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5 Ways to Nourish Your Brain and Support Cognitive Health*

5 Ways to Nourish Your Brain and Support Cognitive Health*
5 Ways to Nourish Your Brain and Support Cognitive Health*

The brain is the command center of your body, directing all systems and playing a pivotal role in how you interact with the world around you — including how you react to others, get your work done, share your thoughts, and so much more. 

As a child, your brain grows at an exponential rate because you’re exposed to new things each day. As you age, however, your brain actually shrinks, often starting in your 30s or 40s, and this can impact everything from memory loss to general cognition. To help nourish your brain and support cognitive health from day to day and decade to decade, here are a few simple (and fun!) things you can do at home, at work, and at play.


Be a student again.

The best way to get your brain working is to put it to work! Learning a new skill, like an instrument or a language, is a great option for keeping your brain in good shape. Don’t pick up a hobby or skill and put it down, though; it’s best to choose something that you need to consistently practice or work at. Always wanted to play the piano? There’s never been a better time to start.


Call up a friend or family member.

Regular socialization with others helps lift your spirits and can even impact your brain health. This is especially important for elderly people who may not get the same quality social connection they did while working. When you’re interacting with others, you’re working both your memory and mental agility. Social contact can also reduce stress, increase happiness, and help relieve feelings of depression and loneliness. If you’re homebound, set up regular FaceTime or Zoom sessions with your loved ones. Reconnect with a childhood friend, schedule dinner dates with former coworkers, organize a neighborhood potluck, or start volunteering. 


Hand holding a powder capsule supplement

Break a sweat.

Regular exercise is essential for full body health; getting your blood flowing on the regular supports your heart, lungs, muscles, joints, and yes, your brain! Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and reduces stress, which can negatively impact your cognitive health. According to the AARP, regular aerobic exercise may even help reduce the risk of dementia. Find a form of exercise that speaks to you and practice it for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Gardening, household chores, and long walks count too!


Watch your stress levels.

As mentioned, stress can have a negative impact on cognitive health. If you’re feeling more stressed than normal, find ways to reduce the load and cope with what’s going on. Stress can also make it difficult to sleep, and because your brain needs rest to process memories and refresh itself for the next day, you’ll want to find the root cause of your stress and work on alleviating it.

 

Feed your mind — literally.

Your brain craves whole, healthy foods just like the rest of your body. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli are delicious plant-based brain builders, while fatty fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon are an excellent source of brain-friendly omega-3s.

You may also want to consider taking a supplement or two to nourish your mind and support your cognition.* At Gaia Herbs, we offer a plethora of herbal supplements designed to do just that, including Lion’s Mane Mushroom and Ginkgo Leaf.