Keeping fit mentally

Keeping fit mentally

"Hello Ms ..." – how embarrassing it is to have forgotten the name of the person in front of you once again. Or being in a store and remembering only three of the five things you have to buy. In our brains, we have 100 billion cells churning away at any given moment. So it's not surprising that they use up roughly a fifth of the energy we take in through food.
The human brain is constantly changing – not only during puberty but throughout our life! It continues to form connections, strengthen neural pathways and eliminate old cells right up until old age. Even if some aspects remain beyond our control, it's been proven that healthy eating and drinking habits and regular brain exercise will help us stay mentally fit.

Food for the brain

If brain-organic, psychological or other physical causes for an apparent loss of capacity have been ruled out or treated, it's worthwhile to pay attention to a healthy diet for general prevention. After all, nutrition plays an essential role when it comes to keeping the brain healthy and resilient. Let's be clear about one thing: you generally don't need food supplements if you pay attention to what you eat, because a balanced diet will give you enough of the necessary valuable vitamins and minerals. And an adequate supply is also guaranteed for those on a vegetarian diet.

Foods that are especially good for the grey matter include:

Amino acids:
Amino acids are the smallest protein components and are found mainly in meat, fish, eggs, tofu and dairy products. Proteins provide the basic material for building and renewing cells and tissue.

Omega-3 fatty acids:
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel, but also chia and flax seeds, walnuts, almonds as well as avocado, not to mention valuable oils from rapeseed or linseed.

Paying attention to your diet is one thing, but let's not forget about liquids. We all know the importance of drinking enough fluids, with recommendations ranging between 1.5 and 2 litres daily, preferably water or unsweetened fruit or herbal teas. After all, our head needs sufficient fluids to think quickly and function well.

Exercising the brain

It wasn't so long ago that we had to know phone numbers and addresses by heart, remember our routes and crunch numbers in our heads, tasks we have since delegated largely to our digital aids. Therefore, it's all the more important that we exercise our brains.

Brain workouts can be a lot of fun:

  • Solving puzzles: Crosswords, Sudoku – or why not play with the Rubik's Cube again.
  • Playing board games: It doesn't always have to be Memory. What about a round of Master Mind?
  • Learning languages: Since you already speak English, what about learning some Arabic?
  • Learning an instrument: A fun thing to do, even if you don't have a music teacher because you can always use an app. And it's the best prevention against dementia.
  • Dancing: One, two, three ... Clap your hands, move your feet – practice makes perfect.
  • Listening to music: Learn the lyrics and sing the tune at the same time.
  • Handwriting: Handwritten birthday cards not only look good but also lend a personal touch.
  • Doing sports: Schedule a time to jog with someone who shares your interest.
  • Reading: Your favourite author is bound to have written a new bestseller.
  • Doing yoga: More challenging than you may think!
  • Meditating: After all that training, it's time to close your eyes and switch off.
  • Cooking course: It doesn't always have to be Swiss cuisine.
  • Social contacts: Discussing current issues with others in different age groups helps to broaden your horizons and understand what others think.

Consider this simple rule: whatever challenges the brain will help to keep it fit. After all, it withers when idle, like our muscles.

In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.