Your brain is filled with billions of cells, called neurons. They form the core part of your nervous system, have the ability to receive and transmit signals. They are your body’s control center, and the reason you can think, move, breathe and do anything at all!
Your nervous system is a complex network of nerves and cells that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord, to different parts of the body. It has 3 major functions, that is to collect, interpret, and respond to signals. Different types of neurons carry out each of these functions.
So, if any of these neurons don’t work, your body and brain can’t communicate effectively.
Question is; can you grow new brain cells?
The term neurogenesis is made up of the words “neuro” meaning “relating to nerves”, and “genesis” meaning the formation of something. The term refers to the growth and development of neurons. This process is most active while a baby is developing in the womb and is responsible for the production of the brain’s neurons.
According to Sandrine Thuret, a neuroscientist from King’s College London, the adult brain produces 700 new neurons a day in the hippocampus, a part of the brain where mood and emotion are regulated. By the time you reach the age of 50, you would have exchanged the structure of the neurons you were born with, with new adult ones. How amazing is the brain!?
These neurons are important in your adult life. If there’s a blockage of new neurons developing in the brain then ultimately there’s a blockage of your memory’s ability, quality and capacity.
Grow new brain cells today!
Your neurogenesis rate decreases as you get older, and your environment has an impact on the production of new neurons too. Stress and sleep deprivation decrease the production of new neurons in the hippocampus. Learning, exercising, a healthy diet and sex increase the production of new neurons. It’s all about balance.
The neurogenesis process can be enhanced and encouraged by your lifestyle choices. To increase neurogenesis is to improve how you think, feel, and act.
The benefits of growing new neurons include:
- Higher cognitive function.
- Better memory and faster learning.
- Emotional vitality and resilience.
- Protection from stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Improved immunity
- Enhanced overall brain function.
Increasing neurogenesis dramatically improves everyday life at all stages and radically transforms what ageing looks and feels like.
Power up that brain
What goes into your diet is equally important. A neurogenesis diet is good for your heart. It also protects against stress, depression and Alzheimer’s.
- Fish high in Omega-3s like herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines.
- Mon-saturated fats (from extra virgin olive oil, avocadoes, nuts, and seeds).
- Saturated fat (grass-fed meat, pasture-raised eggs and milk, yogurt, and cheeses).
Fresh vegetables and fruits
The best vegetables are those that are non-starchy (low-carb content) with high amounts of fibre. Fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Avoid fruit with high sugar content.
Limit bad sugar and carbs
Go easy on starchy vegetables like potatoes and rice, as they have a high glycemic load which means they release glucose quickly. All carbohydrates eventually get converted to glucose. Eat and drink more blueberries, green tea, avocados, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, water, dark chocolate, flax seeds, and nuts to boost your ability to focus.
So, in essence what you eat, when you eat and your calorie intake can influence the production of new cells.