The only organ in our body that thinks is often the one we think the least about. Our brain is the single most important organ in our body, controlling everything we do from breathing, walking, eating, sleeping, etc. it is the central processor for all our body functions, the part that interprets what we see, hear, smell and taste, and even a place where the chemical reaction associated with love occurs.

With all that in mind, we practice ten common bad habits that actually damage the brain and should be avoided.

Smoking: It is known that cigarette causes cancer, but do you know that the addictive nicotine in the cigarette can cause the brain to shrink? Not only that, but prolonged brain shrinkage can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Rarely Talking: Introverts and those who tend to speak less face a higher risk of reducing the efficiency of their brains. Intellectual conversations are exercise for the brain as the gym is for the muscle.

Skipping Breakfast: Be it for diet or to save time, many people choose to skip breakfast and in the process, they damage their brains. After your sleep, the brain requires nutrients. Skipping breakfast deprives the brain of this much needed nutrient. Not eating breakfast may also lead to low blood sugar, which is also bad for the health.

Over-eating: Whether you feel very hungry or you are simply enjoying your dish too much, stuffing your face when you’re full is a bad idea. Over-eating causes the brain arteries to harden, leading to decreased mental capability.

Consumption of too much sugar: Consuming too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of nutrients and protein and can lead to malnutrition. A malnourished body hinders the development of the brain, so minimise the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume and give to your kids.

Air pollution: This may not be a habit per se, but breathing polluted air leads to lower amount of oxygen reaching your brain, and without oxygen, the brain cannot function.

Sleeping with the head covered: You might find it comfortable and warm, but sleeping with a covered head leads to increased intake of carbon dioxide and decreased intake of oxygen. As mentioned earlier, oxygen is vital for brain function and not getting enough can damage your brain’s cell.

Not engaging in stimulating thoughts: The brain is like a muscle, and if it is not exercised, it will shrink. The deeper the thought, the better you exercise your brain, and the healthier it would be in the long-term. So, read a book, watch a documentary or play some puzzle games, just keep that thinker working.

Working while sick: Many adults and students tend to forgo their health for their career and studies. When you


are sick, your body and mind both need rest, so taxing them by working when you’re sick will reduce the efficiency of your brain and can even lead to long-term brain damage.

Not getting enough sleep: Sleeping is essential for your physical and mental health. A good night sleep (8 hours) is vital for your brain, as well as your internal organ. It has been recently discovered that the brain cleanses itself of tonics during the deep sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation also accelerates the death of brain cells which can lead to impaired memory and reduced faculties.


MUIRAINAH OLAIDE writes in from Ibadan.

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