Ways to maintain and improve good memory
Most of us don’t consider the health of our brains…out of sight, out of mind.
90% of damage has already been done to the brain by the time you show symptoms of brain disease.
Damage to the brain causing Alzheimer’s usually begins 30-50 years before you even show symptoms which means if you begin to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s when you are 80yrs old, you were already doing damage at 30 to 50 years old.
Prevention is KEY. Once brain cells are dead, there is no bringing them back to life, but the good news is that you CAN improve your brain health, and make new connections in the brain.
Again, Prevention is KEY: Knowing what you have to do isn’t going to work. Establish healthy habits into your daily routine and make CHANGE. (It’s not about information, it’s about transformation!)
Here are some ways you can help to heal your brain and/or maintain brain health and memory:
- Drink water. Our brains are made of 75% of water and most of us do NOT drink enough water. 85% of headaches are caused from de-hydration. And not drinking enough water can cause depression and mental fog.
- Exercise. Get blood flow to your brain. Exercise is the fountain of youth because life is in the blood. Blood brings nutrients and oxygen to your brain, which feeds your brain! Increases neurogenesis & neuroplasticity.
-Walking, jogging, and running bring blood to the brain, but lifting weights and strength training has been proven to improve memory in the elderly.
-The best type of exercise is high intensity interval training. (HIIT) 30sec/90sec
-Your brain is happy when you get a “runner’s high” because your small intestine produces lot of serotonin and other neuropeptides that boost mood! Your brain is saying, “Yes!! This is good for me!!”
-Yoga actually builds your brain-body connection. It includes deep breathing, focus and balance.
- Breathe fresh air. We only use 20% of our lung capacity. Breathing deep helps you get oxygen to your brain and other organs and helps you relax and temper anxiety. One way to increase oxygen is deep breathing, which is also calming to the brain.
- Get sun. You get most of your vitamin D through your eyes. Close your eyes and look toward the sun. The sun’s light re-energizes your nervous system and re-sets your circadian rhythm which is regulated by the physical, mental and behavioral changes
Sunlight prompts the body to manufacture endorphins that give you a feeling similar to a runner’s high, and promotes the manufacture of vitamin D. Maximize your sunlight by creating outdoor areas for basking and big, south-facing windows for indoor sunlight. While it’s difficult to get enough quality sunlight through the window for vitamin D production, the filtered sunlight hitting your retina will still help raise your spirits.
- Get Enough sleep. If you do not get enough sleep, you can show symptoms of depression, sadness, and mental fog. Our bodies detox all the time, however, our brains only detox while we are asleep and it’s during that crucial time our brain can clean of toxins and amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimer’s. If we are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep our brains cannot detox and we are putting our brains at risk of disease. Side effects of little sleep are depression. 7-9 hours of sleep is ideal.
- Cut out sugar. People with Diabetes are 5x as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other brain disease. In fact, Alzheimer’s is also being called “type 3 diabetes” because insulin resistance in the brain is causing starvation of brain cells. Too much sugar is extremely damaging to the whole body. You should only be consuming 6-9tsp of sugar a day according to the WHO & AHA.
- Eat FAT (good fat). Our brains are made of 60% fat. Studies show that people with higher cholesterol have better memory & brain function. Our brains and nervous system relies on cholesterol for the creation of neurotransmitters and their ability to bind to receptors. Egg yolks are shown to be anti-Alzheimer’s, and medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil help with brain health too. An alternative fuel for cell energy is fat. It’s good to fuel your body and brain with fat, not just glucose. If the brain becomes resistant to insulin in the case of metabolic brain diseases, you can eat fat to help keep brains cells alive with ketones. Dr. who turned around her husband’s Alzeimer’s with coconut oil.
- Quit smoking. You know how smoking cigarettes dries out the skin and causes wrinkles? It’s doing the same thing inside your brain! Smoking ages your brain. It thins the cortex which impairs thinking and memory.
- Maintain normal BMI/weight. The more you weigh, the smaller your brain becomes. “A series of horrifying studies have shown thatAS YOUR WEIGHT GOES UP, THE ACTUAL PHYSICAL SIZE OF YOUR BRAIN GOES DOWN!The first study of this kind was from the University of Pittsburgh where researchers found that the brains of overweight people, people who had a BMI between 25-30, had 4% less brain tissue, which means 4 billion less brain cells, and their brains looked 8 years older than healthy people! People who were obese, people who had a BMI over 30 had 8% less brain tissue, which means 8 billion less brain cells, and their brains looked 16 years older than healthy people!” http://danielplan.com/healthyhabits/dinosaursyndrome/
- Eat brain foods every day. Is it a coincidence that walnuts are shaped like a brain? Walnuts are brain food! Nuts, seeds, berries, tubers, vegetables, and quality organic proteins and fats. Oily fish like wild caught salmon, tuna, marcel, anchovies, and sardines are high in Omega-3 fats which are great for your brain.
-Turmeric root contains curcumin which has been shown to prevent and break down the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s.
-Rosemary herb powerfully increases memory, and focus, increases calmness, and is an anti-inflammatory.
-Lion’s mane mushroom – “Lion’s mane is a potent catalyst for brain tissue regeneration and helps to improve memory and cognitive functions.
In studies conducted in Japan, by Dr. Hirokazu Kawagishi, it was discovered that the mushroom stimulates the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This is the primary protein nutrient responsible for enhancing and repairing neurological disorders.” (http://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/lions-mane.html)
- Take brain healthy supplements. Krill Omega-3 oil helps to feed the brain like krill oil, fish oil, or cod liver oil. This helps lower inflammation in the brain which can contribute to depression. Herbal supplements like Gingko help bring blood flow to the brain.
- Feed your gut. Did you know your gut is also known as our “second brain”? That’s where all your neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, are made. If you want a happy brain, have a happy gut. This is why probiotics are known to aid with depression, anxiety and increase feelings of well-being. Autism has been linked to altered gut bacteria. Gut toxicity = brain toxicity. Happy gut, happy brain!
- Intermittent fasting. Can help improve brain function because during intermittent fasting, the gut has time to heal “leaky gut,” preventing toxicity to the brain. Has been shown to increase neurogenesis, Increase in production of growth factors like bdnf-brain-derived neurotrophic factor when under this positive stress. (Animals & IF)
- Keep learning. Our brains have the amazing ability to create new cells and connections until the day we die! (“But if you don’t use it, ya lose it!”) Use your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth, read educating books, do puzzles, learn how to waltz, learn to juggle, learn how to play instrument, learn a new language. It’s never too late to learn! Yes you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
- Be involved in your community. Babies need interaction from adults for a healthy developing brain. As adults, having a strong social network and involved in community and volunteering ensures quality brain functioning, especially into old age. In fact, women are believed to live longer than men generally due to their strong social networking skills. After retirement, it’s important to keep using your brain for helping others and problem solving.
- Know your sense of purpose. What is your reason for being? What gets you out of bed every morning? Your grandchildren, your church, the hobby you enjoy? The Japanese call this your Ekigai (生き甲斐 – pronounced “ee-ki-guy”) One of the best things for your brain is to know what your purpose is because it keeps you driven, passionate, interested and gives meaning to your thoughts, actions, and your life. Knowing your sense of purpose helps give us longevity. http://www.ekigai.com/
Hope you enjoyed these fabulous tips on how to live with a healthy brain! Please share with your friends and family. 🙂
Anxiety in the brain & herbal remedies:
The amygdala is in the temporal lobe associated with emotional reactivity such as fear, anger, and anxiety. (Fight or flight response area.) It also formulates Pavlovian associations (like a bell ringing and the dog’s mouth begins watering for food.) This is the amygdala being conditioned to stimuli and creates adaptive behavior.
This is why exposure therapy works, because you can teach your amygdala to create new positive associations with the “negative” exposure. For example, someone who is afraid of public speaking because of a negative experience from the past, can overcome this fear by doing it more and more until the amygdala no longer associates public speaking as a threat to one’s life, and overtime it will not produce that anxiety. This also why cognitive therapy, meditation, and mindfulness work—you work on getting out of that “monkey- mind” by thinking logically vs emotionally. This creates new neuropathways and turns on the neocortex again.
This is also called NEUROPLASTICITY. Our brains are always learning, evolving, making new connections, and you can help it! This is super exciting because that means there is hope for addicts, people with PTSD, anxiety, negative thinking patterns, etc.
How GABA works for anxiety:
When GABA molecules bind to the amygdala, chloride goes in, and it inhibits the activity of the amygdala which reduces anxiety & anger.
What’s really cool is that this explains why some natural herbs have helped humans to calm their brain.
Some natural herbs that block the reuptake of GABA back to the gaba nueron (which increases more GABA in the synapse area for the amygdala to use):
Passion Flower – (known as the flower for love & passion)
Rosemary Oil (rosemarinic acid, a GABA transaminase inhibitor, also an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, and an ester of caffeic acid) Medical studies show Rosemary oil greatly increases memory and focus at the same time. (Caffeic acid which inhibits the production of aflatoxin and inhibits cell proliferation which makes rosemary anti-cancer.)
Lemon Balm – Known for calming upset stomach. Contains rosemarinic acid, a GABA transaminase inhibitor)
Kava Kava, Ashwaganda, Valerian Root, Skull cap leaf, Lavender, Holy Basil
St. John’s Wort (counteracts birth control pills), also helps reuptake serotonin, could be back for those with too much serotonin.
L-theanine – relaxing effect (found in green tea and mushroom Boletus badius)
Gingko biloba – stress & memory (should not be combined with SSRIs)
Hops – known to increase GABA, Bergamont—known to increase GABA
5-HTP (sourced from an African shrub) is the pre-cursor to Serotonin. Serotonin is calming to the brain.
Licorice root, significant evidence that it calms the nervous system and supports the adrenal glands.
In fact, one component is nearly ideal to adrenocortical hormones that the body produces.
[Benzodiazepines are drugs that increase GABA activity to the receptors by letting more chloride in to the amygdala calms and reduces anxiety even more, but these drugs can be VERY dangerous because they can cause addiction. (GABA has to be present for benzodiazepines to work.)]
Warning: Alcohol also works on the GABA receptors, just like benzodiazepine drugs. Alcohol is a GABA drug which is why it is calming, a depressant, but creates craving & relapse.