The brain is among the most complex organs in the body. It’s the nervous system’s command center that controls all of our functions, such as eating, walking, talking, and more. Numerous studies have been made to understand how it works, yet so much of it is still a mystery.
Find out how powerful it is with these interesting facts.
We Use More Than 10% Of Our Brains
For a long time, there has been a misconception that we only employ 10% of our brains. The truth is we actually use all of it, even when we’re sleeping. The brain is constantly active because it is continuously responding to stimulation. However, its activity patterns and the degree of activity vary based on what we’re doing and whether we’re awake or asleep.
Good Cholesterol Is Essential For Memory
In July 2008, a study in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association found that people with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, sometimes called “good cholesterol”) were more likely to have memory loss than those with higher levels. This shows that having a lot of HDL is linked to better memory.
The good news is you can regulate your cholesterol levels with a healthy diet. Whole, unprocessed food such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, and fish are excellent sources of good cholesterol.
The Brain Uses 20% Of The Body’s Oxygen
Despite making up only 2% of the body weight, the brain demands enormous amounts of oxygen due to the energy required.
When the brain and its surrounding tissues don’t get enough oxygen, the brain is at risk of brain hypoxia. Hypoxia in the brain happens when it does not receive enough oxygen despite the presence of blood flow. Some causes of brain hypoxia include suffocation, drowning, stroke, and cardiac arrest. It is critical to treat brain hypoxia immediately to restore normal brain function as soon as possible to prevent complications.
The Brain Is 75% Water
Water makes up around 75% of the brain. This indicates dehydration, even at levels as low as 2%, can negatively impact brain functions. An analysis released by Mindy Millard-Stafford, Ph.D. professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Biological Sciences, reports that dehydration can cause cognitive decline, especially concerning tasks requiring attention to detail. Researchers found that participants who were made to do attention-related tasks such as punching a button in specific patterns would make more and more errors as dehydration got worse.
Dehydration is also associated with certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular and liver diseases. This is why it is critical to stay hydrated because it affects the entire body.
The Human Brain Weighs 3 Pounds
The average human brain weighs 3 pounds. It is the largest organ in the nervous system. It’s like two clenched fists.
Arguably, it’s also the most complicated organ, with about 86 billion neurons-in other words, a bunch of cells that have to coordinate their actions.
That seems like many neurons, but we need these billions to care for the body’s functions. Every neuron has its electrical activity. The way they communicate is through their neurotransmitters, which are a class of chemicals that are released during and after nerve activity. In other words, neurotransmitters dictate the actions of neurons.
The Brain Generates Around 23 Watts Of Power When Awake
Twenty-three watts is enough to power a lightbulb. Given the amount of energy the brain produces, enough rest is necessary. Adequate sleep helps maintain the pathways in the brain. In addition, it speeds up the recovery of neurons for them to continue functioning normally.
If you’re wondering whether getting a good night’s sleep would help you think clearly during a tough day, the answer is yes. Getting enough sleep may improve your ability to form new memories, concentrate better, and respond quickly.
Having enough sleep is vital at the end of the day, no matter how healthy you are. Only with enough sleep can a healthy body function at its best.
Brain Information Can Travel At A Speed Of Up To 268 Miles Per Hour
You heard it right; the brain can transmit information at an incredible speed of 268 miles per hour. To compare, a bicycle can run at 10 to 24 mph, Japanese bullet trains can run at 150 to 200 miles per hour, and Europe high-speed trains can run at 155 to 217 mph.
All over the body, some sensors pick up different kinds of information. For example, the eyes detect light. The ears sense sound. On the skin are sensors that can detect pressure. All of these sensors are neurons that specialize in detecting various forms of information. When these specialized sensors pick up on something, they send an electric impulse through a neuronal fiber, bundled in a nerve, to the central nervous system. This happens extremely fast. The information is then processed by specific neural networks in the central nervous system, which produces the necessary reactions. These responses are subsequently communicated to the muscles as electrical impulses via motor neurons.
The Brain Is 60 Percent Fat
The brain, which is 60% fat, is the fattiest organ in the human body. These fatty acids, however, are crucial for the brain’s performance. The physiologically active derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids control neurogenesis, synapse function, and cell survival.
As always, it is necessary to have a proper diet that contains enough essential fatty acids to maintain a healthy mind and a well-functioning body. Nutrients like Omega-3 or fish oil are beneficial to the brain. Fish oil contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), vital for sustaining normal brain functions.
There is still a great deal to discover about the brain, but the critical thing to remember is to take care of it, as it serves a vital role in our holistic health. It controls and coordinates our movements and reactions, allowing us to think and feel, and enables us to have memories and emotions—all things that make us human. It has a lot on its plate. Be sure to look after it.