You’ve probably been hearing all of your life that once you kill a brain cell, it’s dead forever and never comes back. Well, that’s true, but no truer that it is for any other bodily tissue. The reality is far less grim. Our brains are exceedingly good at healing.
Can You Grow New Brain Cells?
Not only can surviving brain cells and neural networks take over the functions of parts of the brain that have died from illness, injury, or age; (known as neuroplasticity), but you will actually grow new brain cells whether you intend to or not! But hang on, the news gets even better. There are things you can do to accelerate the growth of brain cells. Here are 7 things you can do to speed up that growth.
1. Eat Blueberries
Blueberries are delicious. They go great with salads and desserts- and they stimulate neurogenesis. Surprisingly, it’s the dye in the skin of the blueberry that stimulates the growth of new brain cells. Amazing!
2. Take Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The all important fatty sheath on the axon of your neurons makes the signal transmission between brain cells work much more rapidly than it would do otherwise. The components DHA and EPA in fish oils replenish this important fatty substance. Think Lorenzo’s Oil.
3. Inhabiting a Rich and Variable Environment
Variety, change, stimulus, and new challenges are all important to neurogenesis. That means getting out, doing new activities, experiencing nature, having fun and challenging yourself are all important ways to keep your brain populated with healthy cells.
4. Calorie Restriction
Apparently, always having a full stomach isn’t just a threat to your waistline. Numerous studies have shown that not always saying yes to the urge to eat can also stimulate the growth of new brain cells. It’s an assertion with which evolutionary biologists are likely to agree.
It’s a good mood booster, but that’s not what boosts neurogenesis. Sex produces a stress response, which of course, is then rewarded with a pleasurable experience. This is a sure fire recipe for brain growth.
This substance, found in the popular spice turmeric, is a part of the ginger family of culinary herbs. It has recently been shown to have a positive correlation with neurogenesis. We’ve known for some time that it can improve mood regulation and cognitive function. So if you’re interested in delicious ways to beef up your brain, Curcumin is a good one.
7. Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular fitness enables your circulatory system to adequately feed your calorie-hungry brain- making the growth of new brain cells more likely to occur. Running outdoors is believed to be the best form of cardio exercise for the brain. This is because you are actively engaged in decision-making as you maneuver your feet and choose your direction. Also, just being outdoors has a neurogenetic effect. If you want to maximize your brain growth, run outdoors with other people. Studies have shown this is a sure fire way to maintain a healthy brain.