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Brain Health

Why did I go into that room again?

Older couple smilingHave you ever walked into a room and then quickly forgot why? Do you feel like forgetting things is part of the aging process? What can you do to help with memory? How do we take care of our brain?

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that protects the brain. This protein helps create new brain cells. Decrease in BDNF negatively affects our learning and memory. We can help increase the BDNF protein and improve our brain health.

Exercise increases BDNF. The current recommendation is 150 min of moderate intensity activity (brisk walking, hiking, dancing, biking, etc) a week in addition to 2 days of muscle strengthening.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid can be found in fish, especially cold water fish such as salmon and sardines, increases BDNF. Other food sources for DHA include nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA also benefit the heart, skin and joints.

Intermittent fasting is decreasing the eating time window such that all eating is done within 8-12 hours a day, so that you are fasting 12-16 hours a day. Intermittent fasting decreases inflammation and improves cellular repair process in the brain. Other benefits of intermittent fasting include decreasing diabetes risk, increasing energy and decreasing brain fog.

Curcumin has been shown to increase BDNF. Other benefits of curcumin include decreasing inflammation and providing antioxidant effects. In addition, arthritis symptoms and pain can improve with the use of curcumin. Meditation gives our brain time to rest. Meditation can decrease stress, anxiety, and depression, decrease pain and blood pressure, and improve quality of sleep.

Magnesium helps improve cognitive function, memory, and anxiety. Magnesium can also help lower blood pressure. Our body depletes magnesium when we are under stress. Managing stress and maintaining our magnesium levels help our brain function better.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom has compounds that have been found to stimulate growth of brain cells. Lion’s Mane has been shown to improve cognitive test scores in patients with Alzheimer.

There are many interventions that we can do to help improve our cognitive health.

Contact the providers at Total Integrative Health to optimize your brain health!

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