When we are kids, we often learn that once a brain cell dies, it is dead forever and we can never replace it.
However, modern studies have proven that you can actually grow new brain cells as an adult.
Researchers in 1998 discovered that there are in fact “stem cells” located in the brain that are continually regenerated, and which can develop into new brain neurons under the right circumstances.
The right circumstances have since turned out to involve exercise, sexual intercourse and other stress-reducing activities.
In terms of diet, eating Omega-3 fats as well as the spice turmeric may also help; turmeric’s active compound curcumin has shown to increase brain neuron production in mice.
A 2015 study suggests that the reason we do grow new brain cells is to actually improve our adaptation to our surrounding environment. Since we as humans change our environments so often, this is a fortunate and necessary adaptation indeed!
However, in a stressful environment, neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) is hampered—along with learning and memory function. Animals who are too eager to explore and learn stressful environments also make themselves vulnerable.
Anxiety, trauma, a sedentary lifestyle, sleep deprivation, and chronic anger all interfere with adult neuron regeneration.
So get your Omega-3s, exercise and sleep well, and engage in activities that help you to feel relaxed to in turn, reap the neural benefits!