The brain is responsible for vital life functions, so keeping it healthy and functioning at optimal level is a must.
As we all know, our lifestyle habits affect our general health. For example, when a person doesn’t get enough exercise and overeats, he/ she will put on weight. If you have a stressful day at work, you may come home with a headache. There are also many damaging habits that can affect the brain. Unfortunately, we rarely immediately feel the effects of these bad habits that can damage the brain.
As we age, it is normal to experience some loss of brain function. However, some damaging habits can actually speed up the degeneration process of the brain.
Below you have 7 habits which are negatively affecting the brain and you need to stop doing them right away.
1. Skipping Breakfast
Being in the habit of skipping breakfast can have a negative impact on your brain health. We have all heard the saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Research seems to indicate that when it comes to brain health, skipping breakfast is not a good habit.
For example, a study in Japan on over 80,000 people found that skipping breakfast increased the risk of having a stroke and high blood pressure. The study, conducted over a 15 year period, looked at people who did not have any history of heart disease or cancer and found that eating breakfast every day can help a person avoid suffering a stroke. The researchers also noted that blood pressure drops after breakfast and therefore, having breakfast can also reduce the risk of a brain hemorrhage.2
Having breakfast regularly also has a positive effect on concentration and mental abilities. This is backed up by a study into the effects of breakfast and academic performance in children. The journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience published evidence that children who were in the habit of eating breakfast performed better academically in the classroom, especially in math and arithmetic.3
2. Cellular Radiation can cause brain cancer
A 2016 clinical trial has found a link between cell phone radiation and cancer in rats. The study found that there was an increased risk of tumors in the brain and heart.
Consumer Reports recommends using some common-sense precautions to avoid the risk of cell phone radiation causing cancer. Some of these are:
-Use the speakerphone or a hands-free headset when speaking.
-If the cellular signal is weak, try to keep the cell phone away from your body.
-Send text messages or use video calling when possible.
-Don’t keep your phone in your shirt or pants pocket.
3. Sleep Deprivation
The habit of not getting enough sleep can have a detrimental effect on the brain. Sleep deprivation may actually physically damage your brain.
Smoking is one of the most detrimental habits. It also leads to multiple brain shrinkage, as well as dementia-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Too Much Sugar
As well as causing your waistline to bulge and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes due to obesity, too much sugar can also have a damaging effect on your brain.
A study published by 2 researchers from the University of New South Wales found that in young mice, too much sugar had just as much negative impact on brain development as extreme stress or abuse. They think that if the same happens in children and young adults, too much sugar could have long-term effects on the brain and behavior.14
It’s important to cut out as much as possible sugary sodas and candies. You should also be careful of added sugar to foods like fructose corn syrup, invert sugar and sucrose. Also, many low-fat foods have added sugar to help improve the taste. So, try to look for products that are unsweetened or have no sugar added.
Over-eating causes excess weight, and often obesity as well. We often eat foods which are poor in nutrients, which causes us to over-eat and feel hungry all the time. Nutrient-poor foods diminish brain performance and may led to brain-related conditions like dementia and low brain volume.
7. Lack of Social Integration
According to research, lack of social contact can lead to depression, feelings of loneliness, and even affect our ability to remember things.
Psychologists generally agree that our brains function best when we have opportunities to socialize with others. The website Psychology Today says that lack of social contact can lead to depression, feelings of loneliness, and even affect our ability to remember things. Children who don’t get enough social contact with their parents and peers are more likely to develop psycho-social problems. In adults, a lack of social integration can also lead to forming bad habits like over drinking and drug abuse.