According to neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret, adults are capable of growing new neurons. And, brain cells are capable of regenerating!
She even offers scientific evidence and practical tips on how to help our brains perform neurogenesis easier: boosting memory formation, improving mood, and preventing age-related brain decline.
Neurogenesis is the process of new brain cell development. It is most active during pre-natal development, but the process continues into adulthood in the hippocampus and sub ventricular zone.
There is a strong link between neurogensis and important brain functions such as memory and learning. Additionally, some experts suppose that neurogensis shows promise in the regulation of stress, depression and Alzheimer`s.
Tips on how to maximize your cognitive potential:
As little as a 45-minute walk can lead to new hippocampal tissue growth. In addition to the positive mental, physical and emotional benefits of exercise, it has been also shown that it does aid in neurogenesis, extending to protecting against Alzheimer`s.
It has been scientifically shown that curcumin is associated with neurogenesis, at least in rats. Multiple studies have also proven that this compound increases BDNF, which is critical for many neurological functions.
- Caloric restriction/ intermittent fasting
Interestingly, survival of brain cells in instances where they would die has been proven to occur by caloric restriction and/or intermittent fasting. So, including it in your routine from time to time is a good idea.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
It has been scientifically shown that DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, is the best forms of all omega-3s and that it helps to support neurogenesis. But, there are plenty of other reasons to supplement with DHA or get it from consuming wild-caught fish on a regular basis.
Blueberries have been also linked to neurogensis. According to one study, they contain flavonoids that are extremely beneficial. As the link between neurogensis and enhanced mood and cognition is more than obvious, it makes sense to eat blueberries on a regular basis.
Although it is generally a good idea to eat a diet low in sugar, particularly when looking to stimulate neurogensis, blueberries are an exception as they offer plenty of other benefits.
- Green tea
Green tea contains compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound that has been associated with the growth of new brain cells. According to the researchers, EGCG treatment significantly increased the number of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-labeled cells in adult hippocampal neural progenitor cell (NPC) cultures and in the dentate gyrus of adult mice,” meaning that supplementation with EGCG increases the rate of neuronal growth.
It is important to mention that neurogensis is pretty much like taking a supplement. Specifically, as much beneficial it is to boost your intake of foods and supplements that stimulate neurogensis, these methods will have little or no benefit if your diet and lifestyle is poor, you are generally unhealthy, or highly stressed.