• Tracy Southwick

What Really Works to Improve Brain Function?

Updated: May 19, 2020

We all have our focused and alert days and our not-so-focused and alert days, often times thinking that we have no control of which day it will be when we wake up. Fortunately, we do have more control than we realize over how our brains function in the short run and in the long run. So, read on and choose more of those alert and focused days in your life.

An exercised body creates a healthier brain… The number one lifestyle habit that positively affects brain health is exercise. Movement is essential with a combination of aerobic, weight bearing and stretching. Dance and table tennis have been shown to be especially beneficial because they work the brain, as well. A good healthcare practitioner or fitness trainer can help you create a plan.

A learning brain is adaptable… Be a lifelong learner. Sudoku Is great, but we need variety. Learn a new language, a new skill, a new hobby. Find something that brings you joy and dive into learning all about it.

A hydrated brain is a sharper brain…Mental acuity and decision making are noticeably diminished even with minimal dehydration. The results of dehydration on brain function show up even before the thirst mechanism kicks in. Find a water bottle (safe glass or stainless steel) that you love so that you will be more likely to use and aim to consume ½ of our body weight in ounces of water daily.

A rested brain is a better brain… You might have already heard, but scientists have discovered that the brain shrinks in size while we sleep and detoxifies itself through the glymphatic system. Without sleep, toxins build up in the brain…not ideal. At least 7 hours of restful sleep should get that system pumping.

A nourished brain is a stronger brain…DHA is a mainstay for brain health, but did you know that having low levels of Vitamin D, B-vitamins, magnesium and potassium can cause foggy brain? Blood tests will look for major deficiencies, but not optimal levels. For example, Vitamin D levels above 30 ng/ml are considered “normal,” whereas most functional doctors will look for levels between 60 and 100 ng/ml. Have your nutrient levels checked regularly. One of my favorite supplements is