My objective is to make us aware that we all need to protect our brains now…and that there are countless easy ways to do this!! After writing Parts 1 & 2, I realized better how vast my subject was; so vast that I can’t cover it all. At best I can give a condensed synopsis, where I skip prescription drugs designed to help the brain. The list of drugs is long, & each one has to be evaluated for its pros & cons…which is not suitable for a short post. I recommend readers do what I do, which is research each drug any doctor wants to prescribe & read the list of negative side effects & its interaction w/ other things. Such research may save your life…it did for me!!
ON PARTS 1 & 2. In these parts, we learned that stress, anxiety, being overweight, & depression (plus other things) silently attack our brain. Obviously, rest, healthy nutrition, physical activity & a Christ-like attitude towards life (i.e. peace, joy, forgiveness, not getting anxious or covetous, etc) will go a long ways towards protecting your brain’s parts. So many things help brain health, that my rule of thumb could be simply stated: any healthy choice will likely somehow help protect the brain! And so will avoiding hits to the brain, no matter how trivial they seem. Boxing & some other sports are hard on brains, incl. what I used to think was cool to watch—soccer athletes butting the ball with their heads! So put that helmet & hard hat on! (No excuses.) A slight bump now may increase your risk later of dementia! How a hit to the brain damages its parts is very complex & hard to detect…it is certainly a topic for an entire book!
CAUTION: OUR KNOWLEDGE IS LIMITED. First, I don’t know your specific situation…and one may wonder if anyone does. I’ve heard my share of stories about doctors making mistakes, as well as seen people screw up their own health. Doctors trade humorous stories about stupid patients! Bottom line, there is room for humility in all of us, as well as a great deal of ignorance about brain health across the board…even in Internet articles! People neglect their health to stay in their comfort zone, & mistakenly think their doctor can solve it all. Working together towards health may help. Find a friend to do healthy activities together. Exercise & healthy meals can be social events. Find out what works from others.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR BRAIN HEALTH. Examples of supplements I take that have been scientifically proven to help & which I feel have helped me over the years incl. Korean ginseng, Ginko Biloba, Procera AVH (which has the active ingredients: Huperzine A, Ginko & Acetyl-L-Carnitine HCL), & Resveratrol. There is an area in India that daily cooks with coconut oil and has no Alzheimer’s; & I can testify that a couple of tsp. of coconut oil/day has greatly helped my thinking. Now it’s possible that the detail-oriented person could buy the active ingredients of Procera AVH separately online & then take them cheaper than buying the product…but one would have to watch the quality & quantity one uses. This trick might apply to other expensive supplements. I only mention this, because I realize most people work with limited budgets & getting the most for our money can increase our buying power. Internet prices are often better than store prices.
This brings up another issue: quality. The quality of some supplements are actually harmful to the body!! Buying a supplement is like a house or car: “Buyer beware!” Siberian ginseng is not even ginseng & is worthless. Oyster shell calcium can be tainted with lead. Folate on a daily basis is helpful to me, but not folic acid…which is harmful to everyone. B12 (cobalamin) is important because even a slight low level can impair thinking. However, the issues involved in its deficiency are many, incl. some adults have lost their ability to bring B12 into the bloodstream. Taking a B12 supplement is rather useless if the body does not absorb or use it.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT. We joke “over the lips & to the hips”. Obesity & malnutrition both hurt the brain. (In fact this is a principle for most everything…the right amount is helpful, but too much or too little is harmful. And the right amount for me is often not the same for you.) The Mediterranean diet is good brain food. This diet has fish, olive oil, whole grains, legumes & moderate amounts of wine. (There is plenty of info on this diet. I will suggest & outline a better modification of it in a minute.) Green tea (w/out milk), dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) & plants with phytochemicals are also good brain foods. By phytochemicals, I mean things like flavonoids, carotenoids, indoles, phytoestrogens, & allylic sulphides. Good examples of such plants incl. nuts, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, apples & onions. Scientists are still learning the thousands of beneficial phytochemicals that plants have.
AN IMPROVED MEDITERRANEAN DIET. I’d suggest 7 to 8 daily servings of: whole grain breads, quinoa, amaranth, bulgar, brown rice & organic potatoes. 4 to 5 servings daily of either fresh fruit, fresh or steamed veggies. 2 to 4 servings per day of healthy milk, cheese or yogurt. (Note that they have outlawed the superior fresh milk in most places, & modern ag business milk/cheese is tainted.) 2 daily servings of tea & beans & other legumes, nuts or seeds. Fatty fish, poultry, olive oil & can be healthy if taken a few times/wk in a healthy form. I don’t have time to go into how our food is tainted & how to get healthy forms of food. One example would be fish & the dangers of tuna. Tuna is a big fish that eats lots of small fish thereby concentrating their contaminants, so tuna has dangerously high levels of mercury. Eating tuna daily will destroy your memory.
ANCIENT HERBS. An ancient Chinese medical text (c. 1500 B.C.) documents the medicinal properties of cannabis sativa. Cannabidiol when given during a stroke prevented ½ of the normal neuron death! Huperzine A (mentioned above) comes from Chinese Club Moss, which was a Chinese herb used for brain health for centuries. These 2 herbs have been shown to be helpful, but many other ancient brain herbs…say Mentat (of ancient India) have yet to be shown to be helpful.
FINAL THOUGHT. I realize that I took on a big subject, which after 3 parts, my posts still has deficiencies. I apologize ahead of time for any deficiencies, & pray that what I have offered will in some way be helpful. Brain health is truly an area where the knowledge given in these 3 parts along with modest effort might bring significant gains for a person. May God bless you my friend & have a good day!