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We do so much to take care of our bodies on a day to day basis, but are you overlooking something vital? If you often find that you’re tired during the day, you can’t concentrate, and you forget important things, you might be neglecting an essential organ in your body: your brain.
Your brain is a powerful yet delicate organ that takes part in every bodily process, whether directly or indirectly. Keeping our brains in good condition only help to maintain the health of our bodies and their essential functions, but many common daily habits are actually quite damaging to the brain and can cause both short and long term effects.
You might get tired of hearing it, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast provides much-needed nutrition after a long fast that your brain uses throughout the day to manage the physiological processes of your body. Skipping breakfast forces your brain to go without in the morning, causing it extra stress as it works hard to keep your body functioning normally. You might experience mood swings, poor memory, and fatigue during the day.
Smoking is well known for being damaging to your lungs, skin, and heart, but did you know it also causes brain damage? The act of smoking reduces brain matter and deprives your brain of oxygen. Studies have linked smoking to the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Too Much Sugar
Consuming an excess of refined sugars, white flour, packaged foods, and other heavily processed foods causes an accumulation of harmful substances in your body while also depriving you of vital nutrients found in fruits and vegetables you should have in your diet instead. These processed foods provide poor nutrition and inconsistent energy levels, and increases your risk of developing tumors.
Not Getting Enough Fresh Air
Much like smoking, constant exposure to pollution and pungent air fresheners that fill the room with strong scents are actually depriving the brain of its oxygen supply, which can reduce brain efficiency.
Lack of Sleep
Sleeping might not seem all that important sometimes when you have a lot to do, but getting those recommended 8 hours is essential to your brain’s lasting health. Your brain needs sleep to perform essential restorative functions that keep your body in good working condition. Lack of sleep can damage brain cells and is the cause of poor memory and bad moods.
Drinking Too Much
Your liver does what it can to filter the harmful substances in alcohol, but drinking in any amount still affects your brain’s chemical reactions. Being drunk reduces the speed at which your neurons respond and transfer information, and drinking in excess can actually make this effect permanent over time. Always drink in moderation and be sure to stay hydrated.
Eating Too Much
That extra helping of your favorite dish might not seem harmful, but forcing your body to consume what it doesn’t need leads to an accumulation of potentially harmful substances that can lead to clogged arteries in the brain, which impacts its functions.
A bit of stress now and then is almost impossible to avoid in our hectic lives, but constantly stressing over little things can damage your nervous system and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Make sure to take the time to relax and unwind regularly to prevent unnecessary buildup of stress in your life.
Over-Exerting When You’re Sick
When you’re ill, your body is already working overtime to heal and drive out the viral or bacterial infection that is making you sick. Forcing your brain to do even more by working or studying while your body is already in this weakened state can cause unneeded stress and reduce your body’s ability to recover properly, which can lead to relapse of illness or long term conditions.
Physical stimulation actually stimulates the brain as well, helping to reduce stress and improve overall cognitive functions. People who exercise at least 2-3 times per week experience an increased capacity for learning and memory, and report lower stress levels.
Take care of your brain and the rest of your body by following healthier habits such as eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly. These simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact on your mood and your health.