In an average adult, the brain makes up only two percent of body mass. However, about 20 percent of the body’s energy helps your brain function.
Eating nutrient-rich foods provides that energy to help your brain function well and protect against brain-related diseases.
Like most organs, the brain generates energy in a part of the cell called the mitochondria. A single neuron or brain cell contains hundreds to thousands of these small but mighty “power plants,” which supply the brain energy.
As you grow older, certain things can impact that energy production. As a result, brain health can deteriorate and you have trouble carrying out basic functions.
The good news is that you can reduce the impact of these energy thieves. If left unchecked, these factors can contribute to cognitive problems and increase your risk of brain-related diseases.
Aging can reduce the number of mitochondria in the brain and their ability to function, called mitochondrial dysfunction. Over time, this can contribute to brain disorders including Parkinson’s disease.
Your body has an antioxidant defense to protect the free radicals that damage cells. When those free radicals overpower that defense system, however, oxidative damage can result.
Oxidative damage harms the brain, including how those mitochondria create energy. As a result, neurons are less capable of responding to injury.
Inflammation can be helpful in the short term, but it should do its job and then turn off. When the body’s inflammatory response stays on when it is no longer needed, chronic inflammation can result.
This type of inflammation can damage various brain cells, leading to Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Studies show that people in middle age with chronic inflammation are more at risk for cognitive decline such as memory and thinking problems as they grow older.
Insulin plays a role in how your brain receives energy. This hormone helps regulate cognitive functions including memory. When brain cells don’t receive the signals that insulin provides, a condition called insulin resistance results that may damage the brain and lead to problems including dementia. 
You have plenty of ways to protect your brain against these and other types of damage. These six strategies support cognitive function and reduce your risk of brain-related diseases.
Eat a Healthy Diet
How you eat can dramatically impact how your brain functions. Sugary, processed foods can contribute to brain inflammation. These foods slow down how your brain functions, impacting memory and attention.
Instead, stick with whole, unprocessed foods that provide the nutrients that your brain needs to thrive. Some of them include:
- The omega-3 fatty acids in wild-caught seafood can help lower brain inflammation and support cognitive function. Deficiencies in these fatty acids could impact memory and learning.
- Nuts and seeds. While all nuts and seeds are winners, walnuts in particular can protect the brain against oxidative damage and inflammation. Walnuts are high in the anti-inflammatory fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). So are chia seeds and flax seeds.
- Fruits and vegetables. A colorful array of produce — leafy and cruciferous vegetables as well as low-sugar fruits including berries — provide vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants to support a healthy brain. Antioxidants including vitamin C can help reduce oxidative damage and cognitive loss.
Our Core and Advanced Plans include these and plenty of other brain-healthy foods. Start your day with a cognitive boost: Our Brain Boosting Smoothie provides walnuts, berries, and other brain-health superstars.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being obese can contribute to brain inflammation. Carrying extra weight can also increase your risk of insulin resistance, which can harm your brain. When you find your ideal weight, you look better, feel better, and you perform better mentally. A ketogenic diet can make a safe, healthy way to reach and maintain your goal weight.
Regular physical activity helps reverse or improve brain aging. Exercise can also reduce many problems that contribute to brain disease, including insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Our Max T3 program provides a powerful, effective full-body workout in just 12 minutes.
Manage Stress Levels
Chronic stress can disrupt communication among neurons, destroy brain cells, and reduce the size of the brain. You can learn 16 ways to manage stress in this article. Whether stress management involves meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or walking your dog around the park, find what works for you and do it regularly!
Challenge your Brain
Cognitive decline doesn’t usually happen from aging alone. In other words, you don’t need to accept that growing older means memory loss or other brain-related problems. The key is to keep your brain active. Read books, tackle a new recipe, do crossword puzzles, and try new things. Feeling more adventurous? Consider learning a language or travel to a new country.
Get the Right Nutrients
As you age, brain health can become compromised. This can impact memory, learning, concentration, and the ability to focus. Nutrient deficiencies can make these problems worse.
You can provide the nutrients your brain needs to work well at any age. We’ve combined those nutrients in MaxLiving Brain Health. This comprehensive formula contains a variety of natural compounds vital to maintaining brain health and function. They include:
- Acetyl L-Carnitine: Helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria to support brain energy production.
- Phosphatidylserine: Supports the protective outer layer of neurons, helps the brain better manage stress, and supports memory and cognition.
- Glycerophosphocholine: Helps support the brain in thinking, sleeping, and remembering.
- Citicoline: Precursors for the synthesis of phospholipids, major constituents of brain tissue that support how neurons communicate.
- Ginkgo biloba: Provides the brain antioxidant protection to support healthy mood, mental focus, and energy.
- Coffee fruit concentrate: Supports healthy levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been called “fertilizer for your neurons.” Contains less caffeine per serving than a typical cup of decaf coffee.