Healthy Brain Tip
This month tips is on keeping your brain healthy.
Believe it or not, your brain rusts as you get older. The end result is Alzheimer’s, or as one of our patient’s called it, “old timer’s disease”. But thankfully, nature has provided the perfect WD-40 lubricant. It is the rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables – the dark purples of blueberries, the deep reds of pomegranates, the rich green of kale and collards, the bright orange of sweet potatoes. All these colorful foods provide powerful antioxidants. That’s a good thing, because, as a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found, people who ate more dietary antioxidants had 70% less Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is one powerful way to control one of the major causes of all disease – rusting or oxidative stress. Eat 8 – 10 servings (1/2 cup = 1 serving) of these lifesaving colorful fruits and vegetables a day to protect your brain.
If your brain is aging quickly or your memory impaired your brain is on fire! Many things fan the flames of inflammation – hidden infections, allergens, environmental toxins like mercury and lead, emotional stress, lack of exercise, excess sugar and animal fat and most commonly a fat belly! Those little fat cells in your ever-expanding middle are little factories for inflammation. A blood test, C-reactive protein, is the best way to tell if you are on fire. If your level is greater than 1.0, then you should begin to cool the heat. Start by exercising regularly, finding ways to experience deep relaxation, getting rid of excess sugar and animal fat in your diet, eating anti-inflammatory foods such as wild fish especially sardines and herring, and using anti-inflammatory herbs and spices including ginger, rosemary, turmeric (the yellow spice in curry). You might need your doctor’s help to find hidden allergies (especially from foods like gluten), hidden infections and toxins. Finding the fire and cooling the heat will go a long way not only in preventing dementia, but also heart attacks, cancer and the slowing the aging process.
The sugar epidemic (an average of 150 lbs per person per year) is directly responsible for obesity in 2/3 of Americans. Diabetics have four times the risk of getting dementia. Too much sugar leads to high levels of insulin [link to healing / insulin resistance] in your blood. That makes you gain weight around the middle, raises your blood pressure and leads to rusting [prevention / rust] and inflammation [prevention / heat]. So next time you reach for that cookie or soda, just think of what’s happening in your brain. Thankfully this problem can be prevented by eating properly and exercising regularly:
- Avoid the "white menace" - white sugar, white flour and white fat (Crisco or "hydrogenated fat".)
- Eat more fiber
- Eat some protein with every meal.
- Exercise in your target heart zone for 30 to 40 minutes at least 4 times a week
Thankfully you can tell if you are in trouble and have to mend your devilishly sweet ways. Just ask your doctor for a blood test. It is called a glucose tolerance test. Be sure you ask your doctor to measure BOTH glucose AND insulin. Two hours after a sugar drink (we recommend 75-grams of glucose) your blood sugar should be less than 140 and your insulin less than 30. If not, you better quit the sugar and get moving!