Not everything you’ve heard about your brain is true, no matter how many times you have heard it. The brain is a complex organ, so attempts to generalize are not always going to be accurate, leading to some misinformation. These myths might lead you to be misguided in your attempts to take care of the brain and take the right approach to keep it sharp as you age.
On the bright side, you still have plenty of options to support your brain. Here at iwi life, we want to help you set the record straight so you can make the most informed choices for your brain health.
What Are 5 Common Myths About Brain Health?
Many myths about the brain may affect how we take care of it, so having the right information helps us direct our energy to practices that work and support the brain appropriately. The following are some of the most common myths about brain health.
1. Brain Games Work Out the Brain and Keep It Sharp.
The brain game craze has grown considerably in the past ten years or so, especially with the rise of smartphones and tablets. Many apps available for our favorite devices tell us that just playing a game for a few minutes a day can lead to a sharper mind and help promote brain health as we age. It sounds very encouraging to hear that playing games can strengthen our brains.
Unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that maintaining our cognitive health as we age is as simple as playing specific games for a certain amount of time each day. These games probably do not hurt, but they do not seem to be the positive force they claim to be.
2. Diet and Exercise Are More Important for Physical Health Than Mental Health.
Diet and exercise are almost always associated with the goal of maintaining a healthy heart, while other practices, like meditation, are associated with better mental and brain health. However, these things are not mutually exclusive. Diet and exercise are just as important for the brain as they are for the heart. After all, the brain is an organ that needs healthy blood flow and healthy blood vessels to provide it with oxygen and nutrients.
Maintaining a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps to promote healthy blood flow and support your brain. A healthy diet can positively impact your brain just as much as it can on your heart. Exercise is also great for supporting your brain health in addition to your heart.
3. Everyone Loses Their Memory With Age.
Many people associate aging with a failing memory, but losing your memory is not an inevitable part of the aging process. After a certain age, your memory may not be the same as it once was, but that does not mean you should expect to lose your memory entirely. Some experts even attribute trouble remembering things to an overly full memory more than a struggling one.
Lifestyle factors can significantly affect how your brain’s memory holds up — more than you might think. Studies show that nutrition, activity, sleep, and cognitive engagement may all influence your ability to remember things as you age.
Taking care of your brain can have astounding effects on your brain health and can help you avoid the memory problems that people associate with age. As a result, you may want to start taking steps to support your brain now instead of assuming that your memory will deteriorate no matter what.
4. We Only Use 10% of Our Brains.
The myth that we don’t use all of our brains is one of the oldest myths on this list, but it is just as untrue as the rest. Brain imaging has more than disproved this myth, showing that brain activity takes place throughout the complex organ. Your brain is not always entirely engaged at one time, but between actions and thoughts you take on throughout the day, almost all of the brain is engaged at some point, serving as a great reminder to take care of it to support its many functions.
5. Brain Development Ends During Puberty.
Puberty and adolescence bring most of your growth, but it doesn’t stop there, especially when it comes to your brain development. Your brain stops growing during puberty, but it can continue to develop and mature up until your mid to late 20s.
The brain is most vulnerable during its maturation and development process, and it still needs proper support to maintain healthy development, so it is important to take special care of the brain during this time. Although these are always important habits to maintain, getting enough sleep and nutrition to support healthy development throughout the maturation process is especially necessary.
How Can I Improve My Brain Health?
Although you cannot trust everything you hear about brain health, you can take certain steps to support brain function. Some of the best ways to promote and improve your brain health include the following.
Engage in Stimulating Activities
Although brain games are not likely to keep you sharp as you age, there are a variety of activities that actually can. Partaking in challenging and stimulating activities can support better brain function as they keep your brain active and engaged.
Activities like playing an instrument, staying involved in social events in the community, and learning another language or skill can all positively affect your brain in the present and future. All of these activities work as a form of cognitive exercise, supporting your brain's health and function.
Exercise provides many benefits for your overall health and can have a very positive impact on your brain health also. Staying active benefits your brain by improving blood flow and respiration. Activity also helps increase the size of the hippocampus to support focus, learning, and memory. Exercise can also impact your mental health, reduce stress, and promote a more positive mood.
Provide the Right Nutrition
There is no fast track, miracle product to prevent cognitive decline. Still, with a healthy diet rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and other vitamins and a mindful approach to obtaining the nutrients that you need, you can provide your brain with the support it needs to stay sharp and functioning strong.
Several foods and nutrients are particularly beneficial for supporting brain health, such as fruits, vegetables, and fatty foods with vitamins C, E, and K, and omega-3s. The two most important omega-3s, DHA and EPA, help support healthy brain function, even as you age. These essential fats help support cognitive function, helping to support a strong memory, motor skills, and concentration. One of the common ways to obtain omega-3s is through fatty fish or fish oil, but for an even stronger source, you can try iwi life’s algae-based supplements.
Support Your Brain Health
By leaving myths about the brain behind, you can make better choices to support the complex organ. Start giving your brain the support it needs so that you can keep your mind sharp now and into the future. By obtaining the nutrients you need and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can ward off the potential risks of cognitive decline.
Incorporating iwi life’s brain supplement into your daily routine is a great way to start. This supplement is rich with omega-3 fatty acids to support brain function along with other important ingredients like vitamin B6 and green coffee bean extract to support sharpness and focus.
MythBusters! | Kansas University