Why brain health is a family matter
At any age, you can work toward a better, more efficient brain. “Think of the brain as a muscle—everyone knows working out will make your muscles bigger and stronger, but that if you stop exercising, the muscles shrink and become weaker,” says Daniel Amen, PhD, renowned brain expert, double-board-certified psychiatrist, physician, and author of Time for Bed Sleepyhead. That’s why it’s so important to start exercising the brain early. “Children need to lay the foundations for brain function and literally build these ‘roads’ from scratch,” says Jeffrey M. Egler, MD, board-certified family practice physician with a specialty training in preventive, functional medicine. “This requires much repetition and practice just to develop new skills and even more to solidly root them.” That means it’s your job, as Mom and Dad, to lay fresh tracks for your child so he or she can continue to adapt and stay functional and competitive in a quickly changing world. Here are doc-recommended ways to help little ones (and not so little ones) develop strong, healthy brains. This is the best brain food your family should be eating.