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BDNF or Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor plays a vital role in mental health.
But many people don’t understand why it’s so important or how to increase the levels of BDNF that they already have.
So, we’ve got this quick guide to increasing BDNF and supercharging your brain.
BDNF is a protein in the brain that helps deliver mental health, focus and mental agility.
Aging can reduce BDNF, antidepressants and cannabis can increase it (in the short-term but may cause problems in the longer term), low levels of BDNF are associated with alcoholism, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
In short, you want to maximize your BDNF levels and the best way to do this is not with drugs but with natural methods that are easy to do.
To build BDNF you need to exercise regularly and while strength training is awesome for a lot of things, BDNF does better with long periods of cardio.
Aim to utilize around 80% of your heart rate reserve for at least 30 minutes each time you exercise for great results.
The more stress you feel, the more inflammation that you have, the worse your body works and this is as true for BDNF production as anything else.
So, cut down on stress and, in particular, sleep more if you want to feel in good condition mentally.
Rats that eat a high sugar diet (including high fructose corn syrup which is sugar on steroids) tend to exhibit lower levels of BDNF in their brains than those that eat more healthily.
Now, you’re not a rat, so this study might not mean the same in humans, but rat trials of diets are often highly indicative of how human bodies respond.
There is a direct connection between loneliness, depression and low levels of BDNF in the brain.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix to this – spend time with your family and friends and enjoy their company.
We don’t know why but intermittent fasting seems to lead to much higher levels of BDNF production and oddly, so does caloric restriction (that is cutting the amount of calories you eat).
Intermittent fasting is easier though, just eat one (or two) meals a day and always at the same time.
Going outside in the fresh air (not polluted air – fresh air) has been shown to boost BDNF levels and so has sunlight.
And if you want to maximize your sunlight gains and you have privacy, then getting naked is a good idea – don’t overdo it and burn, mind you.
No surprises, the more you exercise your mind, the easier it becomes for the brain to produce BDNF.
Coffee contains polyphenols and antioxidants and appears this helps to boost BDNF levels, in fact, it’s really good at this.
In addition, research suggests that coffee fruit may be even better at this and you might want to consider taking a coffee fruit supplement.
Omega 3 intake, that is the fat that’s found in oily fishes, is associated with brain recovery after brain trauma and thus, research shows it can help to produce BDNF.
The biggest gains appear to be from eating oily fish that were pulled out of cold-water, though we’re not sure why the temperature of the water a fish lives in is beneficial to our brains.
BDNF is a protein. If you want to boost your protein levels in your body, you need to eat more proteins for your body to make new proteins out of.
So, there you have it, some great ways to naturally boost your BDNF and brain power and if you’re looking to take it to the next level?
You should see our article on the best BDNF supplements, they can really accelerate the process and they’re all natural too.