Neurogenesis: How to Grow New Brain Cells & Regenerate Old Ones – 7 Tips

Article by: David Gracey
neurogenesis - grow and regenerate new brain cells

One of the many myths that has stood for a very long time, is that humans are not able to generate or grow any new brain cells.

What scientists have recently been able to prove, is that we actually CAN regenerate and grow new brain cells through a process called neurogenesis

This process happens throughout a long period of our lives, as long as we have habits and lifestyle choices that support it.

When we don’t,  brain cells can start to decay, and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s start to take hold.

Now, the whole regeneration and growing process of new brain cells will happen naturally, but it is up to you to proactively to prevent the things that can hinder it.

The secret lies in cultivating certain habits (along with a good diet) and avoiding things that can cause damage to your hippocampus.

One of the worst things that can hinder your brain cell growth is stress.

stress and anxiety

It releases cortisol and other stress related hormones that cause damage to your hippocampus.  This is what triggers diseases like Alzheimer’s to start. 

The constant damage to this part of your brain deeply affects your memory.

After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what you need to do as far as how to regenerate and grow new brain cells is concerned.

If you’re willing to make small and simple incremental changes to your current habits over a period of time, you can have a healthy brain for the rest of your life.

This process is reiterated many times in two of my all time favorite books related to self-improvement!

These two books are:

1) The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and

2) The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. 

While both books teach nearly identically the same exact thing, The Slight Edge is my absolute favorite!

The Slight Edge Book - Jeff Olson

Both of these books explain how tiny little changes to your daily routine can greatly impact your future due to the compounding effect.

This holds true with regenerating brain cells as well! (As you’ll soon find out)

It all starts with asking yourself:  What is neurogenesis, and how does it act in your brain?”

Not only that, but understanding how simple changes can make all the difference (especially in the long-term).

For instance, a healthy diet can increase blood flow in your brain, release more neurotransmitters, and eliminate waste.

All of these things are connected to brain cell growth and regeneration.

“What Is Neurogenesis Exactly, And What It Can Do For Me?”

Neurogenesis is the capacity that our brains have to regenerate and grow new cells.

Up until recently, scientists thought that we lost this ability after 25 years of age. What research and studies have since proved, is that we can continue to have neurogenesis happen in our brain for all our lives.

Cornell University Medical College in New York City published a study that showed that it’s theoretically possible to make old brain cells (that can’t divide and grow new ones anymore) regenerate once again.

This is still early, but it shows that people still have this capacity.  We just need to learn how to trigger the process.

Now, what scientists do know, is that most of the damage to the hippocampus is caused by the stress levels that we have in our daily lives.

It’s one of the main reasons that people who live in the countryside live longer that their city slicker counterparts. 

They generally experience less stress, eat a diet nearly free of chemicals, and by default get more clean air and exercise just from their daily routines.

countryside stree free

So, what this means, is that until we know how to chemically induce brain cells to regrow and regenerate, the best strategy available to us at this point in time, is to change our daily habits.

It doesn’t have to be a huge change to your lifestyle.  In fact, it can be minor things that make all the difference.  If you’ve already read The Slight Edge, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Want to Grow / Regenerate New Brain Cells? Diet Is The Beginning Of Everything!

The first step that helps regenerate and grow new brain cells is a healthy diet. The problem when we say this is that the term is too far out there. It’s hard to pinpoint what it means.

That’s why I’m going to break it down for you.

Diet Rules For Growing & Regenerating New Brain Cells:
Reduce saturated fat
Reduce Sugar
Reduce Alcohol
Have More Vegetables
Eat More Fish
Have more healthy fats like olive oil and nuts

This is just a few rules to go by for a healthier diet. 

You don’t have to completely remove sugar from your doet for the rest of your life to make this work.  All you have to do is to make sure that eating sugar and saturated fat is done in moderation.

If your diet conatins foods that have antioxidant properties, stimulate blood circulation, and balances your hormones, you’re halfway there.

Your brain will begin to foster the cells that it already has, AND produce new ones!

So, make sure to eat healthier food.  It’s the beginning of everything.  There’s a reason you always hear that same advice over and over again.  It works, and it’s the way it’s supposed to be.

This includes avoiding all of the foods and beverages that you know are no good for you, especially alcoholic beverages.  (Once again, in moderation is okay)

Sleep Is Vital To Your Brain’s Ability To Regenerate!

It’s funny how we take sleep for granted in our busy society.  Especially, in the western world.

We value productivity so much that we forget how important maintaining balance is.   If you open YouTube, there’s a bunch of channels promoting productivity and how it’s a must that you optimize your entire day. 

It’s makes many people feel as if doing anything other than work is wasting time.

One of the first things to take a hit when it comes to productivity, is quality sleep.

Everyone tries to figure out how they can potentially get more time.  And, almost always, the first thing they think about is reducing their amount of sleep.

The problem with this thinking, is that we aren’t machines.

We are human beings, and we desperately need to rest for a reason.  It’s good for our health!

It’s only when you are sleeping that your body releases the important hormones and neurotransmitters that are vital to your overall health (mind and body!).   It’s also when your brain gets rid of waste and processes information.

That’s one of the theories behind why we have dreams.  It’s your brain processing of things and the removing of waste.

So, as you can see, sleep is vital to your brain.  It’s also vital to the process of regenerating and growing new brain cells.

Growing Brain Cells Supplementation: Add Omega 3 To Your Diet!

Omega 3 fish oil is famous for its cardiovascular benefits.   It is great for your heart health, but it can be amazing to your brain health as well.

NOTE: (see it in our Ultimate List of Nootropics)

First of all, it’s amazing for your cognitive functions.

That alone is enough reason to add it to your diet.

Besides that, some studies suggest that omega 3 helps to promote neurogenesis (or the forming of new brain cell tissue).

Not only that but it also helps with depression, mood regulation, and anxiety. This is relevant because those conditions also hinder your hippocampus.

Not only because they make your brain release more stress hormones but also because your brain isn’t releasing enough neurotransmitters.

Now, if you want to add more omega 3 to improve your brain’s neurogenesis, you can either eat more fish or have it as a supplement.

The supplement option is great for people that don’t eat fish more than 4 times a week.

omega-3 fish oil supplement

There’s a Harvard study that shows that people can have cardiovascular benefits, reduce chances of Alzheimer’s, and have better brain health from simply taking omega 3 supplements daily.

So, consider adding it to your diet.  It’s always a good idea to add in an omega-3 fish oil supplement to your daily supplementation no matter what your overall health goals are.

Learning & Challenging Your Brain = Best for New Brain Cell Growth!

Everyone that has ever told you that playing sudoku, filling out crossword puzzles, taking IQ tests, or even just reading a book was good to for brain wasn’t lying.

Continuous Learning, and challenging your brain Is the best way to stimulate neurogenesis.

Every time you learn, you are fostering the brain connections that you already have, as well as stimulating the creation of new ones.   Not only that, but every time that you learn something and you connect it to another thing that you already know, you form yet another connection.

This process is called assimilation.

So, make learning part of your daily life. Read a few pages of a non-fiction book every day, play a trivia game, or tackle that 1000 piece puzzle that has been in your closet for the past 9 years.

Basically, just make sure that you challenge your brain more and more each day.  This will stimulate your brain cells enough to promote new growth and regeneration if done consistently.

Have More Flavanol! Anti-Oxidant Powerhouse to Combat free Radicals!

One of the main threats to your brain comes from oxidants.  They are free radicals, or waste that your brain can’t completely get rid of on it’s own.

These oxidants damage your brain tissue, especially the part of your hippocampus.

The best thing to combat against these free radical enemies, is the introduction of antioxidants.

Flavanols are a subgroup of antioxidants.

They can help your brain eliminate free radicals, which improves your overall brain health, enhancing blood flow to the brain.  Not only this, but it also improves your memory, learning, and cognitive functions an a major level!

The best sources of flavanol for you are dark chocolate, blueberries, and colorful fruits and vegetables.  (More on this in our Brain fuel article…)

So, make sure to include them in your diet as well. I’m sure it won’t be a sacrifice to do it.

Reduce Stress And Alcohol Use to Boost Brain Cell growth and Tissue Regeneration

With so much of what to do, it’s easy to forget that there are things that you should also NOT do.

In this case, it’s to have a stressful life and overdo your alcohol consumption.  Wem all know that excessive alcohol is not good for you, but did you know that alcohol consumption hinders neurogenesis?

It also creates a problem for your health overall, including the development of memories, and the functioning of your neural connection and network.

In more simple terms, alcohol is terrible for neurogenesis.

When it comes to stress on it’s own, it’s not that far apart from alcohol consumption.

Stress hormones, as explained at the beginning of the article, damage your hippocampus and cause your neurogenesis to stop happening.  So, make sure that you reduce the stress in your life and limit your alcohol consumption as much as you can.

Your brain and body as a whole will reward you for doing so!

Have More Sexual Intercourse – Release Endorphins for More Neurogenesis!

Finally, have more sex.  Yes, you read that right.

You should have more sex.  The activity in itself releases endorphins.  This is also known as the “the feel-good hormone”.

This is important because of the regulation of mood and stress, which ultimately promotes neurogenesis.

So, keep your endorphin release at optimal levels and your regeneration and growth process of brain cells will keep happening.

sexual intercourse

How to Regenerate and/or Grow New Brain Cells – Final Thoughts…

So, this is a short list of things you can do every single day to answer the question:  “Can you tell me how to regenerate and grow new brain cells?” 

Make sure that you follow these small changes to your lifestyle and habits to promote better brain health and longevity.   This will ultimately mean more neurogenesis, and a smarter YOU! 

So, have you tried implementing any of these brain growth ideas into your daily routine? DO you have any other ideas I may have left out?  Drop me a comment below!

About David Gracey

About David Gracey

Founder of SuperMindHacker.com

Hey! My name is David Gracey.  I am the brain child of SuperMindhacker.com and a Cognitive Brain Function Researcher, Avid Biohacker, Lucid Dreamer, Morning Ritual Master, and Self-Proclaimed Nootropic Junkie of Sorts! 

In other words, I am completely obsessed with anything and everything related to cognitive brain enhancement! 

Whether it's nootropics supplements, challenging brain puzzles, or even meditation techniques, chances are, I've tried it!  This website is my outlet to give back and share what I've learned in the past 15+ years in this field of study. 

You Can Read my Other Posts Here: 

 

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About David Gracey:

Hey! I’m so glad you’re here. My name is David Gracey. I am a cognitive brain function researcher, avid biohacker, and self-proclaimed nootropic junkie of sorts! (And, yes, a bit of a nerd as well...) This website is my way of giving back and sharing everything I’ve learned along the way. Got questions? Shoot me a message!

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