Your brain can do so much to change YOUR world. The more experiences, good sleep, and nutrient dense foods you give it to work with, the more it learns and establishes connections. Ongoing research on the brain is revealing how learning keeps your brain young and how brain aging can be reversed with new healthy habits. We all must work with the body and genes that we are born with, however, gut-health, sleep habits, and positive self-talk can help improve your brain function.
1. NEW RESEARCH :
THE FEMALE BRAIN
Did you know? Women are born with XX chromosomes, while men are born with XY chromosomes, those genetic differences matter in brain development. Here’s how :
There are many genes directly involved in brain function, the X chromosomes contain 1098 genes while the Y chromosome only has 78 genes. That is a lot more genes turning on and off in the female brain! Many of those extra genes are involved in brain function. Estrogen is not just a sex hormone, it is important to your brain health as well. A female’s brain tissue is populated by estrogen receptors. When estrogen binds to the receptors in her brain, that connection is very strongly involved in her brain’s energy levels.
Women are twice as likely as men to have anxiety and depression, 3x more likely to have an immune disorder, 4x more likely to have headaches and migraines, far more likely to die of a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease affects more than men (for every 1 man who has Alzheimer’s, 2 women are suffering).
REVERSING BRAIN DISEASES
Dr. Dean Ornish shared some exciting evidence that your brain can get measurable larger in a matter of months with healthy changes in your lifestyle and habits. Knowing that changing your lifestyle changes your gene expression is being applied to brain health and research around Alzheimer’s Disease. Down-regulating genes that cause chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and oncogenes through specific nutrition and wellness practices helps reverse so many chronic diseases.
Studies show that eating whole foods, mainly a low fat, low-sugar, plant-based diet, staying consistent with moderate exercise, and stress management techniques like meditation and psychosocial support can reverse the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
A FEW TIPS :
BASIC LIST OF FOODS THAT PROTECT YOUR BRAIN HEALTH
Green veggies - kale, spinach, collards, broccoli rich in vitamin k, lutein, folate and beta carotene.
Fatty Fish - rich in omega-3 fatty acids that lower blood levels of beta-amyloid proteins.
Dark chocolate - the antioxidants fight oxidative stress and help with cognitive decline and brain diseases.
Berries - flavonoid rich berries help improve memory
Tea + Coffee - the caffeine helps with concentration and mental function
Nuts & Seeds - Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts are high in vitamin e help with cognitive decline, and the healthy fats found in walnuts said to help improve memory
Avocados - the unsaturated fats in avocados and other healthy foods may lower the risk of cognitive decline.
Eggs - vitamin b6, Vitamin b12 and folic acid help prevent shrinkage and cognitive decline.
Just Add Water - rich in essential nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids for brain health
ANTIOXIDANTS & BRAIN HEALTH
Foods rich in antioxidants fight oxidative stress in your body that can damage your brain cells and lead to memory issues, brain aging, brain fog, emotional issues, depression, fatigue, and degenerative diseases.
Add these superfoods to your recipes to boost your brain power!
3. WELLNESS HABITS
The events that cause negative stress, the symptoms we experience, and the way we deal with those feelings can all become a vicious cycle that is HORRIBLE for your brain health. From anxiety to depression, irritability to anger - these symptoms lead to memory and focus issues over time. Usually, because the way we deal with these symptoms is by overeating, overworking, not sleeping, or turning to substances that mask the feelings. I mean have you heard of Karoshi? - “Death by Overwork”.
The stress response that triggers in your body involves powerful chemicals like adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone, and other neurotransmitters are released by your adrenal glands and organs that not only affect your whole body, but your brain function as well. High levels of cortisol due to chronic stress results in many health issues like heart attack, poor immunity, inflammation, and possibly even cancer according to recent research.
Dramatically smaller brain cells in your memory and learning centers have been seen in those suffering from high stress. Taking a look at the telomeres in DNA is a very telling way to see the age of our brain cells. As the telomeres at the end of your chromosomes shorten over time, this “aging” of your cell eventually will lead it to stop duplicating and die. Stress accelerates the shortening of telomeres. How do we slow this process? Oxytocin helps reduce the stress response. Oxytocin is released by cuddling, positive social interactions, and caring for others. That’s right, spending vulnerable and truly engaged time with those you love or others may actually save your life!
Stress management techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, positive self-talk and affirmation practices, physical activity, engaging in vulnerable and thoughtful conversation with others, and even sex can help to balance out those disruptive stress chemicals. Try this mindset detox and try this breathing technique from our founder and CEO, Serena Poon.
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