5 Ways to Grow Your Brain
Turning back the clock on your brain used to be seen as impossible.
Can you actually grow your brain?
When it comes to brain function, most of us think we have no power to change our mental capacity. Sure, we know we can learn more, but we rarely consider the cognitive potential we have.
And, even worse, we might expect our brain function to decline as we age. Fortunately, there are a few things we can do to maximize our brain’s potential, to clear the cobwebs, and sometimes even to reverse degeneration.
Watch the video and/or keep on reading!
Here are a few tips and supplements you can use to boost your brain power:
That’s a long acronym! It stands for Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, a protein your body makes that creates new neurons.
Think of it like super juice that focuses on rewiring the way your mind works. This naturally occurring molecule can make you smarter, happier, better with long-term memory, and a whole bunch of other good stuff—if we know how to use it to our advantage.
Yes, BDNF is naturally occuring already, but we can either increase or decrease its effectiveness, depending on our health choices.
Fasting is one of the ways we can increase the effectiveness of BDNF in our systems. It helps prevent dysfunctions like Alzheimers, Parkinsons and even diseases like diabetes.
Intermittent fasting (even as little as 12 hours) can increase BDNF production, leading to incredible health benefits.
(In February, I am teaching a six week course on fasting to improve your health, energy and to breakthrough those weight loss barriers. It’s going to be a transformational experience, and I am going to be with you every step of the way. You can get more information and a free pdf on the Benefits of Fasting here. )
2. Supplements— including Omega 3, coconut oil and turmeric
Back in the 90’s, the major health fad was to eat a non-fat diet. Now, the trend is heading in a better direction— the right amount of healthy fats are in, sugar is out. Fat is required for a healthy body and brain- which is actually made up of 60% fat! (1)
The right oils really are brain food!
Our bodies do not produce omega 3s, so we have to add them purposefully to our diet to reap the benefits—lowering inflammation, helping with heart health, lowering risk for disease and oxidative stress.
Most people think of fish oil when they think of omega 3s. There is a still a lot of debate amongst even the experts on this, but fish oil has been linked to a much higher incidence of prostate cancer. Some studies say it has no impact on preventing reducing heart disease. So, even if I weren’t 100% plant-based eater, I would still choose an omega 3 source that comes from plants.
Coconut oil was another item that was on the “bad list” for a long time.
Only recently, it’s resurfaced as one of the superfoods that it truly is, and we know now that it is helpful for your brain. Coconut oils are made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which is a powerful brain food, and when I say brain food, I mean actual food—your brain uses nearly 20% of the caloric energy you eat! (2)
I like this coconut oil.
Another brain food that helps decrease inflammation (an underlying factor in all disease) is turmeric or curcumin. This is a supplement having its well deserved time in the spotlight. It helps prevent neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.
According to the National Institutes of Health:
“Curcumin (Turmeric), an ancient Indian herb used in curry powder, has been extensively studied in modern medicine and Indian systems of medicine for the treatment of various medical conditions…[turmeric] has been used in various types of treatments for dementia and traumatic brain injury. Curcumin also has a potential role in the prevention and treatment of AD (Alzheimer’s Disease).” (3)
I recommend and use this this tumeric supplement regularly.
Dance your heart out! In a study done by the New England Journal of Medicine, dancing correlated with the lowest risk of dementia out of all types of physical activity studied.
While other forms of exercise have been shown to improve memory and reasoning, dancing is the physical activity shown to actually reduce risk of dementia.
4. Green Tea
One study showed that green tea effects brain function “by impacting the generation of neuron cells,” and that “the results revealed that EGCG enhances learning and memory by improving object recognition and spatial memory.” (4)
Drinking green tea daily can even decrease the effects of aging. It’s a powerful antioxidant, not to mention the extra boost of energy it gives you!
5. Learn a new language
Now that your brain is benefitting from fasting and the foods you’re feeding it, you can stretch those new muscles by learning something new. When we are younger, our brain development is skyrocketing, and that, in turn, causes neurons to create new pathways.
Studies show that our brain is plastic, meaning it shifts and changes over time. That means that our brain really is a “use it or lose it” kind of muscle!
When we do something like learn a new language, it forces us to use our tongue in new ways, to auto-identify new words with common objects and to even have different social interactions with people in other cultures.
If you want to exercise your linguistic muscle, there are different phone and tablet applications that are designed specifically to challenge the brain and keep the brain working by developing new neural pathways.
We can heal our brain, change our brain, evolve our brain.
Even small changes, every day, can make a huge difference toward our longevity.
Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases are not inevitable, and often we think of these things too little too late. We have the keys, let’s use them.
Posted in Food & Lifestyle Tagged with algae, BDNF, brain cells, brain.Alzheimer's, coconut oil, dance, dementia, fasting, gray matter, green tea, grey matter, healthy fats, how to fast, inflammation, languaage, learn a new language, matcha tea, nerve cells, neurons, neuroplasticty, omega 3, Parkinson's, plant based, regeneration, vegan