5 Ways to Increase Your Brainpower
Get smart: how to keep your brain healthy
Keeping your mind in tip-top shape doesn’t just benefit you today; it can help ward off big, scary problems like Alzheimer’s down the road.
1. Cross-train your brain. Researchers know that brain cells die as we age, and that different parts of our brain take over new tasks when needed. For example, our left and right frontal lobes can stand in for one another. Studies suggest that engaging in new activities, whether it’s solving crossword puzzle or Sudoku, or learning to speak a new language or play a new instrument, spur this process.
2. Eat brain food. Fish is one of the best brain foods. Salmon, tuna and trout are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep brain cells healthy. If fish isn’t your dish, omega-3 supplements can give you the same boost. So can flax seed or flax seed oil (if you use the seed, be sure to grind it first to make it digestible).
Carrots are another excellent brain food. In a study in Switzerland, people who had higher levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C scored higher on memory tests. Carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato and mango are all good sources of beta carotene; top sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, red pepper and cantaloupe.