The top picture shows us what a healthy brain looks like. The bottom left picture shows us what an unhealthy brain looks like. The bottom right picture shows us the improvements in brain health by decreasing one’s exposure to toxins, improving one’s nutrition and thinking more positively. When we improve the health of our brain, we also improve the appearance of our body.
Here are the top 10 ways to improve the health of your brain:
- Decrease stress, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, drugs and nicotine – These constrict blood flow to the brain and other organs. Stress increases cortisol, which can damage the cells in our brain and decrease our memory.
- Drink lots of filtered water.
- To decrease inflammation in the brain, identify and remove food allergens (dairy and wheat are big culprits for brain inflammation in sensitive individuals). Consume plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids from fish, nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables and avocados. Green tea and spices, such as garlic, rosemary and curcumin also assist with this. Curcumin actually decreases the plaque thought to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Eat clean food, specifically protein – Protein balances our blood sugar which keeps our moods stable, our energy high and our concentration levels optimal. Clean food means organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, free-range and grass-fed. Fruits, vegetables, coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, chicken/turkey, eggs, steel-cut oatmeal (made in a wheat-free facility), legumes and shirataki noodles (the root of the wild yam plant) are the best brain foods, in addition to the omega 3 fatty acids already mentioned.
- Take supplements to improve the health of the intestine, our second brain – our gut is the most important organ for the health of our brain. Probiotics and fermented foods are best known for increasing our good bacteria, which improves our brain power and lowers anxiety/depression.
- Floss and obtain regular teeth/gum cleanings to avoid periodontal disease, maintain healthy gut flora and reduce inflammation.
- Take supplements to improve blood flow to the brain, such as gingko biloba (Omega 3 does this too!)
- Obtain proper treatment for brain injuries, such as cranial osteopathy.
- Exercise regularly – doing activities involving coordination, such as dancing and tennis boosts the activity in the cerebellum. The cerebellum holds 50% of the brain’s neurons! Interval training raises endorphins, which, in turn, lifts our mood and helps us feel more energetic. And resistance training prevents cognitive decline. Mindful exercise, such as yoga and tai chi, reduce anxiety and depression and increase focus.
- When we are in love, our brain looks like we have just consumed a lot of cocaine because there is so much left and right basal ganglia activity! Loving and positive thoughts are huge for the health of our brain! It actually harms our brain to spend time with people who don’t love and appreciate us.
I obtained this knowledge from The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and the renowned neuroscientist, psychiatrist and brain-imaging expert, Daniel Amen. His fascinating book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life discusses this information in far more detail.