Here are just a few ways you can enhance your cognition and boost your brain through some simple lifestyle and diet changes.
As a legal professional, your greatest asset is your brain. Whether you’re grinding through paperwork or focusing on the matter-specific tasks you entered law to do, your brain is what enables you to achieve results and please clients. But if you’re not taking care of your brain, it’s the equivalent of a craftsman neglecting their most important tool. Your brain’s health and performance matters; and moreover, there are plenty of things you can do to give your brain a boost. Here are just a few ways you can improve your cognition, memory, and mental stamina through diet and lifestyle interventions.
There’s no shortage of foods that contribute to brain health and mental performance. Fatty fish, walnuts, oranges, eggs, and broccoli are just a few of the best foods you can eat to boost your brain.
Fatty fish like trout and salmon are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which the brain uses to create new brain and nerve cells. Omega-3 fatty acids also play an important role in memory and learning; insufficient omega-3 intake has been linked to depression and learning impairment.
Walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but they have the added benefit of antioxidants and vitamin E. These nutrients can prevent cell damage in the brain and help slow age-related mental decline.
Oranges can play a key role in supporting cognition by providing you with a vitamin C boost. Some studies have found that higher blood concentrations of vitamin C can prompt improvements in memory and attention; vitamin C may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
Eggs pack a powerful brain health punch; they’re a good source of choline, folate, and vitamins B6 and B12, all of which are known to influence brain health. Research has shown that these nutrients can improve memory function, help regulate mood, and slow the process of age-related cognitive decline.
You’ll also want to take your parents’ advice and eat your vegetables; leafy greens like kale and broccoli are rich in beta carotene, lutein, and vitamin K, all of which have been shown to help slow cognitive decline.
We all know that regular exercise is good for physical health. But did you know that regular aerobic exercise can improve your ability to learn and remember information?
Researchers say that aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus – the area of the brain responsible for learning and verbal memory. Exercise also helps to reduce stress and improve mood and sleep, all of which are involved in learning.
You don’t even have to run marathons or lift weights to get these benefits. The study in question involved just 2 hours per week of brisk walking. Anything that makes you break a light sweat is likely enough to benefit your brain.
Other studies have also found that exercise increases the blood concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a compound that creates new brain cells. And the benefit seems to be dose-dependent – the harder you exercise, the more BDNF your body releases.
So the next time you lace up your runners, just remember that you aren’t just taking care of your body by exercising – you’re also rejuvenating your brain.
It should come as no surprise that one of the best ways to improve your cognition and protect your brain from cognitive decline is to, well, use your brain.
Activities like taking a continuing education class, doing a crossword, putting together a puzzle, or reading a book are all things you can do to give your brain a boost.
As a legal professional, there’s no shortage of continuing education courses you can take that will not only help you maintain your brain, but also help you advance your career. Check out your provincial or state law society or paralegal association for a list of professional development courses you can take.
While it can be challenging to get enough social time when you’re working a lot of hours, maintaining strong social connections is one of the best things you can do to take care of your brain. Social interaction has been shown to combat stress and depression, thereby helping to improve memory. Research has found that social isolation can cause the brain to atrophy; it makes sense, then, that the reverse would have the opposite effect. Whether it’s a fun family night out at the movies, after-work drinks with the team, or a networking event, it’s important to prioritize social events.
Keeping your brain sharp has both personal and professional benefits. As a legal professional, your brain is responsible for your entire career – thus, it’s in your best interests to do everything you can to keep your brain healthy and performing at its peak. From diet, to exercise, to socialization and more, there’s no shortage of simple steps you can take to improve your memory and cognition. Try out just some of these tips and discover what kind of a difference it makes at the office.
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