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Feeling sluggish in the brain? Unable to focus and maintain alertness throughout the day? It may be more than just a lack of sleep or caffeine (although both, in appropriate doses, can potentially benefit memory). If your brain is not operating at its peak, there are some steps you can take to optimize memory, focus, acuity, and overall brain health.
There is an obesity crisis in America. Having too high of a body mass index (BMI) negatively affects overall well-being –specifically, bone density, hormone levels, and the health of the joints, cardiovascular system, liver and lungs.
Did you know there is also a direct causal relationship between obesity and poor performance on learning and memory tests? Obesity influences the body’s ability to use insulin effectively. If the body becomes insulin resistant, type 2 diabetes may result.
Obesity also causes inflammation throughout the body and brain. Insulin resistance and inflammation in the brain can actually cause physiological changes in the brain’s cellular structure in key areas, causing difficulty in learning, cognitive function and memory (both the creation of memories and on-demand memory recall).
Memory acuity seems to improve when obese study participants lower their BMI into a healthier range. One study compared a Paleo diet to a traditional healthy diet with balanced intake of carbs, fats and proteins. The study found that cognitive improvements were similar in both groups.
So, which diet and exercise program is best for you and your brain health? The one that works for you! And it may not be as hard as you think. Sure, there may be some extra effort required up front. But there are definitely a few tips and tricks that can help you get started on a journey to a healthy body weight and a sharp mind
While you’re working hard on improving your memory through lowering your BMI, you may want to consider some other avenues to help lift the brain fog.
Just like the body, the brain needs exercise. Brain training challenges your brain to form new and faster synaptic connections. As you work through games and exercises, your cognitive ability improves. Brain training has been repeatedly shown as a way to reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline, including dementia.
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