I admit, I didn't give brain health much thought, until my mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease (LBD). LBD is a form of dementia closely related to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Watching my mother's health decline, due to disease in her brain, has convicted me (even more), to be as healthy as I can — which includes having a healthy brain.
With thinness being glamorized, as a society, we focus way too much on weight and not enough on the actual physical health of our organs. In fact, some of the lengths we go to, to achieve thinness, actually harm our brain. While my mother has never been overweight, these days she tips the scales around 90 pounds. She surely has achieved thinness, however, without a healthy brain, she has little quality of life.
Click Below to Watch Change Your Brain Change Your Life
When I started researching brain health, I stumbled upon Dr. Daniel Amen. It didn't take much to convince me, when it comes to the brain, he is an expert. For over two decades, Dr. Amen has been using brain imaging science in clinical practice. He has written several national bestselling books, including the three I have read:
All three of these books are superbly written and highly recommended reading.
The brain is involved in how we think, feel, act and get along with other people. When our brain works right, we work right.
I recently watched Dr. Amen's TEDx video, above, and was captivated. In less than 20 minutes he explains the importance of brain health, details the things that hurt our brain and what things enhance our brain health. While this video isn't meant to be all-inclusive it does clear the way to make some healthy changes.
9 Things that Hurt Our Brain
1. Brain Injuries — parents don't let your kids bounce soccer balls with their heads
2. Drugs & Alcohol — red wine “might” be good for your heart but it is not good for the brain
3. Obesity — damages brain function, as weight goes up physical size and function of the brain goes down
4. Smoking — constricts blood flow to the brain so does high blood pressure
5. Diabetes — impairs memory and other cognitive function
6. Standard American Diet — if you eat a junk food diet, you will have a junk food brain
7. Environmental Toxins — spell trouble for the brain
8. Lack of Exercise — exercise is the single most important thing you can do for the brain
9. Automatic Negative Thoughts — they are the seeds of anxiety disorders and depression
9 Things that Enhance Our Brain
1. Positive Social Connections — the people you spend time with determine your health and longevity.
2. New Learning — when you stop learning your brain disconnects.
3. Diet — consume the nutrients that help you or the toxins that harm you, the SAD is associated with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's. Food is medicine or poison.
4. Sleep — essential for blood flow to the brain, without sleep there are very serious consequences.
5. Physical Exercise — acts like a natural wonder drug for the brain
6. Healthy Anxiety — for inspiration to change
7. Meditation/Prayer — calms stress, chronic stress restricts blood flow to the brain which lowers brain function and prematurely ages the brain
8. ANT Killing — don't believe every stupid thought you have
9. Gratitude — write down 3 things you are grateful for every day and within 3 weeks you'll notice significant difference in your level of happiness, this is the best anti-depressant
Your brain is the command and control center of your body. If you want a healthy body, the first place to ALWAYS start is by having a healthy brain.