I don’t know about you but… I want to keep my brain functioning well as long as possible.
Following up on our last two Brain Health newsletters, here’s more to consider for a healthy brain. This final BH newsletter is focused on metabolic, neurologic, and lifestyle factors that make a difference.
Metabolic factors are Chemical factors. These can do harm:
Alcohol - alcohol is a solvent. Meaning it melts stuff like brain cells. That’s why you get high from drinking alcohol.
Gluten - One of my colleagues at a Health Coach retreat, during which we followed an elimination /provocation diet taking out all major allergens including gluten, found that the mental health issues that had been plaguing her went away during the elimination part of our healing retreat and came back when she added gluten back into her diet. It might be worth exploring for your mental/brain health.
Dairy, corn, soy - The same goes for these major allergens. When you eat something you’re sensitive or allergic to it can inflame your brain followed by scar tissue formation. That’s not good. I know it’s not easy but remove the allergens and you remove damaging inflammation.
Dust, pollens, cat hair - same here. Your best resource to avoid these irritants is an air filter in whole house or at least in your bedroom.
Chemicals - They can be your friends but also your enemies. Check out ewg.org for human-friendly home and skin care products.
Heavy metals - ewg.org helps here too. By following their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” food recommendations, you avoid 95% of pesticides in your produce. Often heavy metals are found in pesticides and lawn care products as well as in cosmetics, medication, and dental filings. Work with a biologic dentist to safely remove your mercury laden fillings. Sweating in a sauna and doing heavy metal chelation protocols remove the burden of heavy metals already in your body.
Microbial toxins - There’s host resistance and pathogen virulence. Your best bet is to avoid getting sick from bad bugs. Remember to keep your vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc levels in an optimal range to keep your host resistance high so you don’t get sick or to make sure you recover quickly.
Insect bites - Cover your body when you’re in insect zones. I use a product called After Bite to neutralize insect venom. Check yourself after walks for ticks and remove them immediately. It takes at least 24 hours for tick venom to get into your blood once they attach to you.
In the neurologic realm:
Trophic factors - This means factors that build brain tissue. B complex vitamins, omega-3 fats from supplements or fatty fish, and healthy arachidonic acid from peanuts and healthy meat are your best nutritional solutions here.
Blood brain and other barriers - Avoiding alcohol and other damaging metabolic factors are your best helpers here. Plus the nutrients recommended in the Trophic Factors paragraph above.
Stress - Unrelenting stress wears you down on every level including brain function. Try “Taking in the Good” a practice developed by Rick Hanson to build the positive and use “Smile into Distress” to eliminate the negative.
And finally …
Past Trauma - That can really mess you up monopolizing your thoughts and body sensations. Focus is your best friend here. Refer to the stress recommendations above. I’m taking a neuroplasticity training with Rick Hanson. He teaches us to rewire our nervous system replacing the brain’s negativity bias with positivity. One of his adages is “Let be. Let go. Let in.” In other words, Accept what is. Let go of what no longer serves your health and well being. And notice what’s good and let that in!
Exercise - generally people don’t exercise enough. But there are situations when people over exercise. That causes muscle breakdown, lactic acid buildup and free radical damage to your cells. Find the right balance for you.
Smoking - don’t do it. It only causes harm.
Here’s to your best brain health! Dr. Linda PS if you’d like help figuring this out click here to check in with me
Fun Fact: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. .