A healthy brain requires the right elements of internal health and a healthy attitude towards external influences. It’s just as important to get the right nutrients for brain health, as it is to be passionate and optimistic about life. It’s often easier to pop pills than it is to rewire your brain. But here are some things that contribute to a health.
USE IT OR LOSE IT
Practicing an instrument or doing a new activity requires faster neuron responses in certain areas of the brain. Exercises like those performed in yoga help to establish a healthy mind body connection allowing for refined movement, and increased body and brain power. Keeping your brain active helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life.
An inspirational and optimistic life view helps our brains to be happy. If we feed our brains with negative thoughts this can cause all sorts of health problems. We don’t need to jump out of bed a spritely rainbow of sundrenched happiness, but when negative thoughts keep going around and around we need to break the cycle with a positive affirmation, or perhaps get creative and write it down. Ask around for a good psychologist if you are having problems with this on a daily basis.
NUTRIENTS THAT ARE HELPFUL
omega-3 – When you turn over fish oil supplements you will see on the back certain levels of fatty acids ‘EPA and DHA’. Generally, when you buy fish oil from cheap warehouses you are wasting your money as the levels of fatty acids are not nearly high enough to have any benefit.
Fish oil with high EPA is shown to be beneficial in mood disorders such as depression while DHA is effective in helping reduce signs and symptoms of neuro-cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) – this nutrient has been shown to improve cognitive function in men and women with moderate to severe age-related cognitive decline. This study showed very promising effects of PS in Alzheimers disease (30mg/kg PS) with improved memory and decreased brain inflammation injury. PS is a key constituent of brain and nerve cell membranes and helps with healthy nerve signal transmission.
Vitamin C – is involved in hormone synthesis. It also helps to build ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters (hormones) such as tryptophan that is converted to serotonin.
HERBS THAT ARE HELPFUL
GINKGO – revered in Asia, this tree is one of the oldest living tree species in the world, dating back more than 200 million years. Ginkgo helps to protect against nerve damage such as that caused by inflammation. It helps to open up blood flow to the brain and helps to increase serotonin and dopamine levels.
BRAHMI – an ayurvedic medicine that is traditionally used to rejuvenate intellect and memory. Its brain tonifying properties are thought to be because it helps to decrease the degradation of neurotransmitters involved in relaxation. Brahmi is used traditionally for mood enhancement.
Taking care of your brain is a fine blend of creating new useful positive pathways as well as eating a healthy nutritious diet full of protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates. It is important to know your family history and use food, supplements and lifestyle as a preventative medicine.