Even the most basic form of life, a cell, is so complex that we could spend the rest of our lives learning about it and still not know everything. God is an amazing and wondrous Creator! From the moment of conception, where life begins, to a person’s final breath, so many mysterious and spectacular things happen inside the body. Especially the brain. In fact, a process called “neurogenesis” first occurs when a human being is in the earliest stages of life. This process begins to occur in the embryonic stage of development. It stimulates neuron growth in the brain.
Neurogenesis continues to occur in various regions of our brain throughout our life. Through the years, scientists learned more about this process, specifically how it works in an adult brain. They began to believe that it’s possible to help patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In the disastrous wake of ramifications from COVID-19, many people have suffered adverse effects, long after the virus subsided. The most common long-term symptoms include loss of the senses of smell and taste, Chronic fatigue and significant cognitive decline are also evident in many people who have had the COVID virus. Interestingly, neurogenesis occurs in various regions of the brain. One of them happens to be the area that controls memory and smell.
You can be proactive to improve neurogenesis
Various things we do can stimulate the neurogenesis process in the brain. You’ve likely heard or read that doing crossword puzzles or other brain-focused games helps prevent conditions like dementia. The reason is undoubtedly closely connected with stimulation of new neurons in the brain. As scientists begin to study long-term COVID symptoms in depth, they’re convinced that doing things that spark new neuron development in the brain may help restore smell and taste and resolve other symptoms, as well.
The following list includes numerous activities that are easy to implement in your daily routine, which help boost the neurogenesis process:
- Brain games, such as puzzles, word search, number games, and more
- Vigorous physical exercise
- Learning something new, such as a foreign language
- Engaging in hobbies that require focus and concentration
In addition to these activities, you can activate helpful brain function by eating foods and drinking beverages that reduce inflammation. Inflammation in the brain is a primary causal factor of long-term COVID symptoms. Calming activities, such prayer and meditation also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Eating these foods can stimulate neurogenesis in the brain
I know I’ve said it many times before here on The Hot Mess Press, but we really are what we eat. Most poor health conditions are either caused by or worsened by poor diet and lifestyle choices. The good news is that many neurosurgeons believe that incorporating the foods on the following list into your regular diet will stimulate growth of new brain cells:
- Wild caught fish
- Grass-fed dairy and beef
- Vitamins B6 and B12
- Coconut oil, ghee or lard
Consequently, there are foods you’ll want to avoid, if your goal is to promote neurogenesis, including oxidized fats, vegetable oils and burnt food, especially meat.
Help restore senses and reduce long-term COVID symptoms
When you eat foods and engage in activities that stimulate new brain cell growth, certain things begin to happen. Your memory improves, for one. Remember earlier, it was mentioned that memory and smell are closely related. It’s logical to assume, then, that improving memory and reducing inflammation in the brain may help restore the sense of smell. Reducing inflammation also boosts cognitive function, in general. If you’ve been “foggy-brained” since having had COVID, you might be dealing with an inflammation issue. (The virus causes severe inflammation in the body, particularly, the brain.)
There’s also evidence that creating a smell therapy can help you restore smell. Choose pungent things, like coffee grounds or mint, etc., and take big whiffs of them, every few hours. Even if you don’t pick up a scent, the message is trying to get to your brain. If you keep doing it for several weeks, you might notice that your sense of smell begins to return. The repeated therapy jogs the memory in your brain that’s connected to smell.
A word about depression after COVID
Just as a positive mindset and healthy activities and diet boost brain function, negative mindset and conditions such as depression cause cognitive decline. It’s counterproductive to neurogenesis. Stress, anxiety and depression make adverse cognitive symptoms worse. There’s a strong correlation between diet and mental health. Just as you can eat foods to stimulate brain cell growth, you can also eat things that help ward off depression. A healthy diet is based mostly on whole foods, preferably grown free of GMOs and pesticides.
The brain is an amazing thing. We only get one. Many people are frustrated and angry that they have suffered brain damage from a virus that was created in a laboratory and unleashed on the general population. That’s understandable. But, if you fall into this category, try not to lose hope. Take advantage of the natural remedies and activities available to counteract the negative effects of COVID on the brain and body. Do as many activities and eat as many foods as possible to stimulate neurogenesis; then, be patient and think positive thoughts to promote healing.