5 Musts for Optimal Brain Function

Just like how the mitochondria is a powerhouse of a cell, our brain is known for masterminding the whole body. It is the organ in the body that controls all the other organs of the body.

Perception, critical thinking, drive and motivation, memory and learning are all controlled by this mighty thing.  Even our physical balance and sports performance hinges on the health of our mind.  

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With increasing age and mounting workload, brain cells (neurons) deteriorate and neurons once damaged cannot easily be repaired.  Since they lack stem cells, they have little regeneration capabilities unlike other cells of the body. The only way through this is to protect the brain cells and ensure adequete raw materials for neurotransmitter formation.

In this article I have compiled five essentials that will keep your brain sharp and clear thinking

1. Stock up on eggs
Eggs (egg white plus yolk) have a number of nutritional benefits. They are rich in proteins. They also help to maintain cholesterol level. They have plenty of choline, which is a micronutrient required in the formation of a key neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals necessary for nerve coordination. So to retain brain function and improve coordination and memory, 1-2 eggs a day are fine and in fact, essential.

Ya kun kaya eggs are my personal favorite, slurped up first thing in the morning.   

2. Salmon
Salmon is rich in omega-3. Omega-3 essential fats constitutes 8% of the weight of brain. They stimulate the tissue development in brain and for that reason they are known to improve mental skills and halt memory loss. Besides, Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.

A 4-ounce serving, two to three times a week is recommended to keep the gears well oiled.

3. Sleep
Sleep deprivation may lead to loss of some brain function. It is associated with depression and affects thinking capability and creativity. During sleep hours, toxins are removed from the brain which otherwise promote Alzheimer’s.

Adequete sleep strengthens our long-term memory and it also filters out the un-necessary data from the important ones. The important information is stored for use in future.

7-9 hour sleep is a necessity.

For more information on the importance of sleep in our children read this.   

4. The role of phytonutrients, herbs and vitamins
A diet full of phytonutrients and herbs protect brain cells and prevent DNA damage. They improve cognitive skills and long-term memory.

Ginseng, Matcha, Turmeric, Black pepper and Rosemary are some examples and the more diverse the diet the better.

Good quality vitamins delay the deterioration of brain function through many mechanisms. They neutralize free radicles and other toxins. They assist in the production of neurotransmitters, thus resulting in efficient coordination between brain and body. They are cofactors for the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These three neurotransmitters are vital for good mood.

So, consider a prescription-only quality multivitamin.

5. Accept the present moment
Focusing on peace and purpose will keep anxiety and stress at bay. Eat humble pie when you are mistaken. Slow down, forgive, and accept. Find ways to simplify your life, not complicate it. This will consequently relax your brain and optimize it.

Let's talk about optimising brain health - schedule a consult today to discuss your options!

Sleep Nutrients – Are they really vital?

Sleep is an important factor for our health and survival. 

Even if you don't eat extremely well, you can still hope to live around 75 years.

But in the case of sleep, the Guinness World Record for the sleep deprivation is only 11 days.

In my years of practice, we will reach a road block if we optimise everything but don't address the causes of bad sleep.  Quantity and quality count.  

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IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Increased Productivity-  Sleep deprivation has been shown to effect brain functioning while good sleep can enhance memory and problem-solving skills. 

Lower Risk of Heart Disease- Increased risk of heart diseases and stroke is linked with less than 7-8 hours of sleeping. 

Improved Immune System- Regularly having 8 hours of good sleep improves immune function and reduces incidences of the common cold.
 

Restore and heal body functions- Human Growth hormone is released during deep sleep and this helps the body recover from injuries such as sore muscles or wounds.  


NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES LINKED TO SLEEP PROBLEMS

Among various reasons of not being able to get enough sleep, one of the primary reason is nutrient deficiency (such as magnesium). Main sleeping problems linked with lack of nutrients include:

Insomnia- Magnesium or calcium deficiency can cause trouble in getting enough sleep as it leads to anxiety and nervousness making it hard to sleep.

Fatigue & Lethargy- Being torpid or tired during the day has been found to be link with vitamin D deficiency. 

Sleeping Too Much- Deficiency of iron, folic acid or Vitamin B12 could result is expanded sleeping hours.  This is because anaemia causes extreme fatigue, muscle weakness and wooziness. 
 

4 NUTRIENTS TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER

Right nutritional requirements must be fulfilled in order to get good night’s sleep.

The nutrients that can help you sleep better include:

Magnesium- Low level of magnesium is found to be linked with sleeping disorders. It is an important nutrient of human body, involved in many physiological functions such as muscle relaxation and energy production. It is a vital component of many biochemical enzymes as well. Major sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetable, beans and nuts.

Valerian- The root of this herb has been used for centuries and proven itself highly effective towards treating insomia and anxiety. It achieves this by raising Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) in the brain.  GABa is the neurotransmitter which signals the brain to calm down, helping the body to get sleepy naturally.

L-theanine- This amino acid is found most abundantly in teas, especially green tea. It is able to down regulate anxiety in the brain, thus promoting relaxation; aiding in falling asleep quicker and also, lengthening the duration of a deep sleep.

Melatonin- A natural hormone best known for regulating sleep and wake cycles in the body. Optimally, melatonin levels rise after sunset to help fall asleep, and drops when the sun rise to prepare the body to wake. However, stress, artificial lighting, jet lag or late activities forces our body to defy its own internal sleeping clock.  Short term use of Melatonin is key to resetting this internal clock back to its natural sleep cycle.

Schedule an appointment to optimise your sleep!

Heal Eczema Naturally in 5 Easy Steps

Struggling with eczema? Have you tried just about everything to clear your skin, but had no results? Before popping pills or trying a new cream, seek healthier alternatives. Most times, eczema is caused by underlying conditions. Thus, you need to identify and treat its root cause, not just its symptoms. 

Remember that health starts from the inside out. Nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle habits have the biggest impact on your skin. Follow these simple steps to heal eczema naturally:

 

Balance Your Gut

Eczema is one of the primary signs of candida overgrowth. When your gut flora is out of whack, pathogens kill healthy bacteria and spread throughout the body. This causes inflammation, recurring infections, and skin disorders. You may also feel hungrier than usual and crave sugar. 

The first step to healing eczema is to address its root cause, such as candida infection. Eliminate gluten, lactose, and other allergens that affect digestive health. Drink bone broth to reduce intestinal permeability and balance gut flora. L-glutamine, marshmallow root, and amino acid formulas can help too. 

Add More Nutrients to Your Diet

Certain nutrients support gut health, which reflects positively on your skin. Zinc piccolinate, for instance, helps maintain the mucous lining of the stomach, throat, and mouth. This keeps pathogens at bay and improves nutrient absorption. Take a multivitamin or 15-40 milligrams of zinc piccolinate to heal your gut. 

Load Up on Healthy Fats

Your skin needs vitamins A, D, E, and K to maintain its elasticity and stay young. However, your body can not absorb these nutrients without dietary fat. Omega-3s are particularly beneficial. These essential fatty acids improve vitamin absorption and fight inflammation, which helps heal eczema. 

To get more fats in your diet, consume avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish. Your skin will look younger, your energy will go up, and your cholesterol levels will drop. 

Take Probiotics

Stress, poor nutrition, candida, and other factors affect gut health. When your microbiome is unbalanced, pathogens take over your gut and destroy good bacteria. This is where probiotics come in handy. 

These supplements contain live microorganisms that colonize your gut, killing fungi, microbes, and harmful bacteria. As a result, your skin becomes clearer and your immunity increases. 

Ideally, choose a probiotic with at least 10 billion active cells, such as L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium lactis. If you’re struggling with eczema, take higher doses. 

Limit Stress

Chronic stress affects the amount of diversity of healthy gut bacteria. It's also a major contributing factor to inflammation, which in turn, triggers eczema. 

If you're constantly stressed, squeeze more "me" time into your schedule. Practice deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques. Get more rest and make health a priority.

As you see, eczema can have a variety of causes. Prescription drugs and ointments are pretty much useless when you’re dealing with an underlying condition. Figure out the real cause of eczema and then take the steps needed to heal yourself.