Researchers have now discovered another downfall to being overweight – stacking on the pounds may reduce your brainpower. According to multiple studies, being obese means that you will score lower on cognitive tests. This has proven to be true even when factors such as educational background were taken into account.
How Weight Affects Your Brain Power
If you have a body mass index of over 30, you are considered to be obese. If you are obese you will have lower cognitive function in areas such as thought processing, attention and memory. If you remain overweight your cognitive function will continue to deteriorate with age.
Why Weight Affects Brain Power
The results of the research has yet to be confirmed. Due to this there are many theories on why weight may affect brain power. Listed below are some of these theories.
- Obesity clogs up the arteries in your heart. Some doctors believe that it has the same affect on the arteries in your brain. If this is the case brain function will be reduced.
- One school of thought is that obesity affects the insulin levels in your body. The insulin in your body has an impact on brain function.
- Diabetes and high blood pressure are ailments that you may be familiar with if you are obese. Both of these conditions lead to a decline in cognitive ability. They also put you at risk of dementia.
How to Increase Your Brain Power
The decrease in cognitive ability due to obesity is minimal. There are many ways to give your brain power a slight boost. These methods may get your cognitive ability functioning at a normal level again.
- The simplest solution is to lose weight. By eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis you will improve your overall health. You will also regain your cognitive ability.
- Keep an eye on your cognitive function throughout the day. You may be more alert at certain times of the day. If you can figure out what these times are you will know the best time to schedule activities.
- Sleep is an important factor when it comes to cognitive ability. Numerous studies have shown that you are more alert after a short nap. If you are getting adequate sleep you will not feel the affects of being overtired. Students that nap after reviewing material retain 20-30% more information than they would have without napping.
- Exercising on a regular basis will improve the blood circulation in your brain. This will relax your brain and give you more clarity.
- There are supplements out there that will improve your brain function. Supplements that have caffeine as an active ingredient will help you score higher in tests. Fish oil is well known for improving your brain power.
While the results of these studies may be alarming at first glance, you can make changes in your life in order to improve brain power. Being at a healthy weight will benefit you in many ways. Aside from giving you more brain power it will also give you greater overall health.