One of the best ways to increase your mental prowess is to maintain a healthy physique. Although your brain really doesn't care if you can bench press a small car, many of the attributes that go into a strong body directly affect your brain as well. By becoming more fit and eating a healthier diet, you are adding to your brain's capacity to think. This is aside from the emotional balance that a healthy brain can maintain.
Meats - Many diets and fitness menus include the right portions of beef, chicken, pork and fish. Your physical body will use these materials to provide iron, proteins and omega-3 fatty acids for weight control. However, they also provide vitamin B12 which helps in the creation of myelin. This material creates a sheath around a neuron and is necessary for a properly functioning nervous system. Essentially, you can help ensure that your neurons are firing correctly by increasing your vitamin B12 intake.
Sunflower Seeds - Sunflower seeds are incredibly healthy for you to eat regularly. Aside from being extremely high in potassium and proteins, they also contain great amounts of vitamin B6 and magnesium. Both of these substances are necessary for brain functionality. Deficiencies of vitamin B6 can cause everything from a sore tongue to depression and confusion. Magnesium helps prevent the brain from suffering from neurotoxins in the body.
Blood Flow - Increasing the flow of blood to various parts of your body can improve many aspects of your physical health. This is a natural side effect of working out as physical activity requires oxygenation from the blood stream to your muscles. Increasing the flow of blood to the brain also provides it with the materials it needs for vastly improved functionality. It can also help create an improve frame of mind. The term "runner's high" is a manifestation of the body producing mass amounts of endorphins providing a euphoric frame of mind. You don't need to be a runner to achieve this state, but it is much easier to do so.
Memory Enhancement - Studies show that an increase of physical activities also increases the cognitive benefits of the brain for improving memory functions. This has been advantageous for child academic responses as well as helping the elderly maintain much of their brain power. While running a marathon doesn't mean that an 80-year old will be able to remember the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, it does mean that physical activity can improve his or her memory when it comes time to find the remote control or the car keys.
Dietary Implications - As mentioned with meat and sunflower seeds above, improving your diet can have a profound impact on the brain. When you eat nothing but junk foods and deprive your body of the vitamins and minerals it needs in order to function correctly, it's not just your midsection that feels the neglect. Your ability to think and reason is also affected as you are not providing yourself with the necessary components to make sure your neurons are working correctly. Can your car start if you fill the gas tank with sugar? The same can be said for your brain.
You need to realize that your weight is only part of why you would want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your capacity to enjoy hobbies, understand problems and remember your children's birthdays could rely on every morsel of food and physical activity you engage.
Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting https://twitter.com/NannyPro on Twitter.