Think of the brain as the powerhouse of the body. It helps to control everything that the body does, consciously and unconsciously. If the brain is not taken care of the way that it needs to be, then it can be detrimental to its overall health and functioning.
In this week’s blog, we are going to discuss ways to boost your brain health. This includes lifestyle topics about what to avoid, what to incorporate, and what supplements are best for brain health.
First of all, let’s discuss what you should cut out of life, or simply limit.
Avoid unhealthy carbohydrates: These are the simple sugars that are found in cakes, candies, juices, breads, pasta, etc. Instead of these types of carbohydrates, try getting your carbs from vegetables. Strive for 7-9 servings of veggies per day.
Monitor your cholesterol: Avoid the bad, LDL, cholesterol and include the good, HDL, cholesterol in your diet. The brain needs cholesterol, the good kind that is, and it functions optimally on 200-240 mg/day.
Avoid risky activity: This includes anything that can put your brain at risk for injury. Now, we are not saying to skip out on that snowboarding trip you’ve been super excited for, just consider wearing a helmet and being cautious.
Stop smoking: There are no benefits to smoking, therefore quitting the easiest way to support brain health. This also includes vaping and e-cigarettes. Consider trying hypnosis or acupuncture to help kick the smoking habit.
Minimize the use of television and other mindless technologies: This includes scrolling on social media. Instead of doing this, go outside and get some fresh air. Our brain does not need to be stimulated all the time.
Avoid fried foods: These foods contain certain fats that are not good for any part of the body. This is the type of fat that lines the vessels of our circulatory system, potentially impairing blood flow to the brain.
Avoid high fructose corn syrup: This is found in a lot of different foods and should be avoided at all costs. Start reading your labels when you buy your food and monitor for this ingredient because it is the primary cause of individuals developing obesity in the United States.
Refrain from caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Now that we have discussed what to avoid, these are some of things that you can incorporate into your life in order to promote brain health.
Stay hydrated: Our brain is made up 75% of water, therefore if you are dehydrated then your brain function is not going to be optimal.
Promote good sleep: During sleep the brain is actually rather awake. It is constantly firing neurons to help problem solve and even heal the body. Without adequate sleep, the brain can not do these things, which can resulting poor brain health long term.
Include health fats: Healthy fats are food for the brain. These fats include unsaturated fats: vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and even fish.
Exercise: Exercise is not only good for the physical body, but also the mental aspect of health. It helps to promote memory, enhance sleep, and promotes problem solving.
Complete crossword puzzles and other challenging brain game/activities: These activities are good to include during down time. Instead of scrolling on social media, these activities are used to strength the brain and problem solving.
In addition, to including these habits, supplements are a great way to help boost brain health.
These supplements include:
CoQ-10: (Recommended: 100mg/day) is a powerful anti-oxidant.
Acetyl-I-Carnitine: (Recommended: 1500mg/day) energizes the brain, increases neurotransmitters needed for memory, focus and learning, repairs the damage done to brain cells caused by stress, relieves depression, speeds stroke recovery.
Alpha Lipoic Acid: (Recommended: 600mg-1200mg/day) lowers oxidative stress and protects against free radicals. Also crosses blood brain barrier.
Coconut Oil: Take 1 teaspoon per day and then gradually start increasing to 2 tablespoons per day over 1–2 weeks. You don’t want to initially start off with 2 tablespoons because this can be a shock to the gastrointestinal tract.
Add Curcumin/Tumeric: (Recommended: 1000mg/day) anti-inflammatory and helps to treat central nervous system injuries.
Magnesium: (Recommended: 500 mg/day) magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.
Balance of Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio: Fatty acids are essential for brain and cognitive health. Strive for a ratio of 4:1 (Omega 6:Omega 3). You can find these fats primarily in fish, in addition to taking supplements. To avoid toxicity from heavy metals, eat wild fish or supplement with a pharmaceutical grade product, like Nordic Naturals.
Increase Vitamin D levels: Adequate Vitamin D levels are essential because they help to play a role in maintaining cognitive function.
Supplemental with Magnesium: Magnesium, like Vitamin D, is also essential for the brain to help promote cognitive function.
Take antioxidants and mineral supplements: Providing antioxidants and mineral supplements into the diet is shown to help reverse the symptoms of aging, primary including memory loss.
Take Curcumin/Resveratrol: These two supplements help to reduce inflammation in the body, including the brain.
Increase Glutathione: Glutathione is a substance that helps the body to repair tissue.
We tend to take our health for granted. Too often we wait for something to go wrong before we try to fix it. Don’t wait to take care of your brain. Start today for a healthier future.