Science now tells us that the brain can produce new brain cells in a process known as neurogenesis. Did you know that you have quite the opportunity to influence this process of growing new neural cells?
What can you do to enhance neurogenesis?
A good 6-8 hours every night. During sleep is when your brain removes waste products which is imperative for the formation of new brain cells.
Running or high intensity interval training (HIIT) in particular increases the blood supply to your brain, increases the amount of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line - derived trophic factor (GDNF) and helps the body produce more testosterone. BDNF and GDNF are essential for growing new brain cells and testosterone is also very beneficial for new neural cells.
High quality fats particularly DHA from fatty fish, nuts and seeds are necessary to build and protect new brain cells. Calorie restriction has been linked to an increase in BDNF and an improvement in memory function and intermittent fasting has also been linked to increased neurogenesis. Foods containing flavonoid compounds like chocolate, red wine, blueberries and green tea are also good for neurogenesis.
Even 10 minutes of direct sunlight each day increases serotonin and GDNF levels in the brain both of which are important in brain cell production.
It increases our feel good neurotransmitters which increase neurogenesis.
So there are some nice easy tips and tricks to help you grow fresh new brain cells - more reason to do the things we already know to be good for us.
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