Many of us live with a level of persistent low-grade stress that becomes so normalised that most of the time, we don’t even realise it’s there. To maintain brain health is always a challenge. Brain play a vital role to maintain happiness and prosperity in life. We always tries to find out the answers for making our brain calm and active. Each story of success start with keeping a eye on brain activity and improving quality of brain.
While we might not be displaying obvious signs of stress, cortisol—the hormone associated with stress—wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health over the long term. Therefore it’s important to make time to clear our minds and bring some peace into our lives, even if we’re not feeling particularly anxious.
- Here are 11 suggestions you can use to make your mind calm and peaceful.
- And Food that will boost your brain.
- At last some of the best healthy cookbook.
Magic of meditation
Meditation has several positive effects on the mind and body. It’s also deceptively hard, which is why many people try it once or twice but struggle to make it a regular habit. Meditation helps combat the physical and emotional effects of stress and has lasting benefits that affect your productivity, as well as your ability to relax. Set aside time to meditate for just 10 minutes a day over the next week or two and experience the benefits for yourself.
Feeling of gratitude
When we’re facing a series of challenges, it can be easy to slip into tunnel vision and focus on what’s going wrong at the expense of noticing what’s going well. Even taking the time to write down just three things each day that we feel grateful for can help reinstate a balanced perspective on our day-to-day experience.
Self-analysis of thoughts
While many of us fear judgement from others, the harshest criticisms we experience are often self-inflicted. Nothing clutters and stresses the mind like internal self-judgements, so pay attention to your thought patterns and notice when your inner critic rears up. Being aware of these thoughts as they occur is the first, and most important, a step towards replacing criticism with calm.
Be your lover
Once we can notice our self-criticisms and judgements at the moment, we have a chance to practice self-compassion. This means acknowledging and accepting reality, and extending the same kind of compassion to ourselves that we would to a good friend in our situation. In doing this, we stop measuring ourselves against different standards compared to other people.
We can’t necessarily stop ourselves from experiencing negative self-talk and beliefs but we can distance ourselves from them. Using the phrase “I notice that…[I’m judging myself harshly for forgetting that file this morning]” whenever we identify a negative self-judgment or belief helps us see these beliefs for what they are: opinions, rather than facts.
Setting balanced might sound like a recipe for boredom but it helps install a day-to-day sense of peace in our minds. When we have set routines, we have fewer decisions to make during the day. This frees up space in our minds for bigger, more important tasks.
Keep a notebook
Journaling is a great way to get our thoughts out of our heads and onto paper. Writing down our most pressing thoughts and worries each day has a similar effect to talking to someone about them. By making time to journal, you’re giving yourself the chance to process your thoughts and feelings and to express them in a safe, private space.
Similar to journaling, writing down your tasks and projects helps clear your mind. If you find that various activities and reminders keep popping into your head and distracting you from the task at hand, a system like Getting Things Done can help increase your productivity and your mind calm.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise augments our sense of mental well-being. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercising for just 10 minutes can release endorphins, pain-killing chemicals that help induce a state of mental and physical peace.
Finally, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. What helps one person find peace and calm might have the opposite effect on the next. As you go about your day, notice the times when you feel most at ease and make note of what you’re doing at that time. Experiment with the methods above, as well as your suggestions, and create your list of activities that help your mind find clarity and relaxation.
Foods to keep brain calm and active
Following a healthy and well-balanced diet is good for you physically, and it’s also beneficial for your brain health. Certain foods contain nutrients that help keep the brain healthy, including healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients may enhance memory and concentration and even offer protective effects against brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries contain antioxidant properties that boost your health and even your brain health. “Large studies show some promise for berries and brain health, particularly in slowing cognitive decline,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “A huge study found that women who ate more blueberries and strawberries saw an association with slower cognitive decline. Berries are high in flavonoids, especially anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that can cross the blood-brain barrier and possibly positively affect areas of the brain associated with learning and memory function. The reason for these positive results may be due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the berries. The portion size used in the study was just half a cup of berries, and eating them daily appears to yield the best results.”
Great news for dark chocolate lovers: Research suggests it has brain-boosting powers, including enhanced cognitive function, reduced risk of dementia, and improved performance on memory activities. For example, a 2018 review in the journal Nutrients found that more than 50 mg epicatechin/day, a flavanol found in cocoa, tea, berries, and other fruits, yields cognitive benefits—especially in tasks involving memory, executive function, and processing speed in older adults (>50 years old) who took epicatechin for a duration of 28 days or longer.
Many nuts are helpful for brain health, but walnuts are the only tree nut that are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that’s converted to the omega-3s DHA and EPA within the body. The nuts have been linked to improved cognitive performance in adults. In a 2015 study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, researchers found adults between the ages of 20 and 59 years old, who consumed higher amounts of walnuts, showed better cognitive test scores.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain the compound sulforaphane, a substance that a 2017 study in the Journal of Cerebrovascular Disease & Stroke suggests could protect the brain. Broccoli also offers vitamin K, important for healthy brain function. In fact, an older study assessed the dietary intake of patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and found that they got considerably less vitamin K from their diet than people without the disease.
Although these grapes are available for just a short time each year, you can also get their benefits through 100 percent grape juice made with Concord grapes. And the grapes can help aging adults with brain issues. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, for instance, older adults with age-related cognitive decline regularly drinking Concord grape juice saw a positive impact on memory function and also had increased blood flow to areas of the brain linked with memory. (Some of the study authors were employed by Welch Foods, Inc., which manufactures grape juice.) Grapes are just one of the anti-inflammatory foods that help reduce pain, so arthritis suffers will want to take note.
Seeds can be great for the brain, and pumpkin seeds may be especially helpful. These little delights offer ALA omega-3s. They also contain magnesium, which is believed to play a role in mood and brain function, as well as zinc, important for healthy brain function. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds provides you with 15 percent of the daily value for zinc. Pumpkin seeds are just one of the 6 super seeds you should be eating.
It’s an old wives’ tale, but sage really may help sharpen the mind. According to preliminary research in the journal Advances in Nutrition, extracts or essential oils of the herb may help memory as well as mood, attention, and executive function. Sage is one of the healthy herbs that can boost your brain.
This dairy drink provides choline, a nutrient important for brain health. Pregnant women really need to focus on choline because it plays a role in the early brain development of infants. In addition, a handful of observational studies have connected cognitive performance in adults with higher choline intake and plasma concentration. And some researchers believe that some natural component in milk that may help protect against insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Turmeric has a seemingly endless list of health benefits—including helping to relieve digestive issues such as heartburn and gas. Much of the research done on turmeric has focused on curcumin, a substance in turmeric. In terms of brain health, a 2016 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a group of older adults receiving a curcumin supplement did not have the cognitive decline experienced by a group that didn’t take the supplement. Turmeric is thought to be an anti-inflammatory powerhouse
Talk about a healthy ingredient with very few calories—as long as you stick to the unsweetened variety. “Pure cocoa powder contains brain-boosting compounds, including a large number of antioxidant molecules, mainly flavonoids,” says Hultin. “The main one is epicatechin. These compounds do make it into the brain and have been linked in some studies to positive outcomes in learning and memory areas. Epicatechin is a special antioxidant and appears to improve cognition in studies. Aside from antioxidant capacity, another way cocoa could help our health is through improved cardiovascular health—better blood flow to the brain for more oxygen and nutrients.” Eating cocoa can actually help prevent and treat diabetes.
Kale has been in the spotlight for years, and it even has its own day: National Kale Day is the first Wednesday in October. Kale is packed with plenty of nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and the mineral manganese. And green leafy veggies like kale may help your brain: In a 2017 study in Neurology, people eating leafy vegetables daily experienced the cognitive function of people about 11 years younger, compared to people eating little to no leafy green veggies.
Beets contain high levels of dietary nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide—and that relaxes blood vessels in the body and increases blood flow to the brain. In a 2016 study in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, older adults, with a mean age of 65.4 years, who exercised and drank beetroot juice for six weeks, experienced brain benefits. Their brain networks had a similar appearance to those of younger adults. Note that more study is needed since other research on beetroot juice and the brain is mixed.
A Mediterranean-style diet is often hailed for its health benefits, including helping to protect brain health. Olive oil is made from olives, which offer health-helping polyphenols. A 2016 study in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry suggests these polyphenols may lower risk for certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. Use olive oil in anything from a bean salad recipe to baked chicken to a vegetarian grain bowl.
Beans offer fiber and protein, which help keep you satiated for longer to provide sustained energy. Beans also contain ALA Omega-3s to support brain growth and function; go for navy and kidney beans for a bigger ALA fix. Beans also provide carbohydrates, which are converted to glucose to fuel the brain—the organ’s preferred source of energy. Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, provide magnesium, which helps keep the brain functioning optimally.
Tea is often credited with aiding weight loss and helping prevent cancer, but many scientists believe the drink is just as beneficial for the brain. Many teas contain caffeine, an instant energy booster, but tea also delivers the more calming amino acid L-theanine, which can help relax you without causing drowsiness. And drinking tea, particularly green tea, could help reduce your risk of cognitive disorders, according to a large 2017 study in the journal Oncotarget.
In South America, yerba mate is just as common as coffee is in the U.S. The beverage mate is brewed from the leaves of yerba mate. This hot drink is believed to have a stimulant effect, which may help enhance short-term brainpower. According to yerba mate manufacturer Guayaki, yerba mate contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and an abundance of polyphenols. Besides caffeine, yerba mate provides two compounds, theobromine and theophylline, which work together to provide unique, mild stimulant effects. Enjoy a cup of yerba mate in place of your morning coffee.
For a brain-boosting breakfast, you can’t go wrong with whole-grain oats. The brain relies on glucose for fuel, and healthy carbs like oats are a great source. Oats have an advantage over other carbohydrates in that they’re low on the glycemic index—meaning oats won’t jack up your blood sugar as quickly as some other foods. In fact, in part thanks to their fiber content, whole-grain oats are broken down slowly by the body. Your brain will reap the benefits for hours. Oats also contain B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. Best of all, oats really are a convenience food.
Make lentils a staple in your soups and salads, and your brain will thank you for it. Lentils are packed with folate, a B vitamin shown to help boost cognitive performance. The vitamin can also play a role in decreasing levels of the amino acid homocysteine. This is important because too-high levels may impair brain functioning as you age. Finally, a favorite go-to for vegetarians, lentils are one of the 9 complete protein foods that aren’t meat.
A top source of ALA, flaxseed is a good way for vegetarians and vegans to add healthy fats to their diet. And a 2016 study in Advances in Nutrition suggests that ALA may have a positive impact on Alzheimer’s disease. The only trick is figuring out how to work the seeds in. Sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flaxseed over salad, hot or cold cereal, or in a smoothie to get your daily fix.
A great healthy cookbook can boost your nutrition and inspire you to create delicious recipes that align with your health and wellness goals. Whether you’re interested in plant-based, produce-packed meals or healthier-for-you versions of your family favorites, there are tons of excellent cookbooks to choose from. Investing in a cookbook with healthy recipes that appeal to your tastebuds and flavor preferences can result in more budget-friendly eating habits and improved health.
While ordering in is tempting and convenient—and can usually be healthy if items like sushi or salads are on the menu—research shows that cooking at home is associated with better diet quality. One study showed those who ate home-cooked meals more than five times per week ate more fruits and vegetables than those who consumed less than three home-cooked meals per week. Additionally, the people who ate home-cooked meals were also 28% less likely to be overweight.
Here, the best healthy cookbooks: