11 Everyday Tips to Boost Brainpower
1. Hydrate Your Mind
“Your brain is 80% water, and if it’s not hydrated, your neurons can’t perform properly,” says Dr Amen. Drink eight 175 ml glasses of water a day and avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.
2. Clock up seven hours of shut-eye
“Science shows that people who sleeps for seven hours exhibit significantly more brain activity than those who don’t,” says Dr Amen. Lack of sleep inhibits learning, concentration and memory.
3. Make your brain purr
Achieve a calm, clear, stress-free brain through meditative belly breathing: inhale slowly, allowing your stomach (not your chest) to rise, and then say the word “one” as you exhale. Repeat for 10 minutes.
4. Dance, dance, dance
“Few activities stimulate as wide a variety of brain systems as dancing does,” says Dr Amen. “Dancing requires everything from coordination and organisation to planning and judgment.”
5. Limit TV time
People who watch telly for more than two hours each day have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who watch less.
6. Join a book club
“Reading is good for your brain only when it involves storing and retrieving information,” says Dr Amen. That’s why reading groups are beneficial. “And the social aspect of book groups adds another dynamic that bolsters cognitive functioning.”
7. Fight pain the smart way
People who take ibuprofen are 44% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who do not, according to a recent study from the Boston University School of Medicine in the US. Also, beware of paracetamol, says Dr Amen. “It disrupts liver function, decreasing the body’s production of the antioxidant glutathione, which is important for brain function.”
8. Kill the ANT’s
“Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) inflame the areas of the brain responsible for anxiety, “says Dr Amen. They also increase the production of stress hormones, which...