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Take Steps Now to Insure a Healthy Brain as You Age

pg 226 Our BrainEach one of us at some point in time has misplaced something or forgotten someone’s name when we randomly meet them.  Later it causes us much concern about our aging processes and the onset of those dreaded debilitating disorders causing memory loss.  Many of us have come to believe that such a losing touch with our reality is just normal aging and we should expect it.  Some confusion then arises when we hear of people well into their eighties and nineties with full faculties and wonder how they did it.

The good news focuses on the choices a person makes to insure healthy brain aging and function.  Along with this good news is the recognition that our brain cells are capable of regeneration when some forms of damage occur.  How we treat our brains becomes the key to healthy brain function through the years.

The bad news occurs when we make choices that chemically harm our brains creating difficulty for the brain to receive all the nutrients it requires to effectively function and generate energy.  Our brains require a huge amount of nutrients to run smoothly and do all the sorting out of our experiences through all of our senses.  Proper nutrient ingestion is a must for a healthy brain, so what choices we make in our food selection greatly influences how our brains will take care of us.

Let’s take a look at what foods and chemicals negatively affect our brains.  Poor dietary choices really top the list.  Simple steps one can take include removing sugar and refined foods from the diet.  This includes fried foods, sweet baked goods, packaged foods, and white foods like rice, flour, and bread.  Many of these foods contain low density nutrients or the refining processes have robbed them of nutrients at all.  As well, these foods contain brain damaging chemicals such as artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, Nutrisweet, Equal), artificial food colorants like Yellow Dye #5, Red Dye #40, and other dyes as well.  These merely make low grade food appeal to consumers, but have harmful effects on the brain.

Chemistry generated from stressful situations harms our brains when stress becomes chronic.  This cascade of hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol bombards the brain.  Without proper nutrition, the brain just cannot keep up with metabolizing the chemicals and detoxifying them.  Poor nutrition and stress chemistry sets the body up for increased levels of inflammation.  Inflammation is now recognized as the underlying cause of many and/or most chronic health disorders.

Our tasks then become to improve our diets with wholesome foods, real foods, and lots of colorful fruits and vegetables for those wonderful antioxidants that fight the bad guys in our bodies, those free radicals.  We need to get adequate sleep, exercise often (our brains utilize 20% of our oxygen intake; so exercize supports healthy brain function), and reduce stress levels.  Just these simple changes to one’s lifestyle choices will begin to improve brain function, memory, and concentration.  Choose a buddy and change positively together.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN, owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208-290-6760.

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