5 Habits That Accelerate Brain Aging

Doctors examining the human brain.

Our brain starts to malfunction even when we think that we are still young!    (Image: Elnur via Dreamstime)

An article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) talks about brain aging, disclosing that the human brain starts to age at 30 years of age, declines at 40, and shrinks after 60. Your brain starts to malfunction even when you think that you are still young!   

5 Symptoms signaling brain aging.

1. Certain heart diseases

Female doctor with a stethoscope holding a plastic heart between her palms.
The brain will be short of blood and oxygen in the long term. (Image: Alexander Raths via Dreamstime)

Heart diseases such as heart failure, atrial fibrillation, etc., will cause a decrease in blood discharge from the heart and an inadequate blood supply to the brain due to incomplete heart contraction. As a result, the brain will be short of blood and oxygen in the long term.   

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2. Damage to the intestines

Damaged intestines may cause stress-activated brain diseases and accelerate brain aging.
Damaged intestines may cause stress-activated brain diseases and accelerate brain aging. (Image: Fizkes via Dreamstime)

Being called “the second brain,” the intestines are closely related to the brain. Damaged intestines may cause stress-activated brain diseases and accelerate brain aging.  

3.  Harmful eating habits

A table holds plates and bowls filled with junk food including potato chips, french fries, cheeseburgers, donuts, cookies, pastries, and candy.
Avoid junk food for better brain health. (Image: Jetsam86 via Dreamstime)

The intake of high-fat food (causing arteriosclerosis), sweets (causing diabetes), salty food (causing hypertension), or an inadequate intake of staple foods (causing a shortage of glucose which the brain cells need) are harmful to the brain.

4. Staying up or suffering from insomnia on a long-term basis

Tired male student sleeping in class between two other female classmates who are busy taking notes.
Better sleeping habits keep the brain healthy. (Image: Antonio Guillem via Dreamstime)

The brain keeps working and produces waste when we are awake. Cleaning of these wastes by the cerebrospinal fluid is more efficient when we are sleeping. The brain will function worse if the wastes accumulate over a long time.  

5.  Always doing things in the same way

Young woman hiking barefoot.
New challenges keep the brain young. (Image: PKpix via Dreamstime)

We are used to doing things in the way that we are familiar with. This will deprive the brain of having challenges and inventing new ways to do things. If the brain can not maintain good cognitive functions it will degenerate.

How to delay brain aging

Four women at the dinner table eating healthy food including fruits and vegetables.
Eating healthily the majority of the time keeps the brain from deteriorating. (Image: Milkos via Dreamstime)

1. Eat foods that will nourish the brain

A.   Eggs: the nutrients in eggs can improve the function of autonomic nerves.

B.   Fish: fish can benefit brain cells and facilitate the ability of logical thinking and judgment.

C.   Walnuts: are rich in unsaturated fatty acid, which is an antioxidant and an important ingredient of brain cells.

D.   Vegetables: dark-green vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach, are rich in vitamins and are beneficial for the metabolism of brain cells.

2.  Keep beneficial eating and sleeping habits

Get the right amount of sleep to keep the brain functioning right. (Image: via Pixabay)

Do not stay up late; it will keep the brain from being tired. Eat a balanced diet to provide a good supply of nutrients to the brain.

3.   Persist in doing exercise

elderly bike riding
Regular exercise keeps the brain young. (Image: Tom Wang via Dreamstime)

Doing exercise can provide more blood to the brain, maintain good cognitive function, and delay the aging of the brain.

4.  Do not drink too much or smoke

Hand rejecting alcoholic beverage.
Refrain from over-drinking for better brain health. (Image: Flynt via Dreamstime)

Refraining from over-drinking and smoking can reduce the risk of cardiac diseases. Hypertension or diabetes will damage the micro-vessels in the brain. Good control of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and body weight is important to keep the brain functioning well and delay brain aging.

5.    Participate in social activities

A group of young people smiling for the camera and giving thumbs-up.
Being social enhances brain functions. (Image: Roman Samborskyi via Dreamstime)

Active participation in social activities can effectively stimulate the brain and delay aging.

6.    Relax

Man meditating Falun Dafa(Image: en.mighui.org)
Relax by meditating to keep the brain healthy. (Image: via Mighui)

Research reveals that staying relaxed can release our brain from stress and help it rest. Stress activates toxins accumulated in the brain producing free radicals and stress hormones, which are harmful to the brain. Staying relaxed, sitting meditation, or listening to music are some methods to relax and stay away from stress.

7.   Move the fingers frequently

child-piano
Keep the fingers moving through music or art to help the brain. (Image: Martin Novak via Dreamstime)

Moving the fingers frequently by painting, writing, carving, or rotating small balls in the palm can stimulate the brain and keep it from aging.

Translated by Audrey Wang

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