Your body keeps your brain very secure inside the vault of your bony skull, suspended in a shock-absorbing liquid and away from the toxins of the regular circulatory system, through its own fluid system called the CSF. It is also the only organ where some cells you are born with continue to serve you till you live.
A large percentage of people who suffer from paralysis and loss of brain function, which may seem to stem from a neurological cause are actually due to blocked or broken vessels in the brain, causing what is commonly called, a stroke. The same factors that damage blood vessels in your heart - the presence of inflammation, the accumulation of deposits in the inner lining of the blood vessels, and the formation of clots, are the same ones that cause the majority of strokes.
Your brain is the fastest known processor of information in the world. It needs special nutrients in good quantity to stay healthy. Some nutrients help in building neuronal health in the long term and some nutrients help to keep the functions running. Some important nutrients that help when taken in just the right amounts (too little or too much can be harmful) include:
When we do physical exercise, the brain receives better circulation and oxygen. It also stimulates the brain because all your muscle movements and triggered by your brain. Your brain is also constantly scanning information from all your body’s sensors while you exercise to maintain balance and keep you active. If you are engaging in sport, it also requires you to be alert and anticipating all the time. This is also a good mental workout.
Sleep is an extremely important part of our brain’s functioning. Instead of the brain being switched off, it does housekeeping functions when your conscious functions are asleep, preparing the brain for the next day and filtering out relevant memories and storing them, and clearing out the clutter of noisy signals from the previous day. Your brain sleeps in cycles. Each cycle lasts between 3-4 hours. A person needs at least 2 such cycles to maintain a healthy brain.
Even if you can mentally function with reduced sleep, your body will go into a stressed state, raising your blood pressure and causing multiple changes when you are sleep deprived. These changes due to stress cause serious damage to different parts of your body.
Learning new languages, skills, or subjects or solving complex problems switches on components in the brain that lead to the formation of new connections between neurons and insulating the constantly-used ones. This is as good as exercise for your brain. If your brain has more connections, it can compensate more for loss of function as you grow older, keeping you free from symptomatic memory loss.
We are social animals. The single activity that perhaps triggers the largest amount of neurons to interact is social interaction. Our brains are also designed to trigger a period of depression when we do not have sufficient social connections. It is important to have social interactions, as well as social connections to ensure the best brain health and a positive mental state.