Some quick science..
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein which can be thought of as “brain fertilizer.” BDNF helps the brain to develop new connections, repair failing brain cells, and protect healthy brain cells. Having enough BDNF around can protect our brains from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
When BDNF levels are high, acquiring new knowledge is easy, memories are retained, and people feel happier. Indeed, BDNF can even be thought of as a natural anti-depressant.
Unfortunately, when BDNF levels fall the opposite occurs. People have difficulties learning new things, Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia occur, and depression is far more common.
In other words without BDNF, your Brain Does Not Function * see what I did there?
So how do we increase BDNF?
Beyond proper diet and exercise check out the 3 activities below for increasing BDNF:
Spending time outside in the sun. Sun exposure increases BDNF, but taking a vitamin D supplement does not, according to research. Moreover, people suffering from seasonal affective disorder may have low BDNF.
Listening to music. Research has found that listening to music affects BDNF production.
Spending time in good company. Social relationships could improve brain health by increasing BDNF levels, as research shows.