Feed Your Brain

What have you done for your brain lately? As we grow older our health becomes more of a concern—we start watching what we eat, we go on bike rides, run, or take that dreaded trip to the gym, we have scheduled check-ups with our doctor to make sure that we are healthy, we take supplements and vitamins to improve our vitality, and any bump in our road to a satisfying physical condition can be quite alarming. However, sometimes what matters the most is not what we do, but what we forget to do. For most of us, as children, eating healthy, exercising, and building up our brains was simply part of our daily routine. We never stopped to notice the healthy snacks and meals our parents provided, we never understood that outdoor activities and organized sports actually benefited our growing bodies, and that learning new things, whether it be at school or outside the classroom, kept our brains running at optimum speed. Unfortunately getting older does not just affect how our bodies operate, it starts to interfere with how well our brains function. A simple adjustment to how we live our lives can actually benefit how well our brains fend off deteriorative diseases as we age. Hall Longevity Clinic believes in balance and we know that there is a direct correlation between our diets, how we choose to exercise, and how well our brain continues to develop.


Brain Foods

Hungry for knowledge? By adding certain foods and spices to our diet we can protect ourselves from memory loss, stay more acute, and potentially ward off more serious diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s in the future. Believe it or not coffee, and when I say coffee I don’t just mean an occasional cup, studies have shown that those who drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day can drastically reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later on in life. This is most likely due to a combination of caffeine and antioxidants found in the popular drink. Another caffeinated food that can help keep you acute long into old age is chocolate; eating just a small portion of chocolate a day has shown significant statistical promise with age-related memory loss.  If you cannot stand caffeine in any form then spice up your life with a little cinnamon. Cinnamon has two distinct compounds, proanthocyanidins and cinnamaldehyde, that can possibly help to deactivate tau proteins, which tangle around the brain causing the cells to die. Think of the brain like a very elaborate tree, as trees age rings around the surface of the bark begin to appear. In the brain “neurofibriallary tangles” are decayed roots of the branch-like dentricles that extend from the neurons and increase over time. After a while “senile plaques,” or abnormally hard clusters of damaged or dying neurons form, but luckily we have things to combat these formations. Spices like turmeric and chili peppers can also help to boost your endorphin and serotonin levels making you not only healthier but also happier.


Make a Meal for Your Brain

Prepare yourself a brain-boosting meal for tonight—cook some salmon in a little extra virgin olive oil and place it over a bed of spinach, remember to stay away from saturated fats, not only do they raise your cholesterol but they can inflame the neurons of your brain increasing the risk of age-related memory loss. Then for dessert have some blackberries.  Blackberries help improve the communication between neurons, which in turn will seriously benefit our cognition and mental awareness over time. All of these foods will help to improve brain health and fight off degenerative mental diseases.


Something to Remember

As we age it is truly important to constantly be feeding our brains, whether it be through the use of healthy spices and foods, exercising to increase oxygenated blood flow to the brain, or constantly keeping our minds sharp by engaging in thought provoking and challenging activities. Your brain is like any other muscle in the body, it must be strengthened and taken care of. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Taking steps now to improve your mental function will ultimately toughen your brain from the inevitable weathering of old age. Be smart…don’t wait any longer to change your mind.