Brain function • Natural home treatment
The brain is the center of the nervous system and exerts control over all the organs in the body. New Age writers will declare that we are not our minds, but without a healthy, functioning brain, we lose the essence of who we are.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL DECLINE?
- Identity confusion
- Impaired judgment
- Impaired motor coordination
- Memory disturbance
The substances and suggestions here are offered to you for further research and are claimed by others to protect or enhance brain health.
Studies show that elevated blood sugar has a significant impact on brain atrophy. Perhaps there is a correlation between the massive amount of carbohydrates/sugar we consume and the continual rise in dementia cases in the world? Artificial sweeteners have their own dark side but they also raise blood sugar levels.
A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation, in the body and the brain. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point and if followed, will control blood sugar levels.
FOODS THAT MAY IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION
Variety and balance of your overall diet is key, but the following are thought to be especially good “brain foods.”
- Almonds, soaked, skins removed; eat with honey
- Black beans
- Bone broth
- Coconut oil
- Cold water fish rich in Omega 3’s
- Dark chocolate
- Egg yolks
- High-quality lean proteins
- Leafy green vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Pomegranate juice
- Pumpkin seeds
- Whole grains if you must eat grains
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID OR REDUCE
- Artificial sweeteners
- Cured meats
- Excess of red meats
- Excess of grains
- Fried, fatty foods
- Junk foods
- Processed foods and sugars (elevated blood sugar is detrimental to brain function)
- Trans fats
TEAS , HERBS AND SPICES
Some herbs are best used in cooking and others as tea; most are good for both.
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Gotu Kola
- Green tea
- Lemon Balm
- Rhodiola Rosea
- Rose hips
Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically on your skin in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.) or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.
- Black pepper
- Clary sage
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) supports the brain in maintaining youthful cellular energy metabolism and blood flow, protects from toxicity and promotes increased memory. One group study showed significant improvement in mental function with 1500 mg of ALC daily, although the standard recommendation is more like 250-500 mg.
- Iron—test for deficiency before supplementing
- MENTAT, an herbal drug, is described as a “unique all-natural multi-ingredient formula that promotes brain health…It supports the natural ability of the healthy brain and nervous system to readily store and recall information.” No known side effects.
- Muira puama – Amazon folk medicine traditionally used to enhance libido and as a nerve tonic, it may work as a cognitive enhancer.
- Reishi mushrooms are used for patients with Alzheimer’s and heart disease under the premise that inflammation may play a role in both conditions. Reishi mushrooms are blood thinners; consult a doctor.
- Researchers published in Neurology established a link between Vitamin B12 deficiency and brain shrinkage. Supplementation with bioactive Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) may help prevent shrinkage and preserve learning capabilities and memory functions in the aging brain. It has been recommended at 1-5 mg per day taken sublingually.
- Thiamin has been shown in research to slow the memory decline process. ALC is made more available with the presence of thiamin.
- Vitamin B12. Researchers published in Neurology established a link between Vitamin B12 deficiency and brain shrinkage. Supplementation with bioactive Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) may help prevent shrinkage and preserve learning capabilities and memory functions in the aging brain. It has been recommended at 1-5 mg per day taken sublingually.
- Vitamin E protects nerve cells. Wheat germ contains biologically active E.
- Wobenzym merits some investigation.
- Zeolite helps the body eliminate mercury and other metals.
- Zinc is a key factor in the enzymes used for DNA replication and repair. Zinc is a common deficiency in the elderly. In one study of ten patients given 27 mg per day, 80% showed improvement. Oysters are high in zinc.
Dehydration can cause problems with memory and mental alertness. It also can cause problems with mental fatigue, anger, depression and sleep problems. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.
Exercise improves memory and mental clarity. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.
During sleep, your cells are reenergized and waste is cleared from the brain. Without proper sleep, we become irritable and our memory and decision-making abilities suffer. If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.
Stay calm. Prolonged anxiety undermines health in your body and your brain. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate. Do what works for you to keep mellow. Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:
- Art therapy
- Bach flower remedies
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Music Therapy
- Qi Gong
- Tai Chi
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Improve your blood pressure.
- Keep mentally active.
- Lower your cholesterol if it is high.
- Maintain normal blood sugrar.
- Maintain social connections.
- Wear protective headgear during sports. If early head injuries don’t cause you immediate grief, it is likely they will catch up with you later in life.
- Chinese Medicine
- A wholesome, balanced diet
- Adequate hydration
- Regular exercise
- Low stress levels
- Quality sleep