All organs need fat, especially your brain. Did you know that your brain is 60-70% fat?
Cells that make energy are called mitochondria and just like a car needs gas, mitochondria need fuel for your body to operate at its’ best. If you feed these mitochondria carbohydrates, it increases free radicals in your body which in turn can damage your tissues and your DNA.
When you use fats to fuel your mitochondria, not only will you have more energy but you will decrease the amount of free radicals in your body. Fat is high in calories but an incredible energy source. This also starts a process called ketosis, in which fat is burned for energy, especially to the brain, lessening the chance of developing a neurodegenerative disease. This is one of many reasons that a lower carb diet is helpful for mental clarity and acuity.
We all know that omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of our diet. Fatty fish like sardines, tuna, herring, and wild caught salmon should be eaten at least once a week. You can also feed your mitochondria with omega 9 fatty acids, such as olive oil, olives, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, avocados, macadamia nuts, and coconut oil.
Protein is also important to fuel the brain. Amino acids provide the building blocks for every process in the body, including muscle and tissue repair, cardiovascular health, and neurotransmitters that regulate stress, appetite, mood, cognition and sleep. By providing your body with enough protein you can maintain you your mood and can enhance cognition and memory. You can read more about amino acids here.
Other nutrients that promote a healthy brain:
Fish oil: helps decrease the overall effects of aging. I recommend Omega TG 1000 which contains an impressive 1,000 mg omega-3 oils per softgel, making it an ideal choice for therapeutic dosing. Each softgel contains 662mg EPA and 250mg DHA, along with other omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin D: This powerful nutrient has been shown to decrease Alzheimer’s and dementia and helps prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder. 5,000IU’s a day, which is met by our D Supreme, is an excellent level for maintain for most people if testing reveals levels that are less than 40ng/ml, I typically recommend one bottle of the D Ultra, which is 10,000 ius to raise their levels.)
Neurolink: is used to support neurological and cognitive function and optimize neurotransmitter (serotonin, dopamine, and GABA) function, especially in cases of such as ADD, ADHD, and other conditions where there may be impaired brain function.
B Complex: B vitamins serve as cofactors for synthetic processes in which decreases progression of disorders associated with decrease in cognition. I recommend B Supreme, a powerful blend of the B vitamins in their coenzymated forms, so the body can absorb them easily.
Vitamin C: an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Vitamin C helps protect your body from free radicals that can impair brain function. In addition, vitamin C supports healthy immune function, maintaining healthy veins, capillaries, skin, hair and nails by supporting normal collagen production and repair. I recommend our Stellar C. Each capsule provides 600mg of vitamin C plus important bioflavonoids.
Magnesium: One of my favorite nutrients, magnesium is used for many processes in the body. When talking about brain heath, it helps regulate mood and stress levels by reducing inflammation in the brain. Damage to the nervous system has been implicated as the cause of numerous health concerns including dementia and depression. It is the most powerful relaxation mineral available, and can improve your sleep, which in turn, helps focus and mental clarity. Magnesium Buffered Chelate is the form I typically recommend, as it is proven to be easily absorbed and highly effective.
Turmeric: Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. It is a hot topic in the nutrition world as more and more studies prove that it’s a amazing anti-inflammatory. It has been shown to boost memory and stimulate the production new brain cells. Our Curcum-Evail is a highly bioavailable curcuminoid formulation. It contains a unique combination of three bioactive, health-promoting curcuminoids, along with turmeric oil. One capsule a day is the recommended dose.
Phosphatidylserine: is essential for optimal brain function. This nutrient plays a large role in many functions throughout the body but is a key building block for brain cells. Phosphatidylserine improveds mental focus, improves symptoms of depression, lowers cortisol, and has been linked to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. I recommend PS 150, which comes in a pill or powder form.
Brain Vitale is a combination formula that contains cognitive and brain supportive nutrients including glycerophosphocholine (GPC), acetyl L-carnitine, phosphatidylserine (PS), inositol, and Ginkgo biloba extract. Each of these nutrients has been extensively researched in relation to their roles in brain health and function. It is used to improve memory, recall, and retention. (Use caution if using a blood thinner.)
A few things you can do at home to help your brain stay active:
Get moving: As little as 20 minutes of exercise a day can turn on a specific chromosome in your body that turns on DNA. Your brain gets a signal from the hypocampus (the memory center in your brain) and tells your body to grow new brain cells, which has been shown to improve cognition and memory. How cool that we can actually grow new brain cells?
Walking, yoga, stretching, weight training, and Pilates (to name a few) are all great ways to increase your daily activity.
Engage in brain activities: Things like crossword puzzles and Sudoku are great ways to keep your brain intentionally active. Online brain games are also available at sites like luminosity.com or fitbrains.com.
Just breathe: It takes only 3 minutes of slow breathing to calm your mind. A great, easy way to calm your mind is to sit in a quiet place and take a few deep breaths. Inhale for a 5 count, hold for 3, and exhale for another 5.
Be well and stay sharp,