Cognitive function refers to the ability of your brain to perform mental tasks and is what we humans use to take in new information and make sense of the world around us. It allows us to think, learn, and produce fresh ideas. But as important as cognitive function is to our lives, it’s often overlooked. People don’t always realize how important it is until they start losing their ability to think clearly.
As you get older, your cognitive function gradually starts to decline. Luckily, you can take steps to improve or maintain your cognitive function. However, this will require work and persistence to help you maintain your mental acuity for years to come. Without further ado, here are some tips on how you can boost your cognitive function.
- Eat A Healthy Diet
You most likely have heard of the importance of eating a healthy diet, something that bears repeating. A healthy diet is good for your body, mental health, and cognitive function. And while there’s no such thing as ‘brain food’ that helps keep your brain sharp, you should aim for a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and vegetables that help you keep your mind fit. Likewise, you need to limit the intake of sugar, simple carbs, and foods with trans fats.
With this in mind, you should place great emphasis on your diet. The nutrients needed to boost your cognitive function include vitamin E, amino acids, and antioxidants. Plant proteins are also recommended as they help prevent dementia and cognitive impairment. Examples of healthy essential nutrients to boost cognitive function present in different foods include;
- Iodine – Yoghurt, eggs, cod, seaweed, strawberries, tuna, and turkey.
- Vitamin B12 – Cereals, fish, meat, and dairy.
- Zinc- Mushrooms, broccoli, legumes, garlic, fish, meat, dairy, and cereals.
- Omega 3 – Egg yolks, seeds, fish, and nuts 3.
- Bread, milk, cereals, fish, turkey, chicken, and pork for vitamin B6.
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- Get Enough Sleep
It’s easy to overlook the importance of sleep. There always seems like there’s another game to play, a few more friends to chat with, or something else that’s just a little bit more interesting than turning off the lights and drifting away. But in truth, getting enough sleep each night is essential if you want to maintain a healthy brain and boost your cognitive functioning.
The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, but generally speaking, you require about eight hours of sleep per night to function properly. If you have insomnia, try to adopt a consistent bedtime routine by going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day. You should also turn the lights down in your house an hour before bedtime if falling asleep is an issue for you to start preparing your body and mind for rest.
You can also try limiting your caffeine intake during the day. This is because caffeine can make falling and staying asleep more difficult if consumed too close to bedtime. In addition, it’s best to avoid watching television or using your phone right before going to bed, as the light emitted from these devices can disrupt your circadian rhythms and cause insomnia.
- Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise is essential in healthy living. It helps lower blood pressure, improves cardiovascular health, helps control body weight, keeps one away from many diseases. In addition, exercising is also thought to help boost your cognitive function by improving blood flow to the brain. It is why regular exercise needs to be part of your day-to-day life rather than something that you do once in a while.
Exercise doesn’t just make you fitter and healthier, but it also helps generate new cells in the part of your brain that handles learning and memory. So, if you’re having trouble remembering things or learning information, try doing something active and see if that helps you out. The best part is you don’t have to spend hours at the gym, either. As little as 20 minutes of exercise can have an effect, and if you’ve got time, spend around two to three hours working out.
Another reason you should exercise is that it stimulates the growth of new cells and connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. It, in turn, helps make your brain more adaptive, plastic, and efficient, which is vital as you get older. In addition, physical exercise improves blood flow, thereby improving cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, reducing mental stress, and improving blood circulation throughout the body, including to the brain. It helps prevent damage caused by stroke or heart disease, which could cause cognitive impairment or dementia later in life.
- Network With Others
Human beings are social animals, and we need to interact with others to thrive. But in the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, it may seem impossible to build meaningful connections with others in your community. Despite this, you should prioritize establishing a social network because there’s something deeply satisfying about interacting with other humans on a personal level.
Social connections are vital because they challenge your brain to stay sharp while interacting with other people. After all, you need to understand what others are saying, and this boosts brain activity, thus helping keep your mind sharp. Another advantage is social connections allow you to receive emotional support from others.
Maintaining social connections also helps boost your emotional health, improve your self-esteem, and start feeling better about yourself. You’re thus less likely to experience adverse symptoms such as increased blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, depression, and reduced overall wellbeing.
- Reduce Stress Levels
Another effective way to improve cognitive function is to reduce stress levels. Stress acts as a barrier to learning and memory. Because of this, it’s crucial to find ways to relax and relieve stress. There are different ways you can do this, including going for a walk, spending time in nature, and practicing meditation and mindfulness.
If you’ve noticed a fall in your cognitive function and frequently have memory loss, don’t worry. There are things that you can easily do that’ll help boost your cognitive function. Doing so will help enhance your memory and perform better when asked to solve a difficult task. This guide has detailed tips you should observe, and you’ll likely notice a considerable improvement in your cognitive function.