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4 health habits that impede brain function

The things you do over and over again on a regular basis have a major impact on your life. Sometimes, this is obvious. Other times, not so much. There are several health habits (not necessarily good ones) that can cause your brain function to decline. An influencer on Instagram who did a post on this topic was a bit more direct with his words. He said that these habits will make you dumb.

The problem is, that, for many people, these behaviors are quite common. They are part of the ordinary ebb and flow of daily life. If you practice one of more of these health habits, you might want to consider making some changes. At least, this is true, if  you want your brain to function at its full potential.

Your health habits should include getting enough vitamin D

health habits, silhouette standing in sunlight

One of the health habits that many people practice that is not good for them is avoidance of sunlight. There is so much misinformation out there about sunlight. I have written posts about it, in the past, such as this one. Direct sunlight is our main source of vitamin D, which we need to be healthy. Evidence shows that people who lack this nutrient do not fare well when they become ill. Lack of vitamin D causes an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive problems.

You might be surprised to learn that not having enough vitamin D in your body doubles your risk for dementia and conditions. Our bodies cannot manufacture this vitamin. We must get it from outside sources, primarily, the sun. (God doesn’t make mistakes!) If you commit to spending just 15 minutes to a half hour in direct sunlight, each day, you will be doing a great service to your health, especially your brain. The Instagram guy recommended basking in early morning sunlight for the best results, within an hour of waking.

Multi-tasking is also among the health habits you should break

health habits,four arms with blue long sleeves, reaching for coffee cup, computer and tablet

 

Somewhere along the line, people have become convinced that the more things they can do at once, the more productive they are. This is false. In reality, it is the opposite. When you try to multi-task, it impairs brain function. It makes you less productive, in the long run. If you are multi-tasker, try to change your health habits. Instead, learn to focus on one task at a time. This, in turn, compels you to have to prioritize your tasks, which is a good habit to develop.

Processed sugar is poison to your brain

donuts with sprinkles

Shout it from the rooftops! Processed sugar is toxic and can cause a significant decline in brain function. Have you heard the term, ”brain fog”? Eating too much of the wrong kinds of sugar causes brain fog. Your body needs sugar, such as fructose, sucrose and glucose. In fact, your brain cannot function, unless glucose enters its cells. This is why people with low blood sugar can have seizures, faint or fall into a coma.

Your brain does not need high fructose corn syrup or white, processed sugars. The natural sugars your body needs come from healthy foods. If you keep drinking soda and eating sugary desserts or candy or junk food that has tons of sugar in it, such as chips or boxed cereals, your brain will suffer.

Even if you can function on less sleep, it doesn’t mean that you should

man in white bathrobe, brown hair, facial hair, yawning

Most sleep experts say that the average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Do you know anyone who gets that much? Many people function on six or less hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep ranks high among health habits that will cause impairment to cognitive function. Have you ever been so tired that you became confused?

This is a direct sign that your brain has ceased to function as it should. Neurons need to recuperate after you have used your brain all day. Sleeping is the restorative process you need to give your neurons rest. Inadequate sleep will eventually cause learning impairments. It will cause you to suffer memory loss. You also might have trouble using critical thinking or reasoning skills. It is difficult to make clear decisions if you are sleep deprived.

Clean up your health habits to improve brain function

The brain undergoes natural decline with age. However, it is not as drastic of a decline as you might think. Elderly people with good health habits can continue to enjoy healthy brain function. Get rid of sugar, bask in sunlight, focus on one task at a time and get a good night’s sleep. These are the keys to good health.

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