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Twelve Tips for a Healthy Brain
Declining memory and dementia are not a normal part of aging. There are many things you can do now to prevent or reverse inflammation of the brain!
- Add coconut oil to your diet. There is growing evidence that regular consumption of coconut oil may offer profound benefits in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. One of the primary fuels your brain uses is glucose. When your brain becomes insulin resistant, atrophy due to starvation can occur. But if you choose to limit sugar and eat healthy fats instead, ketones can feed your brain even BETTER than sugar and prevent wasting of brain tissue. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat to energy. One of the best sources of ketone bodies are the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil.
- Limit sugar in your diet, especially fructose. Low-fat is the WRONG way to go because limiting fat in foods has caused the food industry to add sugar instead to preserve flavor. We are now finding that eating a diet high in sugar & fructose could be the most damaging thing you do to your heart & brain.
- Optimize your Vitamin D. Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer's through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer's. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.
- Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3. This is indirectly related to fructose, as it will clearly lead to insulin resistance. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity more than drugs! SO make sure you commit to a regular routine of exercise at least 30min 5X weekly.
- Take your high quality fish oil supplement. High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA helps by decreasing inflammation and preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing down its progression and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. I recommend Thorne Super EPA or Nordic Naturals ProOmega.
- Vitamin B12 - Useful to prevent brain shrinkage and may even treat Alzheimer's and memory loss. As we age, we are less and less able to absorb adequate vitamin B12 from the diet. I suggest adding a sublingual or liquid B12 at least 1000mcg daily to your regimen.
- Get your folate, too! B12 an folate work together to keep your brain and nervous system healthy. My favorite way to do this is add raw kale or spinach to a morning smoothie!
- Avoid mercury and aluminum. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50% mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Avoid aluminum, such as in antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, or in vaccines as preservative.
- Gingko biloba: Several studies have found that ginkgo biloba has positive effects for dementia, including improving cognitive performance and social functioning for those suffering from dementia.
- Eat your blues! Wild blueberries contain anthocyanin and other antioxidants known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
- Challenge your mind daily. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- Avoid anticholinergic or statin drugs Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers. Use of statins have been shown to correlate with increase risk of developing dementia.