7 surprising ways in which you can keep your brain healthy

Can listening to your favourite song prevent Alzheimer's? Find out what experts have to say.

Written by Sandhya Raghavan | Updated : July 12, 2017 8:28 AM IST


Ever wondered how you could keep your brain safe from degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia? Some of the answers may surprise you. As part of the Mental Awareness Week (May 8th - May 14th) Bolt Burdon Kemp, a law firm that handles medical negligence cases, asked various experts who deal with brain injury and rehabilitation, the main habits that can make your brain healthier and prevent cell degeneration.

Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet: Age-related cognitive decline can be arrested by eating a low sodium diet, and the best way to ensure that is to eat a Mediterranean diet. The diet comprises fruits, veggies, olive oil, nuts, beans, cereal grains and dark chocolate. Nutritional therapist and naturopath at the London Clinic of Nutrition Judy Rocher recommends the diet as it provides a high level of phytonutrients and antioxidants. She also prescribes eating healthy fats like coconut oil, omega-3 fatty acids and lecithin that protects the brain and help absorb fat-soluable vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. Also Read - New COVID Variant Pirola Spreading Rapidly: Is Another COVID-19 Wave Likely?


Music therapy: Music is to the soul what words are to the mind they say. Indeed, but music is great even for your brain says Elizabeth Nightingale, a neurologic music therapist at Chiltern Music Therapy. Playing music is the best form of exercise for our brains. If one part is damaged or impaired, music can still reach multiple areas, helping to stimulate the brain and keeping it as healthy and as active as possible. Bernice Chu, music therapist at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, says that music activates different areas of the brain and keeps it healthy. Chu also believes that any music can help you heal your mind!


Art therapy: If music isn't your thing, you can also indulge in some creative activities. Painting, crafts, theatre and dance are some great options to indulge in. Art therapist Themis Kyriakidou says that art-making helps us to analyse feelings and our subconscious” as well as “help reduce anxiety and stress by allowing [us] to express [ourselves], producing a calming effect and a safe space – effectively a breather from one’s own thoughts.”  Also Read - Pirola Variant Mutating Rapidly, UK Put On Alert After Country Confirms First Case of New COVID-19 Strain BA.2.86


Physical activity: This goes without saying, but exercise is a must to keep the brain healthy. Gentle activities such as yoga can help heal traumatic brain injuries according to speaker Amy Zellmer who herself was a victim of brain injury. Her cognitive functions improved steadily after she took up yoga.

Social Service

Find a Purpose in Life (PIL): It could be a dream like writing a book, or doing volunteering work, find a purpose that brings meaning to your life. If you have a purpose in your life, you are 30 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment. You have to believe your life has meaning and purpose and maintain a personal belief system with a positive outlook towards the world. This way, you can nurture your mind.


Build meaningful relationships: It's a fact that we all know but today even experts validate the importance of love, stability and support in a person's life. Brain injury rehabilitation expert Christine Lefaivre says, The positive impact of stability, love and support of a healthy family cannot be valued highly enough”. Also Read - How One Can Align Their Dietary Needs With The Environment