Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maximize Your Brain

Your Brain Depends on several key nutrients in order to function at a high level:
1.      High Level Nutrition
2.      Effective Hydration:  *Brain is 80% water*
3.      High Oxygen Consumption & Tissue Extraction
4.      Novel Movement Stimulation:  Holistic movements incorporating balance & stability active different regions and stimulate new adaptations within the brain. 
5.      Joint & Spinal Proprioception:  Healthy joint & spinal motion is an "essential brain-enhancing nutrient ."  
6.      Sunlight   (15-30 minutes daily):  Vitamin D3 has a powerful cognitive and mood boosting affect.
7.      Rest:  7-8 hours daily
8.      Detoxification
9.      Gratitude, Love, & Laughter
10.   Purpose Driven Thinking
Your brain absolutely needs all 10 of these vital components.  If any of these is compromised, brain function will suffer. 
Nutritionally:  The brain tissue is primarily comprised of water and fatty acids, therefore, the 2 most important aspects of a healthy brain diet are:  Clean Water & Clean Fats.  Beyond that, the brain tissue is extremely vulnerable to free-radical and inflammatory attack.  In order to protect the brain from oxidative stress, a diet rich in high-quality anti-oxidants is crucial.  
Antioxidant Rich Foods:  Dark green veggies such as collard greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, and many others.  These nutrient dense foods donate an unpaired electron to cancel out the dangerous free radicals and free roaming metabolites.  A diet rich in anti-oxidants has been shown to improve brain function substantially. Here are some of the best:
Berries:  Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries are rich in vitamin C & other major phytochemicals that act as powerful anti-oxidants while also being low-glycemic and anti-inflammatory in nature. 
Vitamin E:  Eggs, Extra virgin olive oil, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Sunflower, Pumpkin Seeds & Hemp Seeds.  
Glutathione Rich Foods:  Undenatured Whey Protein, Asparagus, &  Avocados. are good sources that have been shown to elevate glutathione levels. 
Best Brain Based Fats:  The matter of the brain is 70% fat, therefore, outside of water this makes fat the most critical nutrient in the brain.  Here are the necessary fats that help to make a healthy brain. 
Saturated Fats:  EV Coconut Oil, Grass-fed meats. 
Alkaline Fats:  EV Olive Oil, Avocados, Almonds
Omega 3 Fats:  High quality Fish Oil (Nordic naturals Omega 3), Krill Oil, Grass-Fed Meats, Wild Fish, Flax Oil, & Walnuts. 
GLA:  Gamma-Linoleic Acid in Borage Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, & Black Currant, & Hemp Oil.
Toxic Fats:  High Omega 6 fats & hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans-fats)  French researchers in 1994 found that dietary trans fatty acids did indeed find their way into the myelin (outer layer) of brain cells, where they changed the electrical conductivity of the cells.
Furthermore, it was shown that trans-fats compete with Omega 3 fats for locations spots in the cell membrane.  This study and others have shown that when trans-fat incorporation is 2x greater when omega 3 fats are deficient.          Lipids 1994 April;29(4):251-8
Even worse for the brain is when we are eating trans-fats during pregnancy. This Canadian study showed the average lactating woman had 7.2% of the fatty acids in their breast milk being trans-fatty acids. These trans-fats have a powerful affinity for the neuronal cell membrane. 
Studies have shown trans-fats to consume location spots on the neuronal cell membrane, inhibiting EPA & DHA from their vital membrane functions, and thuscauses a structural & functional change in the cell leading to chemical & electrical imbalances in the brain.  Lipids 1996 March;31 Suppl:S279-82
Clean Water:   The primary solvent in the brain is water and electrolytes.  Normal brain function requires a large amount of water and vital minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, & calcium. 
When the brain is dehydrated, electrical function is decreased, lower, energy efficient frequencies are established and higher level thought is turned off. Lowered frequencies of thought and function lead to depression, sadness, laziness, and general fatigue. Vital salts and clean water have been shown to restimulate the normal, healthy electrical brain frequencies. 
The Quality of Your Brain = The Quality of Your Experience of Life