One of the largest and more complicated organs in the human body intertwined by a hundred billion nerves, it helps us navigate our body to make sense of everything that revolves around us.
The different departments working together
Breathing and sleeping are monitored in the brain stem which is the connection between the spinal cord and the entire brain.
Balance and coordination is controlled by the back of the brain called the cerebellum.
Thinking begins at the outer layer of neural tissue called the cortex.
Movement, emotions and cognitive functions are processed in the basal ganglia located in the center of the brain.
The cerebral cortex in sections called lobes
Frontal Lobe – located in the front of the brain and is responsible for reasoning, problem solving and motor skills. It receives information from other lobes of the brain and processes the information into movement.
Parietal Lobe – is associated with sensation and processes information such as pain, pressure and touch. It is located in the middle of the brain.
Temporal Lobe – located at the bottom of the brain and is responsible for memory and interpreting sound.
Occipital Lobe – corresponds to visual processing by gathering information from the retinas and interpreting what we see. It is located in the back section of the brain.
A two year clinical trial of subjects aged between 60-77 years showed that a combination of good nutrition along with social, physical activities and mental exercises slowed cognitive impairment. Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Causes of Death Australia 2015, dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians.
It is never too late to improve your brain health, here are some simple steps to help keep your brain and body healthy:
Research has found that mental exercises that challenge your brain helps develop new brain cells. Higher levels of mental exercises are associated with better brain function.
A healthy diet
A healthy diet provides essential nutrients for the brain to develop and function properly. Include a diet high in good fats found in fish, olive oil and walnuts to increase brain cell growth and steer away from saturated fats.
Keep your heart healthy
There is a connection between a healthy heart and a healthy brain. Blood vessels in the brain can be damaged due to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Keep these monitored and treat them effectively.
Physical activity keeps your heart pumping and provides increased blood flow to the brain. It reduces high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.
It is important to be in the company of others in which you enjoy and find common interests. Research suggests being socially active benefits other health factors such as lower risks of depression.