Book Full of Brain Health Information

This article is in reference to the book The UltraMind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. The book is excellent and is among one of the better books that I have read. It does not just tell you what to eat (as in many books), but it explains why and the science behind it (which is actually very interesting, if you are into those kind of things).

You can watch Dr. Hyman video of his November 2010 talk that he gave at Google's headquarters and his YouTube videos. He specializes in integrative medicine and looks at the body as a whole system. One disease may have many different causes. And one cause can results in many different diseases in different people. Instead of just treating the symptoms, he believes that we have to understand the cause of the symptoms in the first place and treat the cause.

He take the same approach in his book, The UltraMind Solution where he talks about the "broken brain", where "broken brain" means the spectrum of disease typically called depression, brain fog, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, etc. He too once had a broken brain. But he pieced the puzzle together and fixed it. The main message is that in order to fix a broken brain, you have to fix the body first.

Keys to Staying in Balance

The body is an integrated system. One thing affects the other. We've already heard of the mind-body connection where the mind affects the body. The reverse is also true, the body affects the brain. In particular, what you put into your body (as in food) will affect your brain. What's more is that what you put in your body can affect the expression of your genes. This is the science of nutrigenomic. Your genes may remain fixed, but how your genes is expressed may be altered.

Some may say, "but wait, I thought there is the blood-brain barrier". There is, but things still get through.

The body must continually stay in balance. Disease occurs when one or more elements goes off balance. He discusses the seven keys to staying in balance in the book.

  • optimize nutrition
  • balance your hormones
  • cool off inflammation
  • fix your digestion
  • enhance detoxification
  • boosts energy metabolism
  • common your mind

So Full of Health Information

Usually when I read, I will fold down the corner of the page whenever there is a useful bit of information that I might write about. This usually works fine, because most books only contain a few main points that I can easily track.

But not so with this book The UltraMind Solution. So full of information was this book, that I found I was folding the corners of almost every other page. And in certain pages, there were several useful health tips on the same page. And if there was good information in both the front and back of the page, which direction should I fold?

The information was coming so fast, that I didn't even have time to organize it into an narrative writing style. So I'm just going list them as I come to them...

  • Gluten can cause many symptoms including inflammation of the brain or arthritis depending on the individual person.[page 44] Gluten contains glutamate (an excitotoxin which can kill or damage brain cells). If you have celiac disease, then you definitely cannot consume gluten.H owever even if you do not have full-blown celiac disease, you can still be affected by gluten.
  • 81% of Americans use at least one medication in a typical week. 12% of those over 65, take at least 10 medications. [page 48]
  • The average American consumes almost half a pound of sugar a day. [page 49] Understandably, glucose is the fuel that your brain cells require. But are they able to handle that much sugar every day?
  • Some researchers are calling Alzheimer's "type 3" diabetes. Link between diabetes and Alzheimer's. Sugar and processed foods affect the brain. [page 51]
  • "stress hormone cortisol injures the hippocampus, damages brain cells, and leads to memory loss and dementia. Conversely, we know that reducing cortisol levels would relaxation increases the size of the hippocampus through neurogenesis." [page 53]
  • "physical exercise can promote new brain cell formation." [page 53]
  • toss out everything in your cupboard that contains high fructose corn syrup or trans or hydrogenated fats. "Sugar in these foods (and in your body) reacts with proteins and forms little crusts or plaques called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). These crusty sugar-protein combos come up your brain, leading to dementia, and damage most cells and tissues along the way." [page 56]

  • Sleep is necessary for brain maintenance. If sleep deprived, you can gain weight and have increased stress hormone cortisol. Sleep deprivation increases the hormone grehlin which is responsible for making you feel hungry. It also lowers your appetite-suppressing hormone known as PYY. So you eat more and crave more sugar and carbohydrates. [page 58]
  • Relaxing can increase BDNF. Regular mediation can increase brain size and cortical thickness. [page 59]
  • "The average person consumes a gallon of neurotoxic pesticides and herbicides each year by eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables." [page 67]
  • "mercury is the second-most toxic substance known to human biology after plutonium" [page 66]

These listed are just some from the earlier parts of the book.  There is lots and lots of information that I can not even list them all.   I'll try to write more about them in other articles.

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