Must watch secrets for Brain Health

Must watch secrets for Brain Health


Brain health, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease The brain is arguably the most important organ
in the human body. Brain health matters no matter your age. The choices you make today can help you have
a healthier brain tomorrow. Lifestyle has a profound impact on brain health. Your food, exercise, sleep, social activities
etc decide your brain health. As you grow older, your brain is exposed to
more harmful stress due to lifestyle and environmental factors resulting in a process called oxidation
which damages the brain cells. Besides, hypertension, diabetes, obesity,
depression, trauma, high cholesterol, smoking etc increases the risk of dementia. Statistics says that dementia (memory loss)
is the number one cause of death in USA. About 10% population in USA has dementia. Worldwide 50 million people have dementia
with 10 million new cases every year. Among different forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s
disease is the most common and may contribute to 60-70% of the cases. Alzheimer’s disease is number 3 leading cause
of death in USA. Alzheimer’s disease has increased by 70% in
the last decade. High cholesterol diet which includes eggs,
cheese etc in the midlife (40-65) leads to 57% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s
disease. People who ate higher saturated fat diet (whipped
cream, fatty meats, processed meats, desserts, vegetable oils etc) has faster decline in
their memory by 70% As we grow older it is essential that we get
ourselves tested for Alzheimer’s disease. 90% of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can
be prevented by modifying our diet. Alzheimer’s patients should start eating Anti-
Alzheimer’s diet. Our diet should consist of less carbohydrates
and more fibre so that glucose is slowly released in to the blood stream and the brain is not
shocked. Foods that boost brain health and keeps dementia
and Alzheimer’s disease away: 1) Foods rich in antioxidants protect the
brain from harmful effects of oxidation in the brain. 2) Mediterranean style diet rich in fish,
green leafy vegetables, olives and nuts help maintain brain health and may reduce the risk
of Alzheimer’s. 3) Taking omega 3 improves cognition. Fish is a great source of omega 3, the type
of fatty acid your body can’t produce. At least twice a week, eat 5 ounces omega
3 rich fishes like mackerel, sardines, tuna etc. Vegans can eat walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds
etc. 4) Eat plenty of dark green coloured leafy
vegetables like spinach, kale etc. They are great sources of polyphenols which
are antioxidants that help to fight free radicals. 5) Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
etc contain antioxidants like anthocyanin, catechin, quercetin etc that reduce inflammation,
increase plasticity of the brain and combats oxidative stress and slows aging. They also improve communication between brain
cells and help form new connections between brain cells. 6) Dark chocolate (no sugar added) contains
flavonoids which are strong antioxidants. They improve blood flow to the brain, reduce
inflammation, increases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, encourages neuron and blood
vessel growth in the brain and reduces the risk of stroke. 7) Include herbs and spices like turmeric,
cinnamon and ginger in your diet, as they are rich in antioxidants decrease harmful
inflammation in the brain 8) Organic Coffee improves memory and potentially
decreases the risk of dementia. Having 3-5 cups of organic black coffee a
day reduces the risk of dementia by 65%. Avoid conventional dairy and sugar. Too much coffee is not advisable as it can
interfere with sleep and can also cause constipation. Note: Coffee to be avoided for people with
autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory
bowel disease (IBD) etc. 9) For sweeteners: replace white sugar with
stevia, organic sugarcane jaggery (should not contain glyphosate which is an herbicide
chemical), organic palm jaggery, organic honey, organic coconut sugar etc.
10) Black and green teas contain brain boosting anti-oxidants. Steep in your teas for long duration to reap
maximum benefits. 11) Moderate amount of red wine is recommended
without alcohol. Red wine, skin of red grapes etc contain resveratrol
which is a powerful antioxidant and may protect you against cell damage associated with aging. You can even opt for red grape juice instead. All should be organic without any chemicals. 12) Nuts and seeds are rich sources of vitamin
E which protects cell from oxidative stress due to free radicals. It helps in slow the aging process, improves
cognition, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So, include sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts,
hazelnuts etc in your diet. 13) Add common mushrooms as wells as medicinal
ones like shiitake, turkey tail etc in fresh or dried form. They reduce inflammation in the blood vessels
especially the brain. 14) Avocados are great sources of unsaturated
fats. It reduces high blood pressure and thus reduces
the risk of cognitive decline. Other sources of healthful unsaturated fats
include almonds, cashews, peanuts if you are not allergic, walnuts, brazil nuts, fishes,
flax and chia seeds etc. 15) Organic berries, beans, legumes, pasteurised
chicken, organic poultry and low mercury fishes like sardines, mackerel etc to boost brain
health. 16) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to
reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Eat kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, bok choy,
cabbage, cauliflower, turnips etc. These contains a compound named glucosinolates. When the body breaks these down they produce
isothiocyanates which reduces oxidative stress and reduces the risk of neuro degenerative
diseases. 17) Get plenty of vitamin C from spinach,
citrus fruits, amla etc. Vitamin B12 is not available from Plant sources. Get it from meat, poultry, eggs etc in balance/moderation. 18) Plant based food is far superior compared
to animal-based diet to keep dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay and to improve your brain
health. Foods to limit and avoid: Completely avoid white sugar and foods which
contains white sugar not even a little bit should be consumed as white sugar is a neurotoxin. Decrease the consumption of animal products. Increase in the consumption of meat, eggs,
high fat dairy products etc increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Individuals who ate plenty of poultry and
fish had 50% higher risk of Alzheimer’s. Have black coffee (you can add coconut milk
or camel milk). Do not add sugar and cow’s milk to coffee. If you have brain fog, try this simple step. Stop having sugar altogether for 5 weeks. You can feel for yourself that your brain
fog vanishes, you can think clearly, memory improves, thus your risk of dementia is reduced. Too much meat affects Blood Pressure, causes
glucose dysregulation, causes constipation and increases inflammation. This reduces the critical structure of the
brain leading to dementia. Supplementation for brain health: Vitamins D, B, B12 etc play an important role
in brain health. As we age, we need to test for the levels
of these vitamins in the body. Aging causes poor absorption of vitamin B12
from food and may probably lead to Alzheimer’s. Also, low levels of vitamin D leads to cognitive
decline. You may boost the levels of these vitamins
by taking supplements under the guidance of a doctor or if you have the knowledge about
what is the balance because too much supplementation leads to toxicity. Low levels of zinc, too much copper can lead
to cognitive decline. The ratio of copper to zinc should be in balance
for optimum mental health. You may also consider supplementing with Alpha
lipoic acid, manganese, Lithium orotate. Vitamin C helps in removing excess copper
which causes oxidative damage. Folate, B- vitamins and fibre helps to reduce
homocysteine levels and overall health (Homocysteine is a common amino acid found in meats. High homocysteine leads to early development
of heart disease) Exercise for brain health: Aerobic exercises help improve cognition and
boosts brain health. Endurance exercises like running, swimming,
biking etc can foster new brain cell growth and preserve existing brain cells
Strength training exercises like lifting weights or using resistant band not only builds muscle
and strengthens bones but also boosts brain power, improve mood, enhance concentration
and increase decision making skills. Overall exercise improves blood flow to the
brain, stimulates chemical changes in the brain, boosts learning, mood, memory and thinking. People who exercise regularly have a lower
risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Sleep energizes you, improves your mood and
improves your immune system and reduces the build-up of an abnormal protein called beta-
amyloid plaque in the brain, which is associated with Alzheimer’s. Minimum 7-8 hours of sleep is recommended
for a healthy brain. Also practising meditation and managing stress
may help ward off age related decline in brain health. So, stay positive and be happy. Mental exercise is just as critical as physical
exercise in keeping your brain fit and healthy, promote new brain cell growth and decrease
the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Facts about body and brain Our brain is 2-3% of our body weight but it
consumes 25% of body’s energy as it requires more supply of blood and oxygen for its efficient
functioning. For efficient functioning of the cells especially
neurons, a steady flow of glucose is necessary. But excess glucose and abnormal metabolism
of glucose is a problem. As we age, the insulin receptors in the brain
doesn’t work properly. Excess glucose causes inflammation in the
blood vessels damaging the connection leading to brain fog, cognitive impairment, destruction
of critical areas of the brain, hippocampus and areas of the brain responsible for memory
and judgement. Glucose itself is not a problem. But rapid release of glucose is certainly
a matter of concern. The food we eat should be such that glucose
is released slowly and steadily into the bloodstream so that the body uses it in an appropriate
manner and at the same time receptors are not shocked. The standard American diet (SAD) or the western
pattern diet (WPD) includes high intake of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods,
butter, corn, high fructose corn syrup, high sugar, high fat dairy products, eggs, refined
grains, potatoes etc. These foods rapidly release glucose in to
the blood stream, leading to inflammation and brain damage. Also consuming higher amounts of saturated
fats and meat over a 6-year period leads to higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
compared to people who ate fats derived from plants.