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Three Essential Needs For Your Brain

Updated on February 26, 2018
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The Three Essential Needs For The Brain

You can regenerate your brain, recharge your mind, and increase your brainpower. This is great and exciting news. While this is true, your brain has three essential needs that must be satisfied regularly to perform:

  • Activity
  • Nutrients from certain foods
  • Oxygen

It takes all three of these every single day for good and lasting results. I often remind myself that like the rest of the body, if I don't use it, then I will lose it. Use and exercise the brain. Use healthy nutrients to feed the brain. Make sure your brain is not oxygen-starved.


Brain, Inflammation, Stroke


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.

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 it's 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.

Tai Chi For Balance and Cell Oxygenation

Testing your balance with your arms.  Move the arms in different patterns.  Notice your breathing.
Testing your balance with your arms. Move the arms in different patterns. Notice your breathing. | Source

Tai Chai And Me

I have recently joined a Tai Chi class. Let me tell you...this is not for the fain 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 noncompetitive, 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 impact the memory centers of your brain.

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

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.

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.

From " The National Association for Childhood Development " -

" 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 now oxygen saturation.) The pulse oximeter tells them how well your blood cells are saturated with oxygen."

  • " 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.
  • 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."


Important Points to remember:

  • There are three essential needs for the brain
  • Activity
  • Nutrients
  • Oxygen
  • The brain ages faster then 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.

" 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


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    • 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      4 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


      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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 

      4 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


      4 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!


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