Adding Brain Cells

This post is not dance specific but is interesting new info (to me) about brain health and helping ourselves stay happy and mentally sharp!

There is a term called neurogenesis. That term describes the growth and development of new nerve cells. I remember learning that whatever brain cells you were born with – you better take care of because that’s all you were going to get. Not true.

In a nutshell, we produce about 700 new neurons (nerve cells) a day. While that may not sound like a lot, by the time we are 50 we will have exchanged all the neurons we had at birth with adult-created neurons. Why is that important?

The neurons in the hippocampus are really important for memory capacity and mood. Research shows there are ways to increase (and decrease) neurogenesis which may have direct effects on depression and memory.

We can increase the number of new neurons by: Learning, exercise such as running (and dancing:), intermittent fasting, eating chewy, crunchy food, getting lots of omega 3’s (salmon), blueberries, dark chocolate and resveratrol (glass of wine anyone?)

The things that decrease neurogenesis make sense to me. Stress, sleep deprivation, aging (slows down neurogenesis, but still occurs), high saturated fatty foods, alcohol, soft foods.

The items on these two lists aren’t new by any means, but it is the first time I have heard them connected with the brain’s ability to create new nerve cells. And if one is depressed or dealing with memory challenges it wouldn’t hurt to pay attention to both your food and activity.

So here’s to growing more brain cells – especially if you are over 50!!

If you’d like to watch the Ted Talk this information came from here’s the link.

To your success!

3 replies
  1. Dianne Buxton
    Dianne Buxton says:

    This is fascinating information. I spent last weekend binge watching Youtube videos about neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. The faster medical knowledge catches up with this the better!


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