ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Three Essential Needs For Your Brain

Updated on October 9, 2018
vocalcoach profile image

Audrey's burning desire to help others to respect and understand themselves led her to the study of psychology at UCLA.

Exercise Your Brain

Fall in Love With Your Brain

When your brain works well, you work well. Your brain is commander-in-chief of your body. It's involved in everything you do. So, doesn't it make sense to be good to your brain?

One way to show your brain some much-needed love and attention is to provide it with the following three essential needs:

  • Activity
  • Nutrients
  • Oxygen


The Brain Needs Physical and Mental Activity

Your brain loves a challenge. It requires both a physical and mental workout in some form each and every day. The brain is constantly changing. It grows and retracts, it strengthens and weakens making it possible for you to learn from your experiences, adapt to new situations and store unlimited memories.

This brain of yours is an energy hog with one hundred billion cells. Just imagine! Be generous with your exercise routine because regular exercise improves the brain's ability to think.

Walking is highly beneficial, free, and can be done in short intervals and at your own pace. But do be regular and consistent. Exercising your body will help to keep your brain sharp, healthy, and functioning at its very best

Learning to play a musical instrument, speak a different language, paint or even work on a puzzle will supply your brain with mental challenges. Any kind of brain training games will help to stimulate critical parts of the brain. Even games that seem simple and easy will bring great effects.

Tai Chai And Me

I recently joined a Tai Chi class. Let me tell you...this is not for the faint of heart. For one and a half hours I tried my best to keep up with the rest of the class. Even going at my own pace I barely made it. But I'm looking forward to my next class and oxygenating the cells in my body. This includes my brain.

Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a non-competitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

While you're giving your body a good work out, your brain is improving in the mental department. Exercise makes the brains neurons stronger and healthier. And even stretching helps to release stress which impacts the memory centers of your brain.

Foods To Feed And Fuel Your Brain

In the same way the body can't function without the nutrients it needs, neither can the brain. Our brains need nourishment and like the body, it must have proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It must also have anti-oxidant rich fruits like berries and vegetables to fuel, support and preserve its precious neurons.

  • Blueberries - Studies have confirmed that blueberries show increased motor skills in rats. And all types of berries contain high levels of antioxidants that protect brain cells from damage. Yes, a healthy dose of berries regularly can protect the brain from aging.
  • Avocados (my favorite) are almost as good as blueberries for the brain.
  • Foods that are rich in omega fatty acids like salmon, walnuts and even kiwi fruit can give your brain a boost.
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal is wonderful for the cardiovascular system as grains promote good flow to the heart and the brain. For better concentration and focus, the brain needs energy for fuel. Healthy grains will supply this energy.
  • Vitamin K found in broccoli provides cognitive function.
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds a day provides your daily amount of zinc which enhances your memory and thinking skills.

I don't know about you but I'm trading in my peanuts for pumpkin seeds.

Your Brain Needs Oxygen

When the brain has low oxygen levels in the blood the brain can be impaired and a stroke can occur. Oxygenating the brain well is required to promote brain healing and brain use.

The National Association for Childhood Development describes the pulse oximeter:

" When we go to the doctor they often clip a piece of equipment on our finger called a pulse oximeter. It gives them a general idea of how much oxygen is in our blood. It is so important that it is often referred to as the fifth vital sign. (Vital signs are body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation.) The pulse oximeter tells them how well your blood cells are saturated with oxygen."

I recently experienced a problem with my oxygen level reaching a low level during the time that I sleep. This is what I have learned as a result of this problem:

  • The brain uses about three times as much oxygen as muscles in the body do.
  • Brain cells are very sensitive to decreases in oxygen levels and don’t survive or function well very long without it. (I experienced lethargy throughout the day.)
  • The brain is made up of very special cells called neurons, and each of them can do the job of any of the other neurons in the brain. That process gives us the ability to relearn most functions using different parts of the brain. So if we have an injury or a sick part of our brain, we can teach our brain to restructure and control body parts and function with other areas of the brain. That is called brain plasticity.

So, now that you realize the importance of oxygen to the brain is, what are some ways to make sure you get enough oxygen?

Getting Enough Oxygen to the Brain

We need to do as much as possible to get the best circulation of blood to our brain. Let's check out our breathing for starters:

  • If we breathe through our mouth, we don't rebreathe the stored carbon dioxide and nitric oxide that circulates blood to the brain. Our brain cells are not being oxygenated. This is exactly what happened to me with my low oxygen levels during sleep. I learned that my "dry mouth", which caused me to reach for water during the night, was caused by my sleeping with my mouth open.
  • The carbon dioxide and nitric oxide open up blood vessels in the brain so we can get proper oxygen levels in our brain.
    • Breathe from the belly and not from the chest. Thankfully, our bodies automatically use the diaphragmatic muscle when we sleep. But most of us, upon awakening, begin what is called "chest breathing." Learn to breathe from the diaphragm.

Photomicrograph of a neuron’s cell body (top, center) and its dendrites radiating out of it, obtained with a scanning electron microscope.
Photomicrograph of a neuron’s cell body (top, center) and its dendrites radiating out of it, obtained with a scanning electron microscope. | Source

The Brain Ages Faster Than The Body

A sharp, calm, high-performance mind needs a fit and healthy brain to sustain itself throughout the day and for the rest of your life. Brain performance data shows that the brain's information processing speed declines significantly faster than the body's physical reaction time or reflexes.

This suggests that our brains may indeed be aging faster than our bodies. *Joshua Reynolds

Another way of looking at this is how at age 60 or even 70 you might have tight abs and firm thighs, yet not able to remember the names of your loved ones. The late U.S. President Ronald Reagan broke his hip at age 89 and in spite of Alzheimer's disease his hip mended like a much younger man's.

Brain, Inflammation, Stroke


Mind Games For Your Brain

The internet is filled with enjoyable games to play. While you're having fun and taking a 'brain break,' why not include some of these games I've lined up for you with the following links:

Any kind of brain training games will help to stimulate critical parts of the brain. Even games that seem simple and easy will bring great effects.


Important Points to remember:

  • There are three essential needs for the brain
  • Activity
  • Nutrients
  • Oxygen
  • The brain ages faster than the body
  • Include salmon, blueberries, whole grains and broccoli in your diet.
  • Play internet brain games daily to exercise your brain
  • Walking, stretching and working out is good for the brain.

The brain is the boss of our body and it loves to learn. In fact, it's designed for continual growth and education. Our brains develop high levels of comprehension well into our late years.


Make your life a social one and make sure your friends keep a positive attitude.

Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.

Edward de Bono

Using the three essential needs for the brain which do you need to improve?

See results

© 2013 Audrey Hunt


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Vellur - I too love playing brain games or just about any kind of game. Thanks for your comments.


      poetryman6969 - Laughing out loud at your opening sentence. Its great to see you and thanks a mil for stopping by.


    • poetryman6969 profile image


      3 years ago

      I guess without a brain I would not be a hubber though some say that's debatable . Interesting hub. You are what you think? You are how you think? I am sure there is a proverb in there somewhere.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 years ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative. Our brain needs all the nourishment and oxygen and I love the playing games part to exercise brains. Sad that the brain ages faster than the body. Great hub.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Suzie - So glad to know you read this and found it interesting. And thanks for liking the photos. I think photos are especially necessary when referring to the brain. Thanks.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Audrey,

      Sorry I missed this before and found it very interesting. I answered all 3 in the poll as I could do with improving nutrients, oxygen and be more active! Loved your photo selection now just need to get my brain re-energized!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Suzanne - Ingesting hydrogen peroxide? Interesting. Haven't heard about this. Glad you liked the photos and thanks a million for voting useful.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Some great photos in this hub, I really like the neuron's cell body image! Regarding oxygen in the brain, having oxygen therapy can help a lot - ingesting hydrogen peroxide (at a safe level) works wonders ;) Voted useful.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Dee - I'm glad you liked this hub about the brain. I hope your mother has recovered from her stroke. This must have been scary for you. There is so much to learn about how the brain works. Take care my friend.

    • Dee Glass profile image

      Dee Glass 

      4 years ago from Virginia

      This was a very good read - I add pumpkin seeds to my salads. My mother had a stroke a year ago, and her neurologist told me about continually learning new things. Very nice!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello Audrey -

      How I wish I lived closer to you. We would be great friends. Stretching is something I, too manage to do several times every day. I am able to walk a little using my knee brace. I love living here in the forest. My short walks bring me a kind of inspiration from the trees and plants that Mother Nature provides so abundantly.

      I love your comments Audrey. You are so kind and giving. I feel as though I've had a visit from an angel. May you be blessed with good health, glorious joy and peace. - Audrey too :)

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Audrey - You put such great information in your hub. I especially like the pics of dynamics of the brain. Your resources add so much to the text and your words. The stretching is something I try to do when I cannot do much else, and I am so grateful that you brought out that point. Every time I read one of your hubs, I get so inspired to move and eat right and remember the words of Audrey, the smart hubber who teaches us to never give up. Sharing. Blessings, Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      ptosis - Yes, learning a new skill is the best of all ways for keeping the brain young. I've taken up knitting and after I'm a 'master' at this I will learn another new skill.

      I'm ordering the book you recommended and thanks so much!

    • ptosis profile image


      5 years ago from Arizona

      Recently read a book regarding the brain. First as a young child everything grows. Then it PRUNES itself. This pruning is essential. Then later on in life to keep the brain young it is NOT ENOUGH to do crossword puzzles or read books but get out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill (which is usually frustrating.) An old dog can learn tricks - it just has to be motivated to do so.

      Currently reading "Touching a Nerve, The self as brain" by Patricia S. Churchland. recommend reading it.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Ruby - I'm about to do the same thing. A walk can be so invigorating and lord knows my brain needs this. :) Thanks, dear lady.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Oxygen therapy, that is what I need! Now time for a walk, to wake my brain up.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      bravewarrior - Hello my friend. I had a feeling you were into eating healthy foods. And anyone that reads your brilliant hubs can easily see that your brain is one of the sharpest on the planet.

      Keep munching those pumpkin seeds!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Audrey, this is a very informative and vital hub. I love all the foods you mention and like you, I think I'll start working on the pumpkin seeds. My brother and I used to eat them all the time as kids and he still does. My brain must be in pretty good shape because it's still sharp. Can't say so for my body, tho!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Denise ~

      You are really doing a great job of eating the right foods for your brain. Wonderful! I could have used this information 20 years ago:) Thanks for the great votes and for sharing. ~ Audrey

      Alaphadogg16 - Hello. I appreciate your feedback on my hub. Thanks for being here and for the thumbs up!

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Nice & informative hub vocal coach, ironically the brain requires more fats to function correctly. Thumbs up on your hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      What an informative and interesting hub, Audrey! The food list includes much of what I already eat. Thanks for a great hub. U/U/I/ and shared.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      5 years ago from UK

      Being a vegetarian, I'm not about to start eating salmon, but apart from that I already eat most of the foods on your list and will do so more regularly now. Lots of great information here. BTW, other vegetarians might like to know that the best alternative to fish for providing Omega 3 is Spirulina or other algae. It's what the fish eat!

      Great hub Audrey.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Audrey Howitt - Thanks so much. Very nice to see you here.

      Sueswan - Sounds to me like you're doing everything right. Love your idea of having local organic fruit and veggies delivered. Great idea!

      rasta1 - Wonderful to learn that bueberries get the 'seal of approval' by "world memory champions." I shall increase mine :) Thanks.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      5 years ago from Jamaica

      My favorite organ indeed. Blueberry seems to be the best source of nutrients for the brain by common consensus. World memory champions swear by it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A great and informative hub!

      I am trying to eat more healthier and have signed up with a company that delivers local organic fruit and vegetables.

      I like to do Sudoku puzzles and play scrabble to exercise my brain and walk and go to boot camp to exercise my body.

      Voted up+++ and sharing

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      5 years ago from California

      Just an excellent hub!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Anil and Honey - Now, I'm very glad I took the time to research and write about the brain. Thank you for sharing this with me:)

      whonunuwho - This is great information! So glad you added this. Thanks so much.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Barbara Kay - You have me laughing out loud! (I hope this was meant to be funny. If not - forgive my interpretation. It's just my brain :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mhatter99 - You and I must have the same Doctor:)

      drbj - Humor fixes just about everything. I believe that with all my heart. Thank you dear friend.

      ChristyWrites - Smart mom! Eat you bluberries sweety:)

    • whonunuwho profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Nice work. was surprised when I found out a short while back that the brain we are all born with does not increase in its size as long as we live. whonu

    • Anil and Honey profile image


      5 years ago from Kerala

      Very very impotent and essential hub, actually this was my question, how improve the capacity of brain. at last I discover the answer from your article, so this is very essential to me. thanks for sharing.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      5 years ago from USA

      This was interesting, especially that fact that the brain ages faster than the body. What a shame though.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      So interesting, Audrey! I didn't realize the brain ages faster than the body. What a light-bulb moment for me. I like whole-grains and now I see why my Mom encourages me to eat blueberries too. Vote up!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      mckbirdbks - I imagine you are doing everything right Mike. You're just that kind of man :)

      always exploring - What an example you are Ruby. You're fighting the 'aging angel' with all that you have. What a woman!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      What an excellent summary this is, Audrey, of what we need to eat and do to exercise our brains. Delighted to have my outlook on life confirmed by both you and Edward de Bono. I refer to the quote you included: 'Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.' Amen. Thanks for reminding me, m'dear. Voted up.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. The doctors are still puzzled why my brain is stopping.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      billybuc - I've finally heard the words I've dreamed of hearing " delivered perfectly," from my teacher, Mr. Bill Holland. I'm 'over the moon.'

      Thank you and much love ~ Audrey

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I hate to think about my brain getting old, but i know it happens. I use my brain so much, sometimes i think i can hear it say, " enough already " I do love to play games such as scrabble and bridge and i know it helps me stay sharper. I do exercise daily, yoga is a faithful regime that i have followed for years. I ride my bike daily and my most favorite, spider solitaire. I cannot go to bed without winning. Great informative hub. Thank you Audrey...

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      chitrangada - Thank you for finding my hub useful and informative. Very nice to see you here.

      We must do everything we can to keep our brain healthy. ~ Audrey

      Faith Reaper - Yes, I'm with you. Although I walk everyday, I know I need to do more. I just don't want to :) Hugs, Audrey

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Oh my goodness Audrey, I am actually doing a few things right. Thanks for this insightful article.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent job, Audrey! At my age I am obviously very interested in information like this. I sure don't feel like I'm 65, but then I have always been active and in a profession where I had to use my brain, so maybe that has something to do with it.

      Anyway, thank you for the great information, delivered perfectly.



    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Very comprehensive hub here, and I was relieved as to the foods one needs to eat for our brain's health! Now, I just need to hit that gym.

      Excellent and useful hub here. Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Hugs, Faith Reaper

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub!

      Nutrition, activity and exercises, you summed up everything. Nice explanatory pictures.

      The more we use our brain, the more active and young it remains. Rightly explained--Voted up and shared!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)