Change Your Body, Change Your Brain2010
#1 Optimize Nutrition
“You are what you eat”. The right balance of quality proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and colorful plant foods (phytonutrients) support our well-being and optimal functioning. Understanding your digestive capabilities and nutrient needs allows you to customize your eating habits and supplement requirements. The most powerful tool you have to change your brain and your health is your fork. You can literally turn your genes on and off by what you eat.
#2 Fix Digestion
In reality, “You are what you digest and absorb!” The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is called our second brain. The GI tract has as many neurons (brain cells) in it as the brain! It has more neurons than the spinal column. Many neurotransmitters, including ~80% of serotonin, are produced in the GI tract, (whole wheat and rye grains inhibit serotonin production). Digesting, absorbing and assimilating all the food and nutrients we eat are critical for our brains and overall health. Your GI tract must be healthy for your whole body to be healthy.
Our brains operate on glucose (sugar) and oxygen. Glucose and oxygen are carried to the brain in our blood. Movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so more blood flows to the brain. Studies show that exercise can cause cerebral blood vessels to grow, increases generation and survival of neurons (brain cells) and strengthens synaptic connections. We’ve all heard the phrase, “go for a walk to clear your head”.
#4 Balance Your Hormones
Our hormones, including insulin, thyroid, sex hormones, stress hormones, neurotransmitters and many more are a symphony of molecules. They have to work in harmony for you to be healthy.
#5 Cool Inflammation
Inflammation is the underlying cause of most chronic diseases. It's called the "silent killer". Too much or too little inflammation creates risk factors for disease. Inflammation of the brain is a central theme for many psychiatric and neurological conditions. Infections, food allergens, toxins, sugar, trans-fats and molds are just some of the factors which contribute to inflammation. Cool the inflammation, and heal your brain.
#6 Enhance Detoxification
Have you ever experienced brain fog? When our bodies are not eliminating all the wastes and toxins we take in from food, air, water, medications and the environment our systems back up and illness often results.
#7 Quench Free Radicals
An established theory of aging throughout our bodies and brains is the result of damage from free radicals (oxidation). The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage and evidence shows this plays a major role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Regularly consuming antioxidants and supplements specifically targeting the brain may strengthen the brain’s synapses and provide other cognitive benefits.
#8 Adequate Sleep
According to researchers, sleep is necessary to process knowledge and for memories to form. During sleep, memories are moved from short-term memory to long-term memory. Research on cats allowed to sleep, showed areas of the brain that process information had doubled in size and had greater brain plasticity: the brain’s ability to form new synapses and connections between brain cells.
Your brain is over 60% water. Staying hydrated is absolutely critical for optimal brain function. When your body lacks water, brain cells and other neurons shrink and biochemical processes involved in cellular communications slow.
#10 Reduce Stress, Calm Your Mind
Stress is a basic survival instinct which triggers chemicals in the brain and body designed to help us manage a threatening situation. Long-term stress stimulates growth of the proteins that might contribute to Alzheimer’s and lead to memory loss.
Keeping your life in balance filled with meaning and purpose, connection, love, support and a sense of empowerment are essential for health. You deserve to have energy, strength, motivation, joy, happiness, clear thinking and peace.
Choose to live in optimal health; your brain depends on it.
The proceeding article is educational only and not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical care.