You are born with only one amazing brain and even though medical technology is advancing exponentially, we still have not been able to do a successful brain transplant. It is therefore imperative to take very good care of your brain from an early age, so that it will take care of you, as we grow older.
The brain has many enemies. Let’s call these substances Kryptonite for those of you who enjoyed the Superman chronicles. Examples of Brain Kryptonite include alcohol, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat or Atrial Fibrillation, poor nutrition, lack of oxygen like Emphysema, neurotoxins like aspartame, too much sugar and MSG.
Our brain also demand constant stimulation as the dictum “Use it or Lose it”, is true in all aspects of our brain’s inner systems.
Luckily for us, our brain has the amazing capacity to recover and repair its own function when it gets injured. The process is called Neuroplasticity. Dr. Michael Merzenich , a neuroscientist and bestselling author of Soft Wired: How the new science of brain plasticity can change your life (2013), can be considered the Father of Neuroplasticty.
Dr. Norman Doidge, a Canadian Psychiatrist has been the most active proponent of neuroplastic healing though his two New York Times Bestselling books: The Brain that changes itself (2007) and The Brain’s way of healing (2015).
Our brain is also capable of creating its own Miracle Gro ® to grow and repair. It is called Brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF for short.
Here are 10 scientifically researched ways to boost your brain’s production of BDNF and to drive neuroplasticity forward:
Researchers at the UBC Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health have studied the effects of exercise on the brain. They found that it was never too late to start with activities to help our brain. They recommend activities or aerobic exercise for at least 20-30 minutes daily, as well as strength and balance training three times a week to regain balance and prevent falls.
Here is a quick home test to check how effectively your brain is processing: See if you can stand on one leg first with your eyes open, then with your eyes closed. You should be able to hold your balance for 20-30 seconds if you don’t have any significant hip, knee or ankle problems.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the metabolism of every cell in our bodies. It is especially important for memory, mood, sleep, energy, vibration and balance. Vitamin B12 is the largest and most complicated vitamin in our bodies. We are completely dependent on food sources for our daily intake of B12, unfortunately many of us have trouble absorbing it after age 50, due to lack of stomach acid whether from too much stress, alcohol, food sensitivities and antacids specifically H2 blockers (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid) or Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) like Losec, Nexium ,Pantoloc, Tecta. Our drugs are chemical thieves of B12, especially Metformin, one of the oral anti-diabetic drugs. Patients who eat mainly vegetarian or vegan, also requires extra Vitamin B12 supplementation.
B12 insufficiency may cause symptoms like poor balance, numbness, tingling and burning of the feet or hands. Unfortunately the chronic lack of B12 may lead to permanent nerve damage.
We recommend Methylcobalamin B12 1000ug daily sublingual (under the tongue) to increase the tissue and central nervous system levels. Some patients will need to check with their healthcare practitioner whether they will need to take extra digestive enzymes or intrinsic factor to help increase absorption. Some patients may even require regular B12 injections if they have severe damage or cannot absorb the tablets.
Please ask your healthcare provider to check your vibration and fasting Homocysteine level, as it can be correlated to lower Vitamin B12 levels in your body.
- Omega-3 Poly-unsaturated fats (PUFA)
Scientific research has shown that you can raise BDNF level in the brain by regularly consuming Omega-3 Poly-unsaturated fats like wild salmon, mackerel, herring, avocado, chia seed, flax seed, walnuts, olive oil or Omega-3 supplements.
We also recommend adding ½ – 1 tablespoon of Organic Coconut Oil twice daily to your meals to help your brain work more efficiently. It has been shown to be neuroprotective against dementia, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disease.
- Lion’s Mane
Scientific studies have shown that the mushroom called Lion’s Mane increase BDNF when used daily. Some larger universities have shown that it can help improve cognitive function in patients with dementia. The recommended dosage is 1000mg three times daily
Flavonoids like Green Tea, L-Theanine, dark chocolate, Gingko Biloba and Resveratrol found in Pinor Noir have been shown to raise BDNF levels.
We recommend 1 small square of dark chocolate at bedtime to raise BDNF levels.
Taking 3mg of Melatonin at bedtime boost the brain’s production of BDNF. Remember to switch off unnatural light after 9pm. This include TV, IPad and other Tablets, Kindle and Kobo readers as it shuts of your brain’s natural production of Melatonin.
Music has been shown to stimulate BDNF production in the brain. Listen to the classics, especially Mozart and Beethoven.
Learn to play a musical instrument like piano, guitar, flute, drums. Remember your voice is a musical instrument as well.
- Green odour
Green odour from plants, specifically volatile oils produced by plants, grasses and trees increase our production of BDNF.
Taking a walk in our beautiful rainforests in British Columbia.
Turmeric (yellow spice) contains curcumin, which has been shown to increase BDNF and a remarkable molecule called Nrf2. We recommend taking 1000mg of curcumin a day for optimal protection.
- Yoga and Mindfulness based Meditation
Yoga and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction techniques have been shown to increase our production of BDNF.
Read more about the MIND Diet. A scientific breakthrough to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by over 50%.
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