Most of us are focused on the outside of our bodies because that's what we see. However, our organs are doing all the heavy lifting, especially our brains. Continue reading to find out just how much our brains do and how to best care for them.
When I was growing up my mom would make a homemade meal almost every night. We would sit down as a family and like clockwork there was something on the table that I did NOT like. Looking back now, it was a vegetable almost 95% of the time. My brothers would scarf down their food including something they didn't like but I was a different story. I would shove my food around my plate, feed it to our dog, or even under my placemat. I obviously was caught over and over but the one thing I will never forget is my father saying "You need to eat your vegetables because it's brain food!" I, of course, thought he was full of it but was I ever wrong. What we are putting in our bodies is not only giving us fuel for the day but nourishment for our brains.
Did you know the brain is one of the least understood organs in the human body? The brain is so complex and has so many jobs. It is estimated that the brain processes about 70,000 thoughts a day. This vital organ is also finicky and needs different forms of attention. In order to keep a healthy brain we have to eat healthy foods, incorporate movement, stay engaged with learning, and form meaningful relationships. Removing environmental toxins from your home and work are high on the priority list as well. Start researching "cleaner" beauty products, cleaning supplies, detergents, soaps and lotions. These are all things that spend a lot of time right on top of your skin and can cause tons of adverse effects. You can also contact your local health department and inquire about different tests you can have done in your home.
One major concern today is the rise in Alzheimers disease. In fact, it's expected to double by the year 2050! This combination of processed foods, exposure to toxins, and a sedentary life is reeking havoc all over the globe. In order for us to evolve with pollution and other stressors we HAVE to take responsibility for our health TODAY. We can no longer put it off because "we were fine growing up" so it must still be the case today. We do not live in a world free of pollution, synthetic pesticides in our foods, and plastic covering everything we ingest. We have to make changes in order to live a happy fruitful life we all deserve. We can absolutely stave off symptoms like forgetfulness, poor coordination, difficulty focusing and forgetful memory. Here is a list of actions you can start now:
Start a new hobby. Literally the sky is the limit with this one. Learning a new instrument, taking an art class (you can now do it online if you prefer), learn to dance, get a pet, practice writing, learn a new language. Whatever you told yourself as a child and on through the years that you had no time, quiet that voice and just start something.
Strengthen your spirituality. You can obviously go to church but if that is not your thing then try meditation or yoga. Do something that centers you and quiets the noise around you.
Exercise is a big one, especially among older folks. Movement is so important to ward off depression and help boost memory and coordination along with a ton more benefits.
Join new social groups. If you can't find anything interesting near you then start a group yourself. Start a book club, craft group or even start volunteering. Being near others can boost mood hormones which will have a wonderful effect for the brain.
Enrich your diet with whole foods that are high in antioxidants (think dark colors) and nutritious fats and proteins. One diet that has proven amazing health benefits is the Mediterranean diet. It has shown a slower progression of cognitive decline. Eat your blueberries, avocados, walnuts (which look like a brain haha), dark chocolate, and some green tea.
I truly hope some of these ideas appeal to you. No one gets to live forever but while we are here we should be able to remember more, move more, and experience pure joy way more than we think. Just start small and build with new ideas when you feel the confidence to do so.