Your Brain, how do you keep it healthy?
August 2017, Warren Matthews
If you are over the age of 40, you may from time to time think about the possibility that your memory or general cognitive abilities will decline as you age.
If you are over the age of 40, you may from time to time think about the possibility that your memory or general cognitive abilities will decline as you age. Maybe you have a family member who has suffered from dementia or Alzheimer's and you have experienced the pain that it can cause to loved ones. Additionally, the anguish which the sufferer has to endure particularly in the early stages when they are aware that they ‘are losing their mind’.
We owe it to ourselves and to those who care about us to do everything in our power to ensure that we do not become ‘victims’ of what is largely a preventable disease. Yes, preventable! Dementia in whatever form it takes is not a foregone conclusion as we age. There are many people who live to ripe old ages and never suffer any form of cognitive impairment…in fact, many people become ‘sharper’ as they age.
Much of the problem is that most people are totally unaware of what must be done to keep their brain functioning effectively throughout their lives.
There is a multitude of things that you must do and also many things that you must not do!
The Brain is not Isolated
The most important thing to be aware of is that although we think of the brain as a separate ‘unit’ of our body it is totally connected to all our organs and systems. It is the conductor of the ‘orchestra’ and is crucial to the proper functioning of our bodies…but, it cannot conduct the orchestra if the players within it are either ‘not present’ or are on ‘sick leave’. When that is the case additional pressure is put on the brain ‘conductor’ as it doesn’t have the resources to work with which in turn has a negative impact on the health of the brain.
To perhaps better illustrate the interaction between the organs and systems consider the role the digestive system plays in the health of the brain. Your brain is directly impacted by what you put in your mouth. The bulk of serotonin is produced in the gut and is transmitted to the brain and it makes you feel good. But, if your digestive system is compromised those messages do not make it to the brain and you will feel poorly.
The same principle applies to all the organs and systems in your body. Your brain relies on those organs and systems to ‘feed’ the brain and keep it healthy, so if they are impaired that will negatively impact on the health of your brain and the ability to retain good cognitive ability as you age.
Exercise your brain
I don’t have to tell you how important regular exercise is to keep your body functioning well and your muscles toned. If you don’t exercise your muscles will atrophy and waste away. Your brain is the same. If it is not exercised it will steadily deteriorate and your likelihood of suffering from some form of dementia or memory loss goes up exponentially.
Obviously, you cannot exercise your brain like you do your body. Brain exercise is mental and different people do it in different ways. You need to have puzzles or problems to resolve by thinking. Some people may learn a new language, others do cross word puzzles. Bottom line…if you have a job where you don’t have to seriously think, preferably ‘outside the square’ and you go home at night and watch TV then you are setting yourself up for future dementia.
But, my Mom had Alzheimer’s so I expect to get it.
If you expect to get it you will get it because you are indirectly instructing your body to make sure it happens. Genetics only play a very small role in the health of your body. Most experts believe 10 – 20% and they can be overcome by taking the appropriate action.
Are Brain Supplements the answer?
The first thing to remember is that very few nutrients can cross the blood/brain barrier. That is one of the amazing things about the brain and how it protects itself. It is largely dependent on your organs to send nutrients to it in the form that crosses the blood/brain barrier that can be used to keep it fully nourished. Only a few of the ingredients in a brain supplement actually get to the brain because of this. Most of the ingredients in brain supplements are there to support general health which in turn helps the brain.
Nonetheless, some brain supplements can indeed be beneficial. For general brain and nervous system health, we developed an excellent one some years ago as part of our Neuro Natural range. The one I would recommend is our Neuro Natural General which contains a number of specialty ingredients to specifically support the brain and nervous system.
However, I would not rely on any ‘brain supplement’ on its own to protect myself from degradation of my brain. I would do all the following first and only use the addition brain supplementation as an adjunct to my general health program. In other words, there is no point is trying to target the brain if your general foundation is weak.
So, what protocol should I be following to support my brain health?
Here are some of the key components in very simplistic terms.
- Ensure you are eating a healthy diet. I am sure that I don’t need to tell you that, but I would like to make the point that although sugar is brain-food as it is one of the few substances that can cross the blood/brain barrier it is dangerous when taken in excess, particularly to your brain as well as the rest of your body. Your sugar should come from the natural sugars in fresh whole fruit, not as additives.
- Ensure that you get adequate physical exercise.
- Ensure that you exercise your brain as I mention above.
- Focus on your general health and understand that the health of all your organs and systems must be addressed as part of your brain health program. That means providing them with the nutrients that you cannot get from even a quality diet.
The last point leads me on to what I do to protect my brain…and I know it works and does for 10’s of thousands of our customers.
I use the following products as the basis of my general health protocol which in turn supports my brain function. As you probably know I am 70 years of age now and my brain has never functioned better.
- Total Balance (Any version is OK, but the Premium will give the best results). This is great for general health
- Kiwi-Klenz. This is an amazing product for keeping the digestive system in good order which is so critical for good brain health.
- Omega 3 Fish Oil. I don’t need to tell you about the benefits of a quality fish oil when it comes to cognitive health and general health.
Now, if your budget will allow it and you want to get a specific additional boost to your brain and nervous system, you could add one of our Neuro-Natural Range to the above protocol. This selection of scientifically designed brain nutrients, support a healthy brain function as well as specifically target memory or stress and mood.
I hope that you found this article of help. There is much more I could say about brain health such as the importance of avoiding AGE’s in your brain as a result of glycation. AGE’s are a major factor in Alzheimer's. You need carnosine to help reduce glycation. This ingredient is included in Total Balance as are many other ‘brain friendly’ ingredients.
In good health and to a sharp brain!
FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN,
XTEND-LIFE NATURAL PRODUCTS