I hope you have been enjoying this series on brain health. This is the final blog in the brain series. There was so much information contained in Dr. Hyman’s Broken Brain series, it was hard to decide what to include and what to leave out. Today, I’m concluding the series with Dr. Hyman’s six steps for six weeks to better brain health.
1. Eat right for your brain. Plant foods, good healthy animal proteins, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, and colorful foods. Eliminate processed foods, sugars, and refined carbohydrates.
2. Tune up your brain with supplements. Take a high-quality, high-potency, highly bioavailable, broad-spectrum multivitamin containing all the basic essential vitamins and minerals. I also recommend taking magnesium, vitamin D3, omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, and special methylation factors like folate, B6, and B12. You can often find special, activated forms of these nutrients which are most effective for brain health. Taking probiotics to improve digestion and reduce gut inflammation is also recommended.
3. Exercise. We now know that movement and exercise are critical for the brain. Find some form of movement that you love and incorporate it every single day. Dr. Wendy Suzuki says, “Start small, but start exercising now. It could be a walk, because we know that just walking alone can enhance your mood. You don't have to become a triathlete. It can start small, but start it, be regular, and gradually build up. It’s so important to get that regular exercise.”
4. Sleep. Find ways to actively relax and to connect with others. Meditation, yoga, hiking, deep breathing, and deep conversations are all ways to relax and make your brain happy. Dr. David Musnick notes, “A lot of brain healing occurs while we're sleeping, but it appears that brain healing occurs better if there isn't a strong Wi-Fi field. I asked everybody to turn off their cell phones. A lot of people have their cell phones next to their bed, and these cell phones are constantly receiving emails and texts. I asked if they do that, to try to please turn it off or put it far away. Some people have clock radios that are plugged in, and there are huge electromagnetic fields from that.”
5. Train Your Brain. Pick a new hobby or passion and pursue it. Remember, if you don't use it, you lose it. Things like playing chess or mental stimulation like mindfulness practices, meditation, learning Sudoku, learning how to play a new instrument, rocking out or learning a new language. That's what I call a top-down approach, where you can use your mind to train your brain. All these things grow and strengthen the brain. For example, the next time you're washing the dishes, close your eyes and bring your attention to how the water feels, the warmth of it, the soap suds, and the sound of the water. When you bring awareness to your senses, you actually powerfully activate the brain.
6. Live Clean and Green. “Our final tip for the six-week plan is to live clean and green. Minimize toxic exposures by reducing the use of plastics, staying away from foods high in mercury and check your home for mold or other toxins. This also means buying organic when possible and choosing sustainable clean meats and fish.”
I strongly recommend Dr. Hyman's Broken Brain series if you are interested in more information. Remember, there is so much you can do to improve and maintain good brain health.
Get empowered and learn more. In the meantime, if you are looking for an inexpensive and simple way to lower your stress level, check out my Distress Less audio program. It provides simple actions you can take on a daily basis to lower your stress. Check it out here.