What Lifestyle Choices Negatively Affect Brain Health?


Our lifestyle choices - including diet, exercise, and routine - all impact our brain health. Keeping the brain healthy ensures that we retain our memories and mental sharpness. Being sure to get the proper intake of micro and macronutrients, and polyamines, such as spermidine, can keep our brains and bodies feeling younger.

What Habits Can Damage Your Brain?

Your brain is a powerhouse, but it is also a very fragile organ. You must take care of your brain to keep it healthy and working to the best of its ability. Bad habits which cause brain damage are:

1. Eating Too Much Sugar

Brain development is negatively affected when you consume too much sugar. The body cannot absorb proteins and the other nutrients it needs when you eat high amounts of sugar, especially processed or added sugars. A well-balanced diet will result in a healthy brain.

2. Smoking Cigarettes 

Smoking cigarettes is bad for your health and negatively affects all of your organs. Cigarettes cause brain tissue to shrink, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease. Keep your mind and body healthy by avoiding first and secondhand cigarette smoke.

3. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Your mind needs rest to heal and recover from the stresses of the day. It is also the time when your brain converts short-term memories into long-term memories so you can retrieve them later on. Sleep deprivation causes cells in your brain to age at a faster rate, which can result in memory loss.

4. Sleeping With Your Head Covered

We inhale oxygen and nitrogen and exhale carbon dioxide when we breathe. You get less oxygen and breathe in more carbon dioxide when you sleep with a blanket over your head. This increase of carbon dioxide inhalation can lead to brain damage. 

5. Not Having Conversations or Stimulating Your Mind With Thought

Having human interaction and good conversation on a regular basis helps brain health. Keeping your mind working with stimulating thoughts keeps it healthy. Like other muscles in your body, you have to exercise the brain to keep it from shrinking. 

Life Factors That Can Affect Brain Health

We must break bad habits to keep our brains healthy. It is important to make habits that promote brain health a part of our routine. Life factors that can improve brain health include:

1. Regular Exercise

Physical activity helps the brain and your neurons to grow and develop. Regular exercise improves mitochondrial function, resulting in better functioning brain cells. Exercising on a daily basis improves memory and the ability to problem-solve. You should do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week and strength training twice a week. 

2. Quality Sleep

A good night’s rest benefits physical and mental health. You should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Make a regular sleep routine a priority in order to improve your quality of sleep.

3. Intellectual Stimulation

Stimulating the mind keeps it strong and healthy. Activities like reading, playing board games, playing an instrument, knitting, or learning a new language keep your brain sharp. When it comes to your mind, you must use it or lose it.

4. Social Connections

Keeping in touch with friends and family helps your brain health. Doing volunteer work or attending church services are other ways you can be involved with others to keep your brain healthy. Your connection with your pet is also good for your brain health, as it has been shown to lower blood pressure and help combat loneliness.

5. A Healthy Heart

People who are at risk for heart disease also have an increased risk of dementia. Keeping your heart healthy with exercise, a nutritious diet, and maintaining a healthy weight keeps your brain healthy.

6. Good Mental Health

Studies have found that people who suffer from depression are more likely to have dementia later in life. Exercise and a healthy diet support mental health. Therapy and meditation are other ways to maintain mental health and keep your brain healthy.

What Is One of the First Signs of Cognitive Decline?

One of the first signs of cognitive decline is forgetfulness. Forgetting things from time to time is expected as we get older and does not always mean you have cognitive impairment. If you forget important dates, appointments, recent events, and conversations, you may want to see a doctor. If you feel overwhelmed making decisions, lose your sense of direction, and cannot organize tasks, you are experiencing cognitive impairment. 

How Do You Know if Your Brain Is Unhealthy?

If you have been engaging in brain-damaging habits for a period of time, then your brain is more likely to be unhealthy. Confused thinking, inability to concentrate, changes in mood, and low energy are all signs of an unhealthy brain. It may also be a sign that your brain is unhealthy if you have unexplained aches and pains. 

How Do You Know if Your Brain Is Healthy?

Healthy brain function is the result of a lifestyle that contains physical activity and mental stimulation. Studies have shown that people who say they feel younger than their age have a healthier brain. This is because those who feel younger tend to lead more active lifestyles. 

What Foods Are Bad for the Brain?

Many foods have negative effects on your brain, impact your memory and mood, and increase your risk of dementia. Sugary drinks, foods with high-fructose corn syrup, and refined carbohydrates may cause inflammation in the brain and affect memory. Artificial sweeteners found in diet soda are also associated with behavioral and cognitive issues.

Excessive alcohol consumption is also bad for brain health as it can shrink your brain. Those who abuse alcohol are more prone to memory loss, behavioral changes, sleep disruption, changes in eyesight, and confusion. Occasional binge drinking is also damaging to the brain, especially in teenagers whose brains are still developing.

Other foods that affect the brain are fatty foods (specifically, ones high in saturated and trans fats) and processed foods like fast food. You should also limit predatory fish that have a high mercury content. Swordfish, shark, tuna, and orange roughy or perch should be consumed in moderation. Mercury toxicity can result in brain damage.

What Causes Memory Loss?

The normal aging process can cause memory loss, but it can also result from several different illnesses and diseases. Keeping your body and mind healthy helps to ward off conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia. These types of illnesses further decrease memory.

How Can I Improve My Brain Health and Memory?

The impact of healthy living on the mind and body is noticeable when you make some changes to your lifestyle. A healthy diet and moderate exercise have a huge impact on brain health and memory. If you find yourself having trouble remembering things, write things down, keep a schedule, and do not take on too many things at once. 

Supplements May Help

While regular exercise and a healthy diet are major contributors to brain health, sometimes changing your health habits is easier said than done. Any easy way to ensure you’re getting the right micronutrients from your diet is to add supplements to your daily regimen.

Spermidine supplements provide your body with a standard daily dose of spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine that has been proven to aid in cognitive health. Spermidine reduces inflammation factors, increases the formation of memory cells, and triggers the preventive removal of toxic protein aggregates in cells, which may be responsible for neurodegeneration, the cause of dementia and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.


  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.