By Fasanmi Abiola
The human brain is the most important organ of our body and we all fail to think it also requires exercise or training and nutrition to function well. Thus, forming good habits and avoiding the following bad habits will prevent brain damage and keep it healthy.
Here are 10 brain-damaging activities that you must stop doing for better functioning of the brain:
1. Skipping breakfast
Our brain needs appropriate nutrients at the appropriate time to function at its best. Due to a fast paced lifestyle, most of us avoid or end up skipping breakfast to save some time. This leads to low sugar supply and poor nutrient supply to the brain. The brain needs pure glucose to function. Poor nutrition can have long term harmful effects on the brain like degeneration of the brain cells.
2. Lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation hinders the brain’s ability to perform normally. If you have ever lost your way home or forgotten your keys somewhere and cannot recollect where, then lack of sleep has probably been behind this temporary memory loss. Sleep deprivation leads to cognitive issues. Without enough sleep, certain brain cells die and it then becomes harder for you to remember things. Psychological issues can also crop up due to bad sleep or sleep disturbances. So make sure you get your daily dose of 7 hours of beauty, as well brain-friendly sleep.
It’s said that, “too much of anything is bad”. The same applies to our brain too. We tend to overeat, if the brain is not functioning normally and vice versa, over-eating leads to brain damage. Over-eating leads to deposition of cholesterol plaques and thickening of blood vessels of the brain causing reduced blood supply to brain cells. This can cause serious damage to the normal functioning of the brain. It is found that overeating leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Over-eating leads to obesity which in turn damages our self-image and self-confidence and can lead to depression and other psychological problems.
4. Eating sugary foods
Knowingly or sometimes unknowingly, we all consume sugar in most of our food and beverages. High consumption of refined sugar is known to destroy the ability of the brain and body to absorb proteins and nutrients. Poor nutrition will lead to malnourishment and brain disorders like poor memory, learning disorders, hyperactivity and depression. So, the next time you add a large coke to your happy meal, think again because it’s loaded with nearly 20 spoonfuls of sugar!
This is probably one of the most harmful habits that we indulge in, as smoking not only causes lung diseases or heart diseases, it also leads to shrinkage of multiple cells in the brain and can lead to problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s and maybe even death. Excessive smoking indirectly causes neuro-inflammation which can cause an autoimmune disorder called Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
6. Covering the head while sleeping
Sleeping with the head covered leads to increase in concentration of carbon dioxide and it further reduces the oxygen concentration in the blood. If the oxygen supply is poor, the brain functioning capacity reduces. You may feel suffocated and sleep deprived leading to fatigue and drowsiness.
7. No exercise
Exercise makes you more flexible and increases mobility. Without enough exercise the mobility and brain’s power of movement reduces, and decreases stability and motor skills. Studies have shown exercise help to keep us younger by releasing happy hormones called endorphins. Not just the brain, but exercise strengthens your heart and lungs too. Do you need more reason to exercise?
8. Consuming alcohol
The greater the percentage of alcohol, higher is the number of cells that die in the brain. Alcohol leads to chemical imbalances when continued for longer durations and large quantities. Brain volume decreases due to chronic alcohol intake. Anything more than 2 units/ day for men and 1 unit/ day for women is excess alcohol.
9. Playing loud music with earphones or headphones
Listening to music at a very high volume with your earphones or headphones might damage your hearing abilities permanently. It can result in some brain problems such as loss of memory and damage to your brain tissue in the coming future. This is because brain is the one, which takes efforts to comprehend what is being said around you. If you apply excess pressure on your brain, it’s sure to get damaged.
10. Premature stress
Stress is part of everyone’s life. Certain amount of stress related to work or family is a part and parcel of life. Stress of completing work on time or winning a competition is a healthy expression of stress. But when stress goes beyond your capacity to cope, it hinders the normal functioning of the brain and makes you feel low, depressed, angry, irritable, and sleepless. If you feel one or more of these emotions too often, it is time to seek help with a counselor or move away from things that are causing stress.