Saturday, November 7, 2009

Building a better brain

Building a better brain

Would you like to optimise your memory and cognitive function? Would you like to support your brain function? Maintaining a healthy mind and active brain throughout our entire life is something we all want. Fortunately, it is something that we can all achieve.

Many people's greatest fear is not death, but losing their mind.

Many of us fear losing our memory and our mental function. Tragically, a large number of us will experience this personally or through a close relative or partner. The incidence of dementia in the elderly is increasing rapidly due to a combination of increased stress, increased oxidative exposure and nutrient insufficiencies.

Brain health throughout life.

The health of the brain determines much of our experience of life, influencing our moods, our intelligence and our overall quality of life. Maintaining brain health throughout life should therefore be a top priority for all of us. You need to consider the constant changing requirements of your brain in order to achieve a life time of healthy mental function. In order to address all the challenges and changes your brain experiences throughout life, it is important to incorporate good dietary choices, key natural medicines and both physical and mental exercise. This will help to promote a healthy brain and mind.

Six keys to a healthy brain:

1. Strain the brain to train the brain.

The more you think, the smarter you become. Your brain is just like your body, the more you exercise it the more powerful it becomes. You can train your brain by choosing appealing and challenging leisure activities (e.g. crosswords, puzzles, learning a new language, etc) and by challenging yourself at work.

2. Eat your way to a better brain.

Take a healthy approach to your diet and lifestyle by eating the following each day (organic food preferably):

• Protein rich foods.

• A minimum of 3 cups of fresh vegetables.

• Two pieces of fresh fruit.

• A handful of nuts and seeds.

• Two tablespoons of good oils.

• Drinking at least 8 glasses of water.

• Enjoy regular exercise and fun.

By following a healthy diet and lifestyle program you can provide key nutrients for healthy brain function.

3. Exercise builds better brain health.

Sustained participation in physical exercise well into old age has been shown to:

• Enhance learning and memory.

• Reduce age and disease related mental decline.

• Protect against age-related degeneration of crucial areas of the brain associated with higher cognitive function. Not only does exercise help to reduce the risk factors for cognitive decline, such as cardiovascular risk, inflammation and energy metabolism, it also helps to enhance learning and memory.

4. When life becomes stressful, what do you do?

Do you relax, meditate and strive towards a healthy balance between work and leisure? Or do you keep pushing yourself and not give your body and brain a break? Many people put work and stress before their own health and wellbeing. Ensuring that you take time out to relax is extremely important for brain health, because excessive stress can impair memory and brain function.

5. Are you counting sheep in order to sleep?

The most common reason people have difficulty getting to sleep is that they are unable to shut off the anxieties and worries of the day and are preparing for tomorrow's problems. Sleep is important for repair of both body and mind. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to us today about what natural options we can offer you for better sleep.

6. Nutrients to nourish the brain.

A good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement is the best way to provide vital nutrients for brain function. Vitamins and minerals improve energy, support metabolism and nervous system function and promote better brain function.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids from fish oil are also extremely important for your brain. Studies have shown that DHA, one of the major components of fish oil, improves cognitive function.

This component has also been shown to be very effective for protection against age-related mental decline. Finally, brain tissue is extremely vulnerable to damage by free radicals. Replenishing the brain with antioxidants is therefore a great idea to help reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress and aid in the prevention of age-associated memory impairment. Great antioxidants to help support healthy brain function include resveratrol, vitamin C and vitamin E.

The health of our brain is so important to the quality of life that keeping our brain healthy is something we all need to focus on. With the six simple steps outlined here, you too can have optimal brain health for life! Come in today and let us help you to support your brain health so that you can maintain positive moods, healthy cognition and quality of life well into old age.

Marisa Camilleri - Naturopath
Melbourne Suite 15 / 12 Collins St 9663 5940
Williamstown 95 Douglas Parade 9397 7885

* Specialist in Fat Loss, Wellness & Preventative care * Naturopathy * Herbal Medicine * Homeopathy * Nutritional & dietary advice * Ear candling * Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA)

ORGANIC EMPIRE, organic home delivery melbourne

1 comment:

  1. This post touches on a holistic approach to keep your brain healthy including physical exercise, emotional/social engagement, healthy diet and mental exercise.

    I’d like to go one level deeper on the recommendation of “straining the brain” – the importance of learning new stuff is that challenging your brain actually re-wires your neurons. Medical research clearly shows memory and mental fitness, like physical fitness, gets better with exercise. And everyone is capable of improving. So whether you want to improve your ability to focus on football, learn French or remember new friends’ names, you can do it. The next step is to take action.

    People tell me they want to do something for their brain that “works”. Posit Science, where I am CEO and Dr. Mike Merzenich is Chief Science Officer, makes scientifically-validated and engaging software that can help you think faster, focus better and remember more. Over 30 clinical studies from institutions like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins show that our technology can have a range of benefits from improved memory to lowered health care costs to improved driving safety. For more information and to try free exercises, please visit