Keeping your brain healthy 

Reading Time: 2 minutes The nervous system is in charge of many functions that allow people to carry out the responsibilities of daily life. However, once these functions begin to deteriorate, individuals may suffer considerable decreases in their quality of life. For this reason, it is important to discuss how to keep the brain healthy.

A picture of a crossword puzzle with the theme of brain health.Reading Time: 2 minutes

The brain is “‘the most important of all the organs,’” stated Charles Darwin, as quoted by Stephen Jacyna in Oxford Academic’s Brain. This is likely because the brain enables people to carry out conscious day-to-day activities such as walking, talking and interacting with other people as well as other, vital and subconscious functions. 

However, despite the importance of the brain, special care should be taken to avoid diseases that can trigger abnormalities in its function. For students, brain care can also be important in maximizing academic performance and minimizing stress.

According to Adeline Ng, senior consultant for the department of neurology at the National Neuroscience Institute, the following tips are useful practices to help keep the brain in a healthy condition:

  • Take part in activities that nourish the brain such as reading, puzzles and stimulating games.
  • Consume a healthy diet. Low-sodium and low-fat diets are recommended. 
  • Engage in regular physical activity. Ng suggests that exercising with an above-normal heart rate for at least 30 minutes is good for brain health.
  • Maintain seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep per night.

Ng explained that these habits can “help boost your memory, concentration, and focus to reduce your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” 

Regarding how she supported her brain health, Cassandra Vazquez, a UVU student majoring in computer science, said, “I exercise a lot and try to be active in general, … [and] I always try to eat healthy and balanced [food].” 

Additionally, Eva Jensen, a public health major at UVU, said, “I think mental health plays a big role in keeping our brain healthy, as it is the brain that determines how we feel, think, feel, and act. So if mental health is not taken care of, it may affect brain functions.” 

Jane Gilbert of Hometouch said, “Maintaining a healthy brain will help your mind stay clear and active, so that you can continue to work, rest and play.” As students approach the end of the semester and final exams, remembering to take care of brain health can be an important aspect of working hard and being able to relax when summer arrives.