Lesser-Known Aspects of Brain Health and Growth

woman relaxing on balconyThe brain is a fascinating organ, and there are many aspects of the brain and its health that aren’t common knowledge.

As you strive to keep your brain healthy and even explore memory enhancer supplements to achieve optimum brain performance, increasing your awareness of some of the lesser-known aspects of the brain can help you develop a more complete understanding of how you can stimulate your brain and promote its healthy ongoing growth.

Interesting Brain Facts

The average human brain weighs around three pounds, is mostly comprised of water and is usually a bit larger in males than females. The brain grows the most between infancy and adulthood, getting roughly four times bigger. The brain contains billions of neurons, which are messenger cells and are the cells with which most people are familiar.

However, the brain contains almost as many glial cells, which are cells that hold neurons together and perform housekeeping functions like cleaning up excess neurotransmitters. Though it makes up only about 2% of your body’s total weight, the brain requires about 20% of the oxygen you take in as well as 25% of your body’s glucose. 

Brain and the Gut

There is an increasing amount of research that shows that keeping your gut healthy can help keep your brain healthy.

Strong links have been found between the way you think and your digestion, mood and overall health. Researchers have found evidence that increases in gastrointestinal distress might send signals to the central nervous system that can trigger mood changes.

These preliminary findings could point to the link between gastrointestinal distress and depression and anxiety being causal with the gastrointestinal distress being the cause of the anxiety and depression as opposed to the other way around.

As this new understanding of the link between gut health and brain health evolves it can open up new avenues of treatment to challenges that historically have been treated as brain health challenges alone.

Brain and Music

One of the best ways to keep your brain engaged is to listen to or play music.

Music stimulates the brain, almost acting as an all-over, total brain workout. Music has other health benefits such as anxiety, blood pressure and pain reduction as well as improvement in your quality of sleep and mood. All of these items have been correlated with brain health. Music has also been shown to have a direct positive impact on mental alertness and memory.

Learning to play music has shown the strongest correlation to brain health as it involves growth in the brain as well as a brain-dexterity interaction, but listening to new types of music has shown a lot of promise as well. Listening to new types of music, such as new songs or even a new genre, challenges your brain in a way that listening to your tried and true favorites does not.

As the brain struggles to understand new sounds it is forced to change and grow.

Though the brain is a complex organ that has many aspects to the promotion of it ongoing overall health, understanding its unique qualities, as well as some of the lesser-known ways to keep it healthy, can help you understand a full picture of how to keep your brain healthy as you go through life.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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