Categories: Anti-Aging3.7 min read

by Stephen Luther, M.D.


On our journey through life, time shifts our gears, and we gradually drive slower. Our paths require less effort after we complete school, and lazy days that were once a rare treat occur more frequently. Yet, we expect our complex brain to maintain its sharpness under rapidly depleting conditions. Imagine depending on your brain as if it were the motor in your vehicle; forward progression requires the right fuel, constantly updated GPS guidance, and scheduled downtime for needed maintenance.

Here at Symbios, we believe that knowledge is power. That’s why we’re excited to share four practical tips designed to help you boost your cognitive performance and keep your brain in the fast lane.

The Full Potential of Your Brain

Have you ever said, “What did I come in here for?” Or “It’s on the tip of my tongue!” Losing thoughts and struggling to recall words remind us of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. To use our brain’s full potential as a powerful organ rather than feeling as if our head was stuffed with straw, Symbios recommends the following tips:

1. Incorporate More Fat Into Your Diet

The brain requires a steady supply of nutrients found in fat and cholesterol to function optimally. Omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in brain health and cognitive function. Incorporating natural fat into your diet can support brain development, enhance memory, and protect against age-related mental decline. Remember, your body turns extra carbs into fat, so a low-fat diet that replaces natural fats with carbs, manufactured fats, or processed foods is not in your brain’s or waistline’s best interest.

Give your brain a taste of these:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nuts and seeds, including walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, provide fats and additional nutrients like antioxidants and fiber.
  • Avocados are rich in essential fats, which can help improve blood flow to the brain and support cognitive function.

 2. Exercise Regularly

Physical activity triggers multiple physiological responses that directly benefit cognitive function. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, delivering vital nutrients and oxygen, nurturing neurons, facilitating neural connections, and promoting the growth of new brain cells crucial for memory formation and retention.

Workouts for your mind and body:

  • Functional fitness at SymbiosFIT rotates exercises, improving muscle coordination, increasing circulation to the brain, and companionship.
  • Cardio fitness promotes a runner’s high, often felt after maintaining 70% of your maximum heartbeat for about 20 minutes (220 – age = max heart rate); the exercise helps in mood regulation and memory consolidation by releasing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
  • Outdoor and team sports such as tennis or kayaking can nurture the brain with sunshine, coordination, and mental stimulation while bolstering cognitive resilience.

3. Engage in Strategic Thinking

Mental exercises, sensory stimulation, and rotating routine activities can enhance brain function and cognitive performance. Engage your brain with strategic games, limit TV and other “thoughtless” amusements, and learn new skills to improve memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities.

Succeed in the game of life with:

  • Play thought-provoking games such as chess and solve crosswords or logic puzzles that require planning and decision-making. Problem-solving and information processing can enhance your brain’s connections and help recall ability.
  • Turn off autopilot, limit TV time, and create opportunities to think. Try driving home on different routes, cooking new recipes, dialing entire phone numbers, using your non-dominating hand, or discovering new places.
  • Learn sign language, play a musical instrument, enroll in a history or poetry class, or join interest groups like gardening, book clubs, or Bible study. Your brain thrives on learning!

4. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Sleep is not just a period of rest; it’s a crucial process that allows our brains to recharge and consolidate memories. Research consistently demonstrates the importance of quality sleep for cognitive function, memory retention, and overall brain health. Lack of sleep can impair attention, decision-making, and critical-thinking skills.

Healthy sleep habits for a good night:

  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine at the same time every day to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Replace potential stress triggers with reading or listening to calming music.
  • Keep the room dark and quiet (silence your phone) to indulge in a cozy, inviting sleep environment that encourages a peaceful rest.

Implementing these simple tips is a solid start to plugging your mental drain. However, please discuss any mental concerns with an expert at Symbios Health for complete and personalized health care.


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