Do you know how to increase neurogenesis for better brain health? Here are a few ways to boost neurogenesis every day.
How to Increase Neurogenesis and Improve Brain Function
Can You Create a New You?
Imagine having better memory, increased energy, or a more positive outlook when you start your day. You would feel ready to take on any challenge.
Advances in medical science now mean this goal is within reach. You can create a new you.
The key to tapping into this potential comes from a better knowledge of neurogenesis, the process of creating new brain cells or new neurons. By understanding and working to increase the rate of neurogenesis, you can change your entire life.
Here are nine ways you can increase neurogenesis:
- Eating more blueberries
- Increasing your omega-3’s
- Mixing curcumin into your food or taking a supplement that contains it
- Drinking green tea
- Exercising more often
- Starting a meditation practice
- Working on learning new skills
- Getting more restful sleep
- Using mnemonic devices
What Is Neurogenesis?
Let’s first dig into what neurogenesis is before talking about how we can influence it. Not so long ago, scientists believed the brain stopped developing after the first few years of life.
After that, you’re stuck with what you’ve got. But, recent evidence suggests this is not the case.
Scientists have found that the brain can form new neural pathways and create neurons, even in adults.
While neurogenesis is the term used to describe the process of the birth of new brain cells, neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to adapt. These physiological changes that take place in the brain happen as the result of interactions with your environment.
Neurogenesis is the process in which the brain adapts and updates, and although there is still much more to be discovered, research has shown that neurogenesis can be encouraged and increased by individual lifestyle choices.
So, what does this mean for you? You can change the way your brain functions.
You can increase productivity, memory, focus, and your ability to learn quickly if you want to. It’s also something you should keep in mind as you age.
A healthy brain is vital to your overall health. So be mindful of your brain and start implementing ways to increase neurogenesis.
How Can You Increase Neurogenesis?
Everything you encounter in life, like food, environment, and actions, affects the human brain’s ability to heal and create new neurons.
Neurogenesis is important to delay cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. The good thing is there are several ways to improve brain function and to generate new brain cell creation.
You don’t need to go to a special clinic to boost the growth rate of your neurons. You can increase neurogenesis by simply eating more “brain food,” increasing physical activities, or removing toxicity from your life.
Supplement these tips with the right vitamins and minerals like Sunwarrior Liquid Magnesium, which helps keep both your body and brain healthy.
Let’s take a look at some of these tips on how to increase neurogenesis at home!
1. Eat More Blueberries
There are certain foods and supplements that have been found to increase the rate of neurogenesis and support overall brain health. Blueberries help to promote neurogenesis while protecting the brain from cognitive decline.
They are packed with polyphenols, specifically flavonoids that can help to stimulate neurogenesis through your diet. Flavonoids, like the ones found in blueberries, are thought to increase neurogenesis by increasing the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
So, the moral of the story is you need to eat more blueberries.
You can either blend them into a smoothie, top a salad with them, or eat them by the handful. Just be sure to start eating more.
2. Increase Your Omega-3’s
Omega-3’s are another neurogenesis food superstar. They’re great for your eyes, heart, and for fighting inflammation.
Omega-3’s have been shown to increase neurogenesis and BDNF levels. One study published in Science Daily found that by adding omega-3’s to a cell culture dish, there was a whopping 40% increase in adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Great plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, algae, and flaxseeds.
The best form of Omega 3 for our body is DHA, so taking a supplement can be important. Try Sunwarrior Omega 3 DHA & EPA as it comes straight from the source of where fish get their DHA, algae.
3. Eat More Curcumin
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is associated with numerous benefits such as anti-inflammatory, heart health, and depression. On top of this, long-term use of curcumin has been shown to increase neurogenesis in some studies.
A powerful anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidant compound, curcumin has strong neurogenic effects. Curcumin has also been shown to increase the number of adult brain cells in the hippocampus.
One way to increase the bioavailability and absorption of curcumin into the body is by adding piperine, a pepper extract.
4. Drink More Green Tea
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and can help with brain function, fat loss, and potentially lower the risk of developing cancer. Green tea contains polyphenols of which the most powerful is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a type of catechin.
Evidence has shown that green tea promotes the increase of neural progenitor cells, which suggests that EGCG can enhance adult hippocampus neurogenesis.
Neural progenitor cells are the progenitor cells of the central nervous system (CNS) that give rise to the majority of neuronal cell types that populate the CNS. Basically, progenitor cells are biological cells that can change into a cell that does a specific job in the body. This change happens through a process called differentiation.
RELATED: Green Tea Detox And Almond Cocoa
5. Exercise More Often
Lifestyle choices and staying active are essential to the development of new neurons.
Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase the number of neurons in a part of the brain as well as to increase hippocampus volume. Another study found similar results with aerobic exercise increasing the hippocampus volume and improving memory in 120 adults with dementia.
Aerobic exercise, in particular running, seems to present the most neurogenic benefits.
6. Start a Meditation Practice
Meditation doesn’t directly increase neurogenesis; however, its ability to reduce stress can do wonders for creating new neurons. One of the main factors that decrease the rate of neurogenesis in the adult brain is stress.
It’s no surprise the amount of damage long-term chronic stress can cause to both your body and your brain. Both physical and social stresses have been found to decrease hippocampal neurogenesis.
Studies have shown that just one mindfulness session has the power to reduce stress and anxiety. Imagine what a regular practice could do.
Meditation has been found to increase the size of the hippocampus. It’s thought to increase neurogenesis by reducing stress in the body and the mind.
7. Work on Learning New Skills
Mental exercise and stimulation are crucial to the formation of new neurons.
Learning new skills is useful, especially tricky tasks so make sure to challenge yourself. Whether it’s learning a new instrument or language, keeping the brain well-exercised is very important in neurogenesis.
Learning new skills has been shown to increase the chances of survival for new neurons, it’s a battle of the fittest, and only the strongest neurons survive. Naturally, the hippocampus shrinks with age and engaging with challenging mental tasks has been associated with less shrinkage.
So if you’ve been dreaming of playing the violin but feel like it’s too late to learn because of your age, don’t worry. You’ll be able to learn skills, thanks to neuroplasticity.
What is neuroplasticity? This is the changes happening in the brain as it receives new instructions because of changes in environment, behavior, or other processes.
8. Get More Restful Sleep
You probably already know the importance of sleep, yet more than a third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep regularly. A lack of sleep is bad for your health and can result in many side effects like memory issues, mood changes, weight gain, and trouble concentrating.
Sleep helps your body fight off oxidative stress, and not getting enough of it can lead to various illnesses.
When it comes to short-term sleep deprivation of a day or so, there seems to be little effect on neurogenesis. However, chronic sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on neurogenesis due to the increased levels of stress hormones in the body.
Getting enough sleep appears to increase neurogenesis by lowering the levels of TNF-α and stress hormones. TNF stands for Tumor Necrosis Factor, and TNF-alpha is one of the worst offenders of chronic inflammation.
The majority of adults should aim to get around 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you struggle to nod off each night, try lowering the temperature of the room or practicing yoga and meditation before bed.
9. Use Mnemonic Devices
Learning new skills is a great way to promote neurogenesis because it’s a good idea to train your memory. Memory training helps support the connection between your brain's prefrontal parietal network and can help to slow memory loss as you age.
Mnemonic devices are a method in which you combine visualization, spatial navigation, memory, and imagery.
A popular way of doing this is known as the Method of Loci (MoL), also referred to as the memory place or memory journey.
The idea is you visualize something familiar like a building or the route you take to go to work. Then you place items you want to remember at particular spots throughout the journey.
This method has helped people suffering from depression to store happy memories they can access in times of stress.
Learn how to sharpen your mental focus with the help of Dr. Weston in this video from Sunwarrior:
Neurogenesis is the process in which you create new neurons in the brain. It can help to improve cognitive function and memory and reduce stress.
By making simple lifestyle choices and additions, you can help to promote neurogenesis and support brain health.
Did these tips help you understand how to increase neurogenesis to increase your cognitive function? Share what you do to exercise your mind for better brain health in the comments section below!