I believe there is a body-mind connection, and you need to treat your whole body (holistically) if you want to boost your brain and improve your mental and physical well-being.
Most people think that once a brain cell has died, it’s gone forever, but the good news is, scientists in the US have proven that brain cells can be regenerated. Just like our muscles, the brain needs regular use to keep it functioning at an optimal level; so, Use it, or Lose it!
Temporary memory loss is not uncommon when we are suffering from undue stress, depression and anxiety, and many prescription drugs, such as statins or sleeping pills can affect memory with prolonged use.
However, the vast majority of cases involving poor memory are caused by years of eating the wrong foods, especially saturated fats, which clogs the arteries, and prevents freshly oxygenated blood from reaching the brain.
Just taking a few deep breaths more regularly throughout the day can help to improve your brain function.
The brain responds positively to the right information, and we can create programs that will help us to improve brain and memory function, but how do you give it the correct information?
Brain Boosting Formula = remove bad foods & add the good stuff.
We will look at both parts of this equation separately; it’s easier to make small changes by adding some good stuff to your diet and lifestyle, and then slowly eliminating the bad foods until this becomes normal for you.
Part 1 – adding the good stuff
Food as medicine is more potent than any drug. It contains all the information the body needs to optimise every function. By eating real food – I mean whole foods that are in their natural states like avocado, nuts, and fruits, and avoiding man-made foods like chocolate, biscuits, and margarine, the brain cells will receive all the correct nutrients to regenerate. Opt for a diet that is high in fats and low in sugars.
There are also a few other fundamental lifestyle changes that can improve brain function.
Follow a plant-based diet – the volume of food you consume should consist of mostly vegetables, with some fruit and fish too.
Eat good fats - also, your diet should be high in calories from good fats (seeds, nuts, avocado, coconut oil, almond oil). The brain uses lots of energy, so the calories from good fats will be used to optimise its function.
Include fish - fish is good for our minds due to its omega-3 fat content. People who have a deficiency of omega-3 tend to have reduced brain function.
Optimise your gut function - Gluten and dairy cause inflammation throughout the body and the brain, leading to ‘Brain fog’.
The role of nutrients – take fish oil and vitamin D supplements as the winter sun will not be strong enough to provide the body with enough vitamin D.
Optimise mitochondrial function – with supplements coenzyme Q10 and B vitamins. These can improve the energy-production within the brain.
Try Reflexology - Balancing the hormones is really important, especially the thyroid and adrenals.
Sage Oil – regular head massage with Spanish Sage oil (diluted in base oil) has been shown by Dr John Wilkinson at Middlesex University to increase memory functioning.
Watch your weight - Body fat also affects brain function, and studies show that a more prominent belly equals a smaller brain.
Move your body – the more oxygen you can get to your brain, the less likely you are to suffer from memory loss. Try a HIIT workout, take up jogging, swimming or Yoga.
Sleep more - make sleep a priority.
Meditate – Buddhists have shown that this is a powerful regulator of brain function, and its side effects grow parts of our brains which usually are asleep.
Part 2 – subtracting the bad stuff
When you remove the negative stuff, you can multiply your life, and in this case, optimise brain health.
Sugar is the worst thing you can take for brain health. As well as compromising your immune system, it ages your brain.
Gluten and flour are inflammatory substances that impact the brain.
Refined oils – vegetable oils and soya bean oil are now consumed in vast quantities but are exceptionally inflammatory for the body, especially if we don’t have enough omega 3 in our systems.
Trans fats – such as hydrogenous fat. The government has just declared these not safe to eat, but they have been in our diet for decades and are still found in many foods in the supermarket.
Alcohol – a little is ok, but a little more is not! Alcohol depletes the body of vital nutrients.
Chemicals - found in non-real foods like additives and preservatives are proven to cause ADHD and other disorders. For example, Aspartame and other sweeteners found in diet products. There are more than 50 names for MSG, most of them you have never heard of, and some even sound healthy!
Minimise your exposure to Mercury - Heavy metals such as mercury, are often found in farmed fish and sushi, which we now consume in vast quantities. Also, avoid mercury fillings which are still widely used in the UK and the US. David Hefferon, a holistic dentist, practising in London, says, “There is now good evidence from research at the University of Calgary in Canada showing that mercury causes brain cell degeneration”.
Avoid environmental toxins - those found in many household products and cleaners, plus skin care products.
Drugs – statins, one of the most commonly prescribed medications causes the brain to produce more amyloid, a chemical that causes Alzheimer’s.
Sleep deprivation – anything less than 7 hours a night is like being drunk. Tests on military personnel show that getting more than 7 hours results in 98% accuracy. Less than 7 hours it drops to 90%, less than 5 hours, 53%, and less than 3 hours, 13%. The brain cleans itself up at night, so sleep is essential.
Avoid Stress - stress shrinks the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory function, and breaks down the blood-brain barrier that leads to inflammation. Stress literally damages the brain.
Lack of exercise - Exercise acts as miracle grow for the brain and is one of the most powerful things you can do to get fresh blood carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain.
Brainpower improves by brain use, just as our bodily strength grows with exercise.