The human brain is the most important organ of our body and we all fail to think that the brain also requires exercise or training and nutrition for it to function well. Thus, forming good habits and avoiding the following bad habits will prevent brain damage and keep it healthy.
What are the Causes of Brain Damage?
1. Skipping Breakfast:
Our brain also needs appropriate nutrients at the appropriate time to function its best. Due to a fast paced lifestyle, most of us avoid or end up skipping our breakfast to save some time in the early hours of the day. 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.
Itís said that, ďtoo much of anything is badĒ. 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 Alzheimerís 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.
3. Lack of Sleep:
Sleep deprivation hinders the brainís 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 the culprit 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.
4. Eating Sugary Foods:
Knowingly or sometimes unknowingly, we all consume sugar in most of our food and beverages. High consumption of refined sugars 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 itís 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, but it also leads to shrinkage of multiple cells in the brain and can lead to problems like dementia, Alzheimerís and may be 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.
We often fall ill when we are overworked. If during sickness too we continue working, then the brainís efficacy is bound to take a dramatic hit. This will only add to the stress. When we are ill, the brain and body are already working extra hard to cope with the infection. Working on a sick day will only to add to the burden. So take a break, relax, recuperate.
8. Lack of Socializing:
Socializing, talking, encourages growth and development of the brain. Intellectual conversations strengthen the brain and improve its capacity to work. You can increase your creativity by meeting new people and making new friends. Socializing or interacting is also a great way to express yourself freely. If there is no socializing or if communication is low, you might feel low and depressed.
As the saying goes, ďall work and no play make Jack a dull boyĒ. Exercise makes you more flexible and increases mobility. Without enough exercise the mobility and brainís 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?
10. Consuming Alcohol:
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.
Our brain is totally dependent on oxygen. The more you expose yourself to harmful chemicals or polluted and contaminated air, the lesser oxygen reaches the brain. Lack of adequate oxygen in the body may lead to death of cells in the brain. Studies in mice exposed to polluted air over a long run show physical damage to the brain. Time to get out to the park and breathe some fresh air each day.
12. Premature Stress:
Stress is a part of everyoneís 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.
13. Lack of Stimulating Thoughts:
Research shows that people who do not think much or often enough have shrinking brains. Thus, to maintain and expand the brain it is very necessary to think. Thinking, reading and writing will train and enhance the brain for better functioning and prevent from being damaged.
Latest Publications and Research on 13 Daily Habits that Damage the BrainPsoriasis is not associated with cognition, brain imaging markers and risk of dementia: the Rotterdam Study. - Published by PubMed
Hippo/YAP signaling pathway mitigates blood-brain barrier disruption after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. - Published by PubMed
Protective effects of the astaxanthin derivative, adonixanthin, on brain hemorrhagic injury. - Published by PubMed
The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Community Integration and Return to Work after Acquired Brain Injury. - Published by PubMed
Lung injury does not aggravate mechanical ventilation-induced early cerebral inflammation or apoptosis in an animal model. - Published by PubMed