A healthy brain can be a happier brain
So coming out of lockdown I can see a lot of folk — especially the older ones — have taken a massive hit health-wise. A lack of movement and stimulus really can accelerate aging. Here are some tips and tricks to get the old grey matter back on track.
- Certainly, a healthy brain will function better and stay younger for longer.
- A healthy heart keeps a healthy brain and helps prevent vascular dementia.
- Blood flow and heart health tie into this story nicely.
- Feeding your brain the right foods and nutrients goes a long way towards brain rebuilding
- Healthy gut = Healthy Brain
Want to feel sharper right now? Use Nootropics, creatine and Co Q 10 plus alpha-lipoic acid. Vitamin D helps the brain and pretty much everything else
The brain is made primarily from fat particularly omega 3 fats + phospholipids.
If poorly nourished or under-stimulated the brain function can wane. Resulting in poorer mental capacity, learning, mood, movement and memory to name a few.
Healthy heart habits normally cross over into healthy brain habits as they keep blood flow high, blood pressure low and lower the furring up and the likelihood of vascular dementia from occurring.
Exercise also improves mood state. Avoiding depression has major implications on helping the brain stay vibrant and young.
What can go wrong?
The brain can become depressed and malnourished through poor intake of the right kinds of fat and excessive intake of the wrong kinds of fat.
Inflammation and oxidative stress can increase brain degeneration, along with poor blood flow, lack of exercise and lack of positive stimulation.
Excessive stress and high cortisol decrease brain weight and decrease higher brain function leaving us able to cope with lower basic brain function.
A lack of sleep means debris is not cleaned from the brain and debris can result in a low mood state, poor memory, higher cortisol and blood sugar, cravings and anxiety. In the longer-term poor sleep combined with increased inflammation can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Deficiencies in any essential nutrients can adversely affect general health and brain function. Lower levels of b-vitamins, zinc, copper, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, choline and iron are all essential.
Energy production can worsen with poor mitochondrial health and poor blood flow. All habits associated with mitochondrial biogenesis are going to be good for brain function as well as increasing general cellular energy production, e.g. co q 10.
Mitochondria are the energy-producing powerhouses in each cell in the body.
Mitochondrial biogenesis is the process of making new powerhouses in the cells. You get this by training, fasting and then eating good food.
The brain doesn’t do well with chronic stress. This will limit learning and decrease higher mental functioning. Positive stress is key with adequate recovery and relaxation.
Balancing sympathetic stimulus with parasympathetic rest and repair is key.
B-vitamins help brain function and stress resistance.
This can be explained via the stress cup analogy. This is an idea about how much stress your cup can handle before overflowing and causing some disruption in other areas. Sometimes this is referred to as allostatic load.
We can all think of these things, little things sometimes — but they can all begin adding up. A little bit of bad sleep, an injury here and there, problems with kids/school, parents getting ill, work issues and stress, lack of time for enjoying fun stuff, no time to train, pet dies etc. Illness — digestive complaints and issues…you get the picture.
On the flip side, you’ve got good food, laughter, exercise, good sleep, fun activities, etc stuff which is good!
Little jokes can sometimes cheer you up and a bit of banter never goes amiss:
Guy: You know, it’s at moments like these where I wish I had been listening to what my mother has always been trying to tell me.
Girl: What did she say?
Guy: I don’t know, I wasn’t listening.
Here’s my take on stress and a general stress chit chat…….enjoy! (and don’t get too stressed it’s not worth it).
In a nutshell…
- Lowering inflammation (including increased intake of omega 3, flavonoids and antioxidants)
- Lower oxidative stress by eating the rainbow and using herbs
- Increasing deep restful sleep
- Avoiding excessive stress and learning relaxation and coping mechanisms
- Doing everything you can to stay fit and keep your heart healthy
- Taking higher levels of omega 3 fats particularly DHA and key phospholipids
- Using brain-specific enhancing herbs and blood flow nutrients = natural nootropics
- Following healthy aging habits
The brain and gut produce neurotransmitters or brain hormones. These include serotonin, dopamine, GABA and acetylcholine. Nutrients and amino acids can be used to enhance neurotransmitter production and function.
A healthy gut needs healthy fibre or prebiotics, inulin, GOS (A human pre-biotic) and things like apples (whole organic red-skinned) all help. The 4R, or sometimes now called 5R, gut restoration programme is a really good one for fixing up gut issues.
Certain aminos and collagen also assist gut integrity. A stronger gut and better bowel flora not only produce more feel-good hormones but can help lower inflammation via IL10 production. IL10 is a cool anti-inflammatory regulator.
NEUROPLASTICITY = BUILD YOUR BRAIN MUSCLE!
The brain can regenerate with the right stimulus just like the muscles can
Learning new skills, languages, juggling, yoga and so on are just a few of the habits which can help keep the brain young.
Singing and or praying in groups also appears to have a protective effect if that’s your thing.
I’m guessing singing and dancing around on your own will also work wonders.
Fasting allows higher AMPK which helps with cleaning up brain debris and neuroplasticity.
AMPK is a survival enzyme. I’ve written more about this in the Amino Man blog. It triggers a greater release of growth hormone (GH). GH is good for being leaner, younger and more ripped.
Nutrients that assist AMPK may upregulate BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) growth factors for rebuilding pathways for cognition in the brain. This includes fast-mimicking compounds.
- Sirt foods
BDFN responds well to curcumin supplementation.
Fasting also assists mitochondrial biogenesis when combined with a regular exercise regime.
BRAIN ENERGY HACK
Creatine combined with Co Q 10, carnitine and alpha lipoic acid.
See where you are cognition-wise and pop a little brain training programme together.
- Mood state & POMS
- Braverman questionnaire
- N-Back training
- Brain training apps
- Stool Testing
HOW AMINO MAN CAN HELP YOU TODAY:
BEST FOR OVERALL SUPPORT
BEST FOR BRAIN FUNCTION:
Vitamin D is vital for brain function. Make sure you are taking enough and not too much. Buy here
BEST PRODUCTS FOR FASTING AMPK AND BDFN:
BEST BRAIN SUPPORT COMBINATION:
BEST RELAXATION AND STRESS SUPPORT
BEST FOR CREATINE
BEST FOR GUT FUNCTION