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Here's How To Develop New Brain Cells At Any Age

Here's How To Develop New Brain Cells At Any Age

For a long time, the established dogma was that the adult brain could not generate new brain cells. In other words, we thought we were born with a certain amount of brain cells, and that was all. The good news is that scientists have now discovered that new brain cells can be generated throughout our lives.

Develop new brain cells

The process is called neurogenesis. More specifically, new brain cells, called neurons, develop in the hippocampus. It is the region of the brain that is responsible for learning information, storing long-term memories, and regulating emotions. This has many different positive implications.

As Dr. Amar Sahay, a neuroscientist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, explains, the development of new brain cells can help improve cognitive function. New neurons improve the ability to learn. The growth of new neurons can help ward off Alzheimer's disease, keep good memory, treat and prevent depression, and help reduce anxiety.

Before embarking on the regeneration of new brain cells, it is important to note that you must take steps to take care of brain cells that you already have. Right now, it's very likely that there are things you do that damage the cells of your brain. These include the following aspects:

- Uncontrolled Stress: Stress can damage brain cells over time. Protect your brain cells by managing stress through meditation, simplifying and prioritizing your to-do list.

- Do not get enough sleep: A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that staying awake for too long destroys brain cells in mice, and can do the same thing in humans. Sleep deprivation kills a particular type of brain cells called locus ceruleus that play an important role in keeping us awake and alert.

- Have a poor diet: Having a poor diet and loaded with processed fats, refined grains, and sugar, shrinks the brain. A 2015 study conducted in Australia on the link between the western diet and a smaller hippocampus, showed that the more a person eats junk food, the smaller his hippocampus is.

If you do any of the things above, it's time to make changes in your lifestyle, your brain cells will thank you for it.

How to develop new brain cells?

Dr. Sandrine Thuret, neuroscientist at King's College London, explains that now it has been proven that humans can develop new brain cells, through neurogenesis, that can be stimulated in several ways:

Eat blueberries
Blueberries are blue because of the anthocyanin dye, a flavonoid that has been linked to neurogenesis, according to a study conducted at the Human Nutrition Research Center of the Department of Agriculture at Boston's Tufts University in the United States.

Eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate also helps to develop new neurons. This is because dark chocolate, like blueberries, contains flavonoids.

Keep the brain stimulated
Cognitive stimulation increases the neurogenesis of the hippocampus. This means that you need to keep your brain stimulated: learn new skills, interact with other people, travel, try new things, and keep coming out of your comfort zone.

Consume omega-3 fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as avocados and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, herring and sardines, promote the growth of neurons. You can also opt for flaxseed or linseed oil, chia seeds and nuts.

Physical exercise
You can promote the growth of new brain cells through regular endurance exercises, such as walking or jogging. How does it work ? Jogging stimulates the production of a protein called FNDC5. In turn, the FNDC5 stimulates the production of another protein in the brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which stimulates the growth of new nerves and synapses.

Take turmeric
Not only does turmeric help with neurogenesis, but a recent study published in Stem Cell Research & Therapy found that turmeric can help regenerate a "damaged brain" and help repair neurological conditions.

Drink green tea
According to a study conducted in Mexico in 2016, the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea is the element that has been linked to the growth of new brain cells.
How To Develop New Brain Cells At Any Age