Although it is the organ responsible for our thoughts, it’s quite easy to not think much about how our brains change during our lives. The human brain does not grow to its full size or potential until around age 25. In addition, it has a remarkably complex and streamlined structure. As a result, we don’t even notice the changes that take place as we grow from children to adults.
The brain continues to grow past peak maturity, too. As we experience and learn more things over the years, different connections (neurotransmissions) are made and/or repaired. New nerve cells (neurons) are added to handle increasing memories and other data we collect. We call this lifelong process of constant development “brain plasticity.” Brain plasticity occurs in response to new stimuli. Let’s take a closer look at how this amazing journey unfolds over our lifespans.
When we are born, we go through the most rapid amount of brain development in our lives. At birth, the brain is only a quarter of the size it becomes at maturity. But amazingly, it doubles in size during our first year of life. Furthermore, it grows to 90% full size by age 5! The key elements in training the brain’s “wires” during these years include early stimulation, interaction with other humans, and general engagement.
Between the ages of 5 and 10, kids’ brains develop dramatically in the areas of language and spatial development. An elementary school teacher thus has a very important job, given that these young minds are literally expanding and creating mental pathways and connections under his or her tutelage.
This time period is absolutely crucial: Kids who are exposed to a positive, enriching atmosphere unsurprisingly tend to develop on track mentally, whereas those who are in restrictive or less than ideal conditions may unfortunately fall behind–sometimes for life. Abuse and neglect can permanently affect brain growth, as well.
Ever find yourself shaking your head at your teenager’s behavior? You might ask, ”What on earth was he/she thinking?” Well, from age 10 to adulthood, the brain makes some important growth strides in the areas of planning and impulse control. Chances are that your irrationally behaving teen is right on brain-gain track. By the time he or she graduates from college, the brain is nearly full size and maturity.
The 20s to age 30 are a prime time for complex reasoning. Long-term memory is at its highest capacity. Moreover, it’s believed that this period is the ultimate peak for creative processes.
All Grown Up
From age 30 to age 50, our brains begin a very slow, gradual decline. Although this sounds young for degenerative decline, the process is spread out over a long period. Therefore, most won’t notice for quite some time.
Between 30 and 40, the fully grown brain begins to lose volume. Neurons begin to shrink very slowly. Aging from 40 to 50, most people feel just fine. However, some some people begin to find that their short-term memory is a little less sharp than it used to be. Yes, it’s not just you. People are misplacing their keys all over the world!
Even into the 50s, creativity and mental astuteness remain, for the most part. But some might find intellectual challenges, such as puzzles or complex calculations, to be a little harder than before. Now is a great time to take up a new skill, as putting the brain to work. Learning something new is fantastic for cognitive health.
The Bad News?
What can damage our mental progression? As we’ve noted, there is an inevitable decrease of function which is simply a natural result of getting older. However, non-age-related factors such as alcohol or drug abuse, disease, and stress can also contribute to mental decline by killing off neurons. Even common habits such as not getting enough sleep or taking certain medications can contribute to memory loss.
Luckily, even in cases where cognitive decline has been indicated, brain functionality can be regained by addressing these outside factors. Simply adhering a healthy lifestyle (exercise, diet, and rest) is remarkably helpful, as is adding a well-chosen nutritional supplement.
Nature’s Doctors™ offers five different organic, plant-based supplements that can be used individually or all together to keep your brain–at any age–working at peak level. Here are two that directly support the important work your mind takes on daily:
Clarity®: This “Smart Supplement,” by definition, helps to improve mental functions such as cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, and concentration, and can help prevent or reverse cognitive decline, whether it is the type naturally occurs with age, or is a product of environmental influences.
Advanced Formula Sleep: Although the brain continues to work remarkably hard whether we are awake or asleep, sleep is as essential to brain function as water and food. Unfortunately, a large percentage of adults have occasional or chronic issues with their sleeping patterns. This all-natural supplement provides a pure, refreshing night’s sleep, allowing toxicity to leave the brain.