In a world full of never-ending emails and meetings, juggling kids to after-school activities, social media distractions, and our general habit of trying to multitask, it’s easy to get bogged down and stressed out. Our fast-paced lifestyles mean our brains are constantly overworked, but there are things we can do on a daily basis to support our focus, memory, learning, concentration and more.
Actress, writer, and producer Mayim Bialik, Ph.D. — known for her role as Blossom Russo in the ‘90s television series Blossom and as neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory – had a lot to say on the topic of brain health during a fireside chat for BlogHer’s Brain Health celebration in honor of Brain Awareness Week. Aside from her acting career, Bialik also has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and has taken on a new role as Neuriva’s science ambassador. “I have always been somewhat hesitant about partnering with a brain health supplement until I found Neuriva,” says Bialik. Understanding the science behind Neuriva and how it supports brain health was important for her, as she considers optimal brain health something we should all be striving for. According to Bialik, “Every day that you work on brain health affects you positively. No matter what age you are, it’s always time to consider something that will help your brain.” Here are her tips on how to keep yours in tip-top shape.
More from SheKnows
Get Some Sleep
It might seem obvious, but sleep is a huge component of a healthy brain, and many of us aren’t getting enough of it. The National Sleep Foundation says adults need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Without it, your brain struggles with creating new memories, concentration, communication, and quick responses. “Most of us don’t get enough sleep, or we’re getting disturbed sleep,” says Bialik. In addition to a good night’s rest, she also recommends napping and reducing our screen time as a way to rest your brain. “I don’t always need to be constantly thinking, working, and going. And taking that time to rest your brain is important.”
It might seem counterintuitive, but drinking alcohol before bed can really mess up your nightly snooze time. It’s commonly thought that consuming alcohol, especially in excess, before bed helps us crash out for a long night’s sleep, but drinking alcohol before bed actually decreases sleep quality. “It can really disrupt your sleep,” says Bialik, who has cut out alcohol before bed. According to the Sleep Foundation, people who consume large amounts of alcohol before going to bed usually need more time to fall asleep. These people are also more likely to experience sleep disruptions and decreased sleep quality.
Exercise Your Brain
There’s a reason our teachers always encouraged us to do brain teasers and crossword puzzles for extra credit: like our bodies, we can work out and train our brains with brain games to support our cognitive abilities and brain health. An article for Harvard Health Publishing notes that exercising your brain can stimulate blood vessel growth in the brain, and improve sleep while reducing stress and anxiety. Bialik likes to keep her brain busy with crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and by using the Neuriva Brain Gym, an app available on the App Store and Google Play that’s full of engaging brain games. Other brain-friendly activities include reading, sudoku, or playing cards. Challenge your brain with a variety of brain stimulating exercises. All it takes is a few minutes each day. The important thing is that you’re flexing those brain muscles.
Eat a Colorful Diet
During BlogHer’s Brain Health discussion, it was revealed that on average, the brain burns about 300 calories a day, meaning peak brain performance is best fueled by a balanced, healthy diet. “One of the easiest things to do is eat a lot of colorful food,” says Bialik, who also notes that leaning into healthy fats like salmon and nuts is important at any age. Blueberries, oranges, broccoli, seeds, avocados, and eggs are all full of vitamins and nutrients that support brain health as well. “The more diversity and range, the better,” she says.
Research suggests that meditating can help increase the brain’s ability to process information. In fact, brain imaging techniques reveal this ancient practice can profoundly change the way different regions of the brain communicate with each other and how we think. Bialik recommends meditation as a way to increase brain function. “I do mindfulness, meditation, and guided meditation on an app,” she says. Even devoting just one minute a day to meditation can help clear your busy brain and help manage stress and anxiety.
Consider a Brain Health Supplement, Like Neuriva
“Brain supplements should support things your brain actually needs,” says Bialik. “So, one of the most important things for me in partnering with Neuriva was learning what is in it.” Neuriva Plus is a brain health supplement that helps fuel six important indicators of brain health: focus, memory, learning, concentration, accuracy, and reasoning.* It’s made with nutrient-rich coffee cherry, which has been clinically tested and shown to increase brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), a neuroprotein known to support connections between neurons. It also includes phosphatidylserine (PS), a major phospholipid in the brain, which has been known to support the nerve cells in the brain and communication between them.
To learn more about Neuriva, visit Neuriva.com.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This post was created by SheKnows for Neuriva.
Best of SheKnows