Protect Your Brain
Our brain is one of the most vital organs in the body. As early as birth, our brain develops in such a way to promote literacy in early childhood. The brain works in accordance with our physical, emotional, and mental development. We need to protect this body part which is responsible for our memory work, creative process, and emotional well-being.
Deepak Chopra, the author of Super Brain and Dr. Gary Small, the author of Alzheimer's Prevention Program discussed ways on Larry King Now on how to keep the brain from aging and prevent the onslaught of mental diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. Chopra mentioned that the way we think and feel influences how our neurons work. Some people blame genetics for how our brain takes in all the information. But according to Chopra, 2/3 of what happens to our brain is non-genetic. It all boils down to what we eat and how we live our lives. Chopra said that we can train our brain to function the way it should. We need to exercise our brain. The more active you are, the more you exercise your brain. We need to eat the proper diet and be involved in physical activities. These will delay the onset symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia.
Exercise is not the only ingredient to sharpen our brain. We also need to have a good night sleep. We need sleep to rejuvenate our brain. Sleep controls the inflammation of the body. As we age, our body succumbs to low grade inflammation. It is highly recommended that we eat foods that are rich in Omega -3 fatty acids such as fish, specifically salmon. We mentioned awhile ago that we can train our brain to function well. We should also engage in mind games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles to prevent memory loss. Our brain shows signs of aging when we become forgetful. Stroke paralyzes our memory. NFL players are feeling the effects of head injuries that they have incurred while playing football. This prompted the players to sue the league because most of them have suffered dementia, depression, and head trauma.
Most people think that Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia are one and the same. According to Dr. Small, Alzheimer's is the build-up of tiny abnormal protein deposits in the brain. These deposits control areas that affect our memory. Whereas dementia is all about having an impaired memory and mental abilities. You cannot take care of yourself once you suffer from dementia.
Another way to combat memory loss is to avoid stress. This may be a hard sell because we can't totally avoid stress. If we worry about things that stress us, then it might make matters worse. Chopra said that America is an overmedicated society. We rely too much on pain killers and prescription medicines to protect our bodies. We have noticed in nursing homes that most patients are dehydrated due to the medicines they take. Chopra cautioned the viewers not to overmedicate. Some people take drugs such as cocaine. This drug can give you a brand new high. But there is an alternative to cocaine and that is running. When you jog in the morning, the endorphins are released making you feel the natural high.
Alcohol can alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. If a person drinks 1 to 2 glasses of red wine a day, they are easy going and less stressed. This is due to the fact that red wine has antioxidants that boost our brain cells.
Dr. Small cautioned the viewers to go easy on supplements because they are not tested on a placebo. There are natural remedies that can be taken to protect our brain such as turmeric and curry powder. An herbal substance called ashwaganda can prevent memory loss because it counterbalances stress hormones.
Sensory stimulation is essential keep our minds focused. Music for example can help people stay engaged. These kinds of stimulation can add up to the factors that keep our brain active such as diet and exercise.
Another interesting fact about the brain is that dreaming keeps the brain active. We have what we call REM or rapid eye movement which is a normal part of sleep. When we take prescription medicines such as Valium, these can suppress REM.
Most people would enjoy this next tip, a healthy sex life. This is one form of meditation according to Chopra. It gives you a great feeling after making love to your partner. Meditation is one of the best ways to keep our brains relaxed and centered.
We have mentioned that physical activity keeps the memory loss at bay. Dr. Small mentioned that one way to fight dementia is through brisk walking. Brisk walk for 15 minutes a day to keep you balanced.
Our brain needs more attention than any part of the body. We need to take care of our brain as soon as we're born. If we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to all the symptoms of mental diseases as early as now, we would suffer tremendously in the long run. We should keep ourselves alert and agile to keep our brains fresh and young. We cannot afford to keep ourselves idle because our brain needs to be fed all the time. With the combination of proper diet or exercise, we can nourish our brains in more ways than one.