The human brain is one of the most important organs, which is responsible for how the rest of the body functions — it includes changes in the mood, appetite, metabolism, digestion, response to external stimuli, hormonal functions, among others.
It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise brain health and know of factors which can have a negative impact on it.
On the occasion of World Brain Day, Dr Varun Reddy Gundluru, consultant neurologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, says the brain has “various complex networks” that are helpful for the normal functioning of the body, and that any dysfunction in these networks can lead to a brain stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.
According to him, there are many ways to preserve the health of the brain, some of which include:
1. Physical exercise: Regular exercise is important for preserving brain function. It stimulates the brain, increases learning capacity, and preserves mood, says Dr Gundluru.
2. Diet and nutrition: Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important for preserving brain function, and reducing oxidative damage to the brain, the doctor adds.
3. Controlling medical risks: Maintaining good blood pressure, controlling blood sugars and cholesterol levels, reducing smoking and alcohol intake, and having regular medical checkups are also key to maintaining brain health.
4. Sleep and relaxation: Having sufficient sleep and adequate relaxation rejuvenates the brain and energises it for the next day. It also keeps the mood stable, reduces the chance of depression, and improves memory, says the doctor.
5. Mental fitness: “Staying mentally fit means doing activities that stimulate the brain, like puzzle solving, thinking about complex scenarios and utilising brain power. It reduces our chance of getting dementia,” explains Dr Gundluru.
6. Social life: Having a social life, interacting with others and indulging in healthy and constructive conversations keeps the brain healthy and reduces the chance of depression.
“As we continue to face new challenges like climate change, wars, famine, pollution, pandemic, etc., preserving the health of the brain becomes all the more important,” the doctor concludes.