5 easy ways to boost brain health, according to a neuroscientist

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The doc's happy-brain Rx includes a fun phone app and one sweet way to wind down. (Photo: Yahoo)
The doc's happy-brain Rx includes a fun phone app and one sweet way to wind down. (Photo: Yahoo)

Daniel G. Amen, MD is a child and adult psychiatrist, clinical neuroscientist, brain-imaging specialist, distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, multi-time New York Times bestselling author and founder of Amen Clinics.

All incredibly impressive, of course, but his new book, You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type, may be his most groundbreaking accomplishment to date. You, Happier is rooted in Dr. Amen’s innovative scientific research, and in it he explains the ways neurology affects happiness and offers practical, science-based strategies for optimizing your happiness. Sign us up!

Dr. Amen sat down with Yahoo Life to share five essential items he recommends to anyone who is looking to give their brain a boost, from a fun phone app to a sweet way to wind down.

Hapibrain App

Hapibrain App logo in a polaroid-type frame plus bulleted text
What a happy brain! (Photo: Yahoo)

"Simple, daily brain-health practices are critical in keeping your brain healthy," Dr. Amen begins, "but I really love Hapibrain!" Hapibrain, an app that Dr. Amen himself developed, provides psychological tools to stimulate your brain, games, meditations, quizzes and so much more so you can keep sharp seven days a week!

Free at the App Store

Boggle

Boggle dice (with letters instead of numbers) next to a timer with bullet points
This game is like a gym for your brain. (Photo: Yahoo)

Speaking of fun games, Dr. Amen particularly recommends the family classic Boggle to give your brain a good workout. "It [works out] the language center in your brain, which is usually for most people your left frontal lobe." For those not in the brain know, the frontal lobe is responsible for memory, emotions, impulse control and problem solving — so it's important to keep it limber! "It's mental exercise, which is as important to you as physical exercise."

$11 $12 at Amazon

Pickleball Racquet and Ball Set

2 black pickleball paddles, 4 yellow balls, and a case along with bullets
Get your brain out of any pickle! (Photo: Yahoo)

To bring the entire body into your neurological wellness, Dr. Amen recommends giving pickleball a shot — and we recommend this handsome pickleball set on Amazon! "It's aerobic, it's cognitive, and it's good for your brain," he enthuses. Games that involve hand, eye and foot coordination stimulate the cerebellum and help to positively affect automatic learning processes, which can only help keep your mind going strong.

$70 $85 at Amazon

Brain & Body Power Supplement from brainMD

A box of the brainMD Brain and Body Power supplement along with bullets
A supplement that supports you from head to toe. (Photo: Yahoo)

For more day-to-day brain support, Amen says you need to provide the right nutrients...and brainMD's Brain & Body Power supplement is just the ticket. "If you give your brain the nutrients it needs, it will love you, and help you!" So how does Brain & Body Power work? Unlike some other multivitamins, it provides a high dose of high-quality vitamins along with highly concentrated fatty acids, which may work to improve your memory and mood. And the brain isn't where it stops: This particular supplement also includes CoQ10, a nutrient that helps support your heart. As Amen says, "If your heart is healthy, your brain is likely to be healthy."

$100 at brainMD

Sweetleaf Chocolate-Flavored Sweetener

A small green dropper bottle with Sweet Drops Chocolate on the label as well as bullets
Just a drop'll do ya. (Photo: Yahoo)

How does Dr. Amen wind down from a long day of working on neuroscience breakthroughs? With a little treat, of course! "Every night for myself and my family I make brain-healthy hot chocolate," he shares, as raw cacao has been found to increase blood flow to the brain along with other positive affects. To whip up a cuppa, he mixes unsweetened almond milk with raw cacao and adds a drop of SweetLeaf Chocolate-Flavored Sweetener. This chocolate-flavored Stevia sweetener contains no sugar but tricks the brain into thinking the tongue tastes sugar without any of the affects. "You only want to love food that love you back," Dr. Amen advises.

$7 at Amazon

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