Tips for a Happy, Healthy & Youthful Brain
By Mark J Kaylor
What’s there to say about brain health that hasn’t already been said? Surely everyone has heard about Ginkgo for memory, but did you know that it takes about a month or so before you can typically see benefits? How about the fact that Ginkgo works primarily for those experiencing poor circulation to the brain? And were you aware that common spice Rosemary might be one of the best brain and memory herbs? You can take it, eat it, or even smell it, to realize its memory enhancing & energizing actions. So you see, there is still much to be shared with regards to optimizing our brain function and maximizing our brain health.
Keep in mind that it’s never too early to start taking care of your brain health; first and foremost because Alzheimer’s disease usually begins developing in the body decades before any outward signs or symptoms. As it relates to our brain and nerves, it is a good thing to keep in mind that it is much, much more difficult to reverse brain damage that it is to prevent it. So this is your opportunity to begin incorporating some of these brain health tips into your life.
★ Time for a change; shaking one’s routine up can challenge the brain and wake it up.
★ Sleep tight; sleep is all about getting the right amount. A study of middle-aged and older people who got less than six hours, or more than nine hours, of sleep a night had lower cognitive scores.
★ Stay physically active; multiple studies confirm that physical exercise promotes brain health and supports memory function.
★ Chronic stress destroys brain cells in the part of the brain that is responsible for memory. To lower your stress reactions, try diaphragmatic breathing and utilizing adaptogenic herbs like Reishi, Relora, and Tulsi.
★ Sex, this one probably grabbed your attention. Sex raises serotonin and oxytocin levels, which can boost creativity and decision-making along with improving our problem solving ability.
★ A plant-based diet may reduce oxidation and inflammation in the brain as well as enhance communication between neurons.
★ Eat your veggies; a study of 13,000 women found that those who ate the most vegetables had less age-related memory decline.
★ Enjoy your Indian food; a study of over 1000 people found that those eating curry most frequently displayed better brain performance.
★ Eat the rainbow; compounds in fruits and vegetables that give them their color protect brain cells and can help prevent the buildup of plaque in the brain. Strwberries, for example, have been shown to reverse memory loss in animal studies.
★ Dump the white; refined sugar and carbohydrates increase brain inflammation and free radicals; and may even be responsible for a type of Alzheimer’s disease now being labeled type III diabetes. Try using PGX fiber, SX-Fraction and/or water-soluble cinnamon extract to keep blood sugar and insulin in check.
★ Three years younger; a study found that people who ate fish at least once a week gave them the memory and thinking ability of someone three years younger.
★ Go blue; Blueberries were shown to reverse age-related memory loss as well as motor skill decline.
★ Fast relief; brain supplements, as a rule, take time to work and for their effects to be realized. There is one exception I have found to this rule, by far the fastest acting brain boosting supplement I have ever used for myself or in my practice is Amyloban 3399, a special extraction of the lines main mushroom. A sharper, quicker mind is usually noticed in just a few days.
★ Sage wisdom; several studies have found that Sage improved memory. One way that it does this is by preventing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
★ Flower power; Vinpocetine, derived from the periwinkle flower, helps carry oxygen to the brain. A study with mild to moderate dementia saw a 21% memory improvement in only 16 weeks.
★ Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, Bacopa benefits cognitive performance in multiple ways. Confirmed in double-blind studies Bacopa improves memory, verbal learning, and reaction time along with improvements in depression and anxiety.
★ Lion’s Mane’s benefits to the brain include support for memory, attention, and cognitive function.
★ Dozens of studies with Turmeric and/or curcumin show multiple benefits in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
★ G is for Ginkgo; the most widely used herb for memory assistance, Ginkgo is best for folks over 50. It improves circulation to the brain, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, and protects against amyloid beta plaque buildup. An animal study found that it stimulated neurogenesis.
★ Huperzine A in human trials was shown to improve cognitive function while supporting acetylcholine levels and protecting against toxins, including amyloid beta.
★ The Lion’s Mane mushroom contains a class of compounds called hericenones that have been shown in clinical research to stimulate the brain’s production of Nerve Growth Factor. NGF has demonstrated amazing potential for its ability to delay or reverse the onset of Alzheimer’s disease as well as decrease the production of amyloid beta.
★ The brain restorer; the traditional stress tonic Ashwagandha restores brain synapses, regenerates axons, supports growth of dendrites, and increases neurite growth. It can also protect against neuron killing excitotoxicity.
Saving the Best for Last
While this may seem like an overly numerous list of suggestions to support and maximize our brain health and function as we age it is important to keep in mind that this 3 pound mass of neurons in our brain is very delicate. You don’t need to do them all, but they more you do incorporate the greater the odds are that your mind and brain will stay healthy, happy, active, and young.
I will leave you with the top brain health tip:
★ Believe! Aging in many ways is dependent upon how we view it, the same can be said for our brain health as we age. Think that you can get smarter, and you just might get smarter.
For more brain tips and tidbits along with the latest research on brain health go to Mark’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/healthybrainforever