Did you know that, averagely speaking, the brain of an adult weighs around 3 pounds or around 2 percent from our body weight?
The brain is also in charge of every bodily function, including the regulation of hormones, breathing, muscle control, heartbeats, critical thinking, emotions, and circadian rhythm.
Taking into account the numerous activities it manages, the brain needs the most energy in the body. According to estimates, the brain consumes up to 20 percent of the body’s calorie intake.
And, this amount varies and it is conditioned by factors like gender, age, and weight.
Moreover, we need to make sure we are doing the right things so that we optimize the brain health. Unfortunately, some habits and practices that we do on a daily basis without knowing are working against our brain.
Below, check out 10 such habits and do your best to stop doing or reduce them in order to improve your brain function.
10 Habits that Are Bad for the Brain
- Skipping breakfast
Without doubt, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when you do not have it, you will not just feel sluggish, but your brain has not received the energy it needs to work properly. When there is a lack of nutrients, the metabolic rate will slow down and the brain will turn off some crucial functions. Moreover, in a Japanese study, it was concluded that the individuals who skipped breakfast had a 36 percent higher risk of brain hemorrhage than those who did not.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s capacity to think in different ways, form new connections, and retain memories. However, when there is a lack of intellectual stimulation, the brain, same as other organs, will atrophy. This is why it is important to be mentally stimulated on a regular basis, whether by your work, reading, painting, exercising, etc.
- Working when you’re sick
When you are down with an illness, it is important to nourish your body and get the needed rest. This is because your immunity is already working 100 percent to fight off the disease. If you do not rest, your risk of prolonging the illness is higher. Plus, you will elevate the vulnerability to diseases and put the brain at risk of poor function.
- You keep your phone next to you when you sleep
Sleeping with your phone close to you can impede your quality of sleep. This is because electromagnetic fields release radiation and radiation exposure for prolonged periods of time can damage our health. In a Swedish study, it was discovered that the mobile phone radiation led to confusion and headaches. Moreover, a different study found a link between cancer and phone radiation, as well as brain tumors. Therefore, make sure you reduce phone usage and whenever you can, put your phone away from you. When you sleep, put it aside, not next to you.
- Lack of communication
When we communicate orally, we use different parts of the brain than the ones we use when we communicate in written form. This being said, when we fail to communicate orally with other people, this brain part is not properly exercised. Plus, as we are social beings, we are designed to communicate with each other. Isolation and poor social interaction can therefore lead to anxiety and depression, serious mental health issues.
Besides causing weight gain, overeating, especially unhealthy foods, can reduce the nutrient supply to the brain. The brain needs specific nutrients to work optimally. This being said, make sure you follow a balanced diet rich in healthy foods.
- Poor sleep quality
In addition to following a healthy diet, you also need to get regular sleep in order to have a healthy brain. During sleep, the brain is still active and performs specific activities that are crucial for our health. One activity is the long-term memory storing and the removal of toxins and waste. But, if one does not get regular sleep, these processes cannot take place and thus, your memory diminishes and your chances of neurodegenerative illness increases due to surplus plaque and waste.
Cigarettes are full of toxins and a lot of them have a negative impact on the brain. According to a research from 2004, smoking damages parts of the brain which regulate motor functions, balance, and coordination. This being said, if you are a smoker, do your best to quit- it is never too late. Our bodies are resilient and the damage that has been done by your smoking will repair fast.
- Sleeping with the head covered
A lot of people have the habit of covering their head when they sleep. However, though it may feel good, it is bad for you. Namely, it will lower the oxygen intake at night and put you at a higher risk of inhaling surplus carbon dioxide.
- Polluted air
In order for the brain to optimize its function, it needs to get the needed amount of oxygen. However, many people live in areas with highly polluted air so this is often impossible. This being said, whenever possible, head out to nature or to places with better air quality to boost your brain function. When you constantly inhale polluted air, the oxygen supply lowers and the brain cannot function as it should.