Tag Archives: brain

How our bodies repair themselves

The Human Body is wonderful thing, handling the majority of every day functions as we go about our daily lives. Think about it – Our bodies require oxygen, which is handled by our lungs without us even sparring a thought to do so. As you read this article, you’re not thinking “I must breathe in, now I must breathe out” or “I must now pump blood to my left arm.”

The same can be said for a whole host of things, including the repair of our bodies cells. So how often do our body parts renew themselves? Check out the following shortlist provided by the folks at the Healthy Hideout to find out:

A few days

  • Intestine – The intestine is one of the hardest working repair specialists, renewing all cells every two to three days.
  • Taste Buds – Ever taken a sip of coffee a little too quickly? Then you’ll know what burnt tongue feels like. The average human has over 10,000 taste buds on the tongue which renew themselves every 10 – 14 days. Just think of all the food you consume in this time – this is certainly a good thing!

A few months

  • Red Blood Cells – The average woman contains 4,600,000 red blood cells per cubic millimetre. It can take up to three months to replace each and every one.
  • The Liver – Livers have a cell lifespan of around 5 months, before the renewing process must take place.

A few years

  • Hair – You may get it cut every 6 weeks, but on average it can take between 3 -6 years before you can brandish a completely new head of hair.
  • The Skeleton – One of the more amazing facts; The human skeleton renews itself completely every 10 years.
  • Heart Muscles – Important to keep these muscles in tip top shape! Heart muscle cells can take approximately 20 years to completely renew themselves.

Never

  • Cells that cannot repair – It’s unfortunate for many, but old age can take it’s toll on the eyes and brain. Both of these sets of cells cannot repair themselves.

Running tips – Keeping to the beat!

Some of us find motivating our bodies for exercise a little difficult – Why not encourage yourself during your next workout by incorporating a little fun. Music in particular! According to a new study published by the Brunel University of London, listening to the right music during exercise can have a positive effect on your performance and mood.

Take a look at some of the Healthy Hideout’s reasons why you should be playing your favorite tunes the next time you decide to jog around the block:

  • Lower your perception of exhaustion – You’re distracting your brain from the activity you’re actually doing, so you’ll be less inclined to think about being tired and stopping.
  • Heighten cardiovascular benefits – Music with a steady beat helps with the natural rhythm of breathing, resulting in a great amount of oxygen to where you really need it.
  • Extended workout time – You’ll be encouraged to workout for longer because you’re having fun – Longer workouts equal greater benefits.

During exercise, our brains will work hard to find external motivation to keep interested – If you can provide this through the form of music you’re less inclined to become bored too quickly. Brunel’s team of researchers found that music around 120 – 150 beats per minute offered the perfect exercise tempo, resulting in your workout being at least 20% more effective. Lead researcher Dr Kargeorghis says that because “maintaining a synchronous movement during the onset of fatigue requires more attention” our bodies tend to focus less on how tired we are, and more towards continuing an effective workout.

What tunes do you listen to during your workout? If you are based in the south of England then why not check out the Great South Run?!

 

 

10 Top Brain Foods

The brain can be a very demanding muscle and giving it what it needs will pay massive dividends to the mental health of both you and your family. A sharp, focused brain with clarity of thought will make you more productive, produce higher quality results while saving you both time and energy. If you have a difficult decision to make about your finances, relationships or future then why not start off with your brain functioning in top gear? It may be that you just want to stay sharp-witted, improve memory or stave off mental decline. All you need to do is make some changes to your weekly shopping list and soon you will start to think more clearly!

Blueberries

Blueberries. Source: http://www.oregonberry.com

1. Blueberries

Studies have discovered that berries can help fight major conditions such as heart disease, cancer and infections. In particular, blueberries, strawberries and acai berries can help protect the brain; preserving memory and other mental faculties. Dr. Poulose, a researcher from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA-ARS) stated: “The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline.”

2. Coffee

Coffee Beans

Enjoy a guilt-free morning coffee!

The risk of dementia can be cut where coffee blocks the damage that cholesterol can inflict on the body. The 2008 report from the BBC stated that coffee can lead to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Jonathan Geiger from the University of North Dakota says, “Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.” Perhaps that daily cup of coffee could be having more long term benefits that you thought!

3. Salmon

Dr Byrne from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School states that: “There are certain ‘brain foods’ that seem to have a benefit on the brain. New research shows that Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in salmon and other fish, may build the brain’s gray matter”.

4. Eggs

Eggs are a good source of choline, which has been found to be vital for healthy cells, liver and brain. In fact choline not only helps improve brain function but can also help with memory retention. With many people lacking adequate amounts of choline in their diets it seems like eggs are a great, accessible source.

5. Flax seeds

Increasing evidence supports the notion of increasing the amount of omega-3 healthy fats in our diets. Omega-3 can be found in fish oils and flax seed oil. It has been reported that these Omega-3 healthy fats can be good for your brain and overall mood.

6. Avocado

Steven Pratt, MD, and author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life states that avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. Avocado is a fatty fruit but this is a monounsaturated fat which can actually contribute to healthy blood flow.

7. Spinach & Green leafy vegetables

The journal of American Heart Association found that there is a clear link between a high folate diet and reduced risk of strokes. In fact, spinach is high in folate and a great natural source. Some neurologists have recommended eating organic spinach 3+ times a week as a brain tonic!

8. Walnuts & mixed nuts

Walnuts have a high concentration of DHA, which is a type of Omega 3 fatty acid shown to improve brain performance in adults while helping stave off cognitive decline. One study has even suggested that mothers who get enough DHA in their diets have smarter children.

9. Dark chocolate

So, what makes dark chocolate such a great brain food? The answer is found in the flavonoids that it contains. The cocoa, high in flavonoids, has been found to help keep your heart and brain healthy. In fact, the Salk Institute has found initial evidence that eating dark chocolate can help improve brain blood flow which in turn can help improve memory.

10. Acai Berries

Like blueberries, acai berries contain a compound called polyphenol that can trigger the brain to clean and recycle toxic proteins that can lead to memory loss and mental decline. Dr Shibu Poulose, from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing, stated: “In aging, microglia fail to do their work, and debris builds up within the brain. This research has shown that the polyphenolics in berries have a beneficial effect. They have been seen to restore the brains normal housekeeping function.”

Tell us about any other great brain foods that you eat to keep your cognitive sharpness at its peak. Also, why not read the following books to understand more about how some of these super foods can help keep your mind and body healthy into old age: