobby can have an impact on your cognitive function. When you learn something new, it creates new connections between brain cells. The more connections you have in your brain, the harder is it for degenerative brain diseases to break them apart.
While there are online games and apps that you can download to help you learn new things, studies have shown that mastering real-world skills is a better benefit to your brain. Thus, taking classes at a local community college or going to a lecture or conference can help you in this endeavor. You might even consider joining a book club. Then, you’ll get the benefits that come with reading and being social.
The older you get, the harder it might be for you to remain active. This could be due to physical limitations or because you have no desire or energy to get outside. While you may have earned some moments of rest and relaxation, don’t stay idle for too long. Once you get complacent, it will be harder to get up and move, and this will have an impact on your brain.
You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to being active. Taking a 20-minute walk every day is enough to keep your body feeling good and your brain engaged. This is a great way to keep your heart pumping and stimulate your brain with fresh air and new sights.
Getting Assistance to Improve Your Brain Function
Your health is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Your entire life depends on how you feel, so take the time to ensure that you are doing what you need to reach your ultimate potential. Since your brain plays such an important role in every part of your life, taking care of it is in your best interest. Eating the right foods, staying active, and learning new things are some of the best ways to accomplish that goal.
If you find that you need some support or ideas on how to improve your cognitive function, then working with a qualified professional can help. A professional can show you how to be the healthiest you possible and encourage you to meet your goals. This professional can also be there to answer any questions you might have about your health and well-being.
At Naples Vitality in Naples, FL, we specialize in patients’ ability to recover and regain cognitive function. When you work with our experts, you may find ways to improve your cognitive function. You may also learn about the positive scientific findings related to neuroplasticity. We can work with you as we encourage you to develop healthy practices so that you can live the best life possible. Find ways to reach your full potential by contacting us today and scheduling a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!