The importance of the gray and white matter in the nerve center of our brain is already known, and scientists continue to do extensive research for these two substances. Scientists state that the gray matter in the brain can be increased, and this number can be preserved with various methods in later years.
We wanted to take a look at these research-proven methods. The advice listed below may sound familiar, but it’s worth knowing that they are all of great importance for both having a healthy life and helping to increase gray matter in the brain. So paying attention to all this advice and giving it a try at least can be a healthy and beneficial step for yourself.
What is gray matter, why is it so important?
Before we get to the recommendations, let’s take a closer look at what gray matter is, why we need to increase and protect the number of gray matter in our brain. There are two different substances in the central nervous system of our brain, namely white and gray. White matter consists of neural networks and enables information transfer in the brain.
The gray matter in the hippocampus, on the other hand, simply teaches us how to think, how to feel, and what kind of behavior we should behave. Scientists say that gray matter, which is directly related to IQ, is extremely important, and people’s cognitive abilities depend entirely on it. For example, a low gray matter ratio is directly associated with mental retardation, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Let’s come to why we want to try to increase the gray matter in our brains. Far from being protected from the aforementioned diseases, we are sure that everyone wants to increase their IQ level in some way. Research has shown that people with high IQ levels have a high amount of gray matter in their brains, and the funniest part is that it can be increased throughout our lives. Let’s see how it will be if you wish.
When you consult an expert who has focused on the brain and especially gray and white matter, we are sure that his first advice will be meditation. Meditation not only calms the human mind and makes people feel good, but also allows the gray matter to increase greatly.
In a study of the link between meditation and gray matter, it was observed that people who meditated for 27 minutes a day for 8 weeks caused a significant increase in gray matter in the brain. In fact, even though the activity is superficially like meditation, the data scientists share a different aspect of the event.
In the published article, it is stated that people who meditate for 8 weeks behave better and compassionately towards themselves, and along with all these, self-awareness is one of some emotions that lead to an increase in gray matter. In other words, being emotionally nice, compassionate, and conscious with ourselves is among the factors that will help increase gray matter.
Exercising regularly is extremely important in increasing gray matter as in all areas of life. According to scientific researches, regular exercise really helps increase gray matter in the brain.
In a study conducted on about 2000 people in Germany, it was observed that the number of gray matter in the brains of people who ran at least 150 minutes a week increased. Surprisingly, it turned out that gray matter is successfully preserved in the brains of people over 60 who exercise regularly. Scientists state that Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases are linked to gray matter in the brain, and the more gray matter, the harder these diseases will appear.
Take control of your coffee consumption
In a survey conducted recently, caffeine reduced gray matter in the brain that appeared. The scientists who conducted the study stated that caffeine did not cause any cognitive harm, but the people they experimented with saw a decrease in gray matter in their MRI scans.
Scientists suggest that gray matter recovers quickly after caffeine consumption is discontinued, so minimizing coffee consumption may help preserve gray matter in our brains. If you say that I drink coffee and I cannot give up my taste, you can go to decaffeinated coffee.
Do activities that will strain your memory
Doing memory-related activities such as puzzles, sudoku, and crossword puzzles not only improves your memory but also your language skills and questioning skills. Among these kinds of activities, there is another game that you can play with your family or friends you have known for a long time, apart from the games we have mentioned above.
In this very simple game, you need to remember something that happened in the past and that can be in your memory, both for you and the people you play the game with. For example, trying to remember what your sister was wearing for her graduation celebration, and asking her to remember the year you went to the military would be a fun and extremely useful activity for your memory. You will remember the past with your loved ones indirectly.
Pay attention to what you eat, consume plenty of olive oil
As a matter of fact, experts do not insist on eating healthy and exercising a lot. Eating healthy is really important in our lives, but in this section, we’ll focus on the connection of foods with gray and white matter.
Olive oil is seen as the most beneficial food that helps increase and preserve gray and white matter. That’s why scientists and researchers state that people should definitely consume olive oil at every meal. Experts who state that olive oil should not be skipped in any way, especially at dinner, recommend avocado and coconut oil as an alternative for those who do not like its taste.
Foods rich in omega-3, organic nut butter, flax, chia, and hemp seeds allow not only the gray matter in the brain to be increased but also the white matter. Experts say you should pay attention to how you eat for breakfast, not what you eat. According to researches, a slow breakfast with a cup of tea causes the brain to work much better than a rushed breakfast.
Establish a stable sleep pattern
Most people already know that the brain regenerates itself during sleep, but let us remind you of those who don’t. Sleep is indeed an important process for the brain, and the brain actually does mind-blowing processes during sleep, leading to the development of our brain and refreshing our memory. For example, did you know that the brain decides which memory to remember and which to forget while we sleep peacefully in bed?
The simplest and most useful thing we can do to help our brain is to establish a regular sleep cycle. What we need to pay particular attention to in this regard is to try to sleep at the same time every evening and wake up at the same time every morning. The daily sleep time we need for adult people is 7-9 hours. Creating a healthy sleep pattern without giving our body more or less than what it needs will allow the gray matter to increase.
Try to learn something new every day
Have you ever thought about how difficult it can be to be a taxi driver in London? There is a rule called All London Knowledge in the UK, and a driver who wants to become a taxi driver must have this knowledge that takes about 2 to 4 years to learn and memorize. Well, you might ask, what is the connection between gray matter and being a taxi driver in London?
A UK study found that taxi drivers who passed the All London Knowledge exam had a larger hippocampus than normal people. The reason is to learn and memorize things continuously for 2 – 4 years and then put into practice what they learned when they became a taxi driver.
Scientists state that for gray matter to reproduce, people must constantly learn something and then apply it. For example, even if not professionally, you can try to learn a new language as a hobby, and you can push your memory by memorizing words, just as we mentioned before. Regularly reading newspapers, magazines, books, and the like, learning something new in an area of interest will play a significant role in increasing gray matter in your brain.