Our brains AND our guts produce chemicals called Neurotransmitters. These Neurotransmitters help cells communicate with one another. Serotonin, which is considered the master NT for example is responsible for the actions in in mood, pain modulation, body temperature regulation, sexuality, metabolism, and the sleep/wake cycle. AND, with a 90% of this chemical produced in the gut, when our GI system is not working optimally, Serotonin is NOT a help and we begin to struggle with some of the things listed above.
What do you think about when you hear the word brain? Learning, focus, smarts, creative, language centers, vision, depression, anxiety, emotion? Sadly, we are experiencing a large rise in the number of brain related illnesses these days. Doesn’t it see like you or someone you know has been touched by Alzheimer’s or dementia? Or even more so with depression and/or anxiety?
Why Brain Health?
You might have read some of my information on gut health, but I almost always include brain health along with gut health. They go hand in hand, working together. If you follow the trail, systems are connected and helping one another. If we don’t work on them together and get to the root cause, we will be stuck on the gerbil wheel of healing…NOT gonna happen!
Here are a few recommendations for you to try, but I would like to offer you a chance to run a Neurotransmitter test to see what is going on behind the curtain in your brain that you cannot see:
Avoid chronic sleep deprivation; get at least 7 hours of solid sleep to improve brain performance.
Exercise early in the morning; aerobic exercises such as running, swimming and bicycling get extra oxygen to the brain and help build new brain cells; avoid exercising late in the evening, especially if difficulty with sleep exists.
Do not internalize stress; talk about and process thoughts with a confidant or counselor.
Practice stress-relieving techniques such as prayer, meditation, relaxation and listening to music.
Engage in brain-stimulating exercises such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and language learning, as well as physical exercises like ping pong, tennis and dancing that strengthen connections between new brain cells.
Stay socially engaged.
Dietary Tips and Caveats
Make good nutritional choices that will help build healthy bacteria and avoid inflammation.
Eat a gluten-free anti-inflammatory diet; drastically cut back on wheat, carbs and refined sugar, especially those in sodas and processed foods.
Add healthy omega-3 fats such as raw walnuts, flaxseeds and flax seed oil, wild-caught oily fish, chia seeds and dark, leafy greens; avoid trans fats.
Add healthy spices and herbs such as saffron, rosemary, turmeric, oregano, cloves and ginger to meals.
Eat a diet of unprocessed whole foods, abundant in organic, high antioxidant vegetables and fruits, especially berries that may improve short-term memory. Eat organic foods whenever possible.