Dense as a block of tofu, yet capable of producing the amount of bio-electricity that powers an LED light bulb, the human brain is delicate, yet incredibly powerful. This is why Brain Awareness Week prompts millions to seek ways to invigorate and nourish this marvelous organ.
It's no surprise that diet and exercise are critical to brain health. After all, the human body is an amazing input/output system -- how we fuel our bodies is directly reflected in the performance and health we get out of them. What is surprising is how easy, and economical, it can be incorporate brain-boosting measures into your daily diet and routine. The Vitality Medical product team has amassed budget-friendly products that can be easily added to virtually any lifestyle.
Learn more below about these possible brain-boosters and talk to your physician about what may be appropriate for your lifestyle and diet.
Think before you drink!
Workload have you crashing? Think before you drink. That chemically engineered energy drink could send your heart into overdrive and cause your blood pressure to surge. Why bother? Mother Nature has had her own rock star all along: ginseng.
Revered for centuries in the Far East for its brain-, energy- and immunity-boosting properties, Western science has been studying what makes ginseng such a potent brain-booster: ginsenosides. Studies published by the National Institutes of Health are pointing the way toward the antioxidant properties of ginsenosides and their role in enhancing spatial learning and memory capacities. Popular among Vitality Medical customers is the Wisconsin-grown American Ginseng Supplement.
Loco For Coco?
Coconut oil is rich in healthy fatty acids (medium-chain triglycerides [MCT]) that are a secondary source of energy for the brain. Studies are even starting suggest a correlation between coconut MCTs, the energy they provide to repair brain cells and delaying brain aging. Most unrefined coconut oils, such as Spectrum's Organic Coconut Oil, can be added to smoothies or used for cooking. Best of all, there is minimal "coconut" flavor added to foods.
Used in Eastern cooking and even art, turmeric a yellow spice is incredibly versatile. Long-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, medical scientists are turning to turmeric (and its active compound, curcumin). Turmeric contains the compound Ar-turmerone, which may play an important role in fighting neurological diseases. Research has also found that extracts of the compound besin found in Ar-turmerone may help stem cells grow into neurons or other cells. This aids in brain repair. Because turmeric's aromatic, peppery and slightly pungent flavor may not appeal to all, products like Nature's Way Turmeric Capsules simplify working turmeric into your diet.
While there's a tremendous focus on the benefits of supplements, it's all too easy to overlook the bedrock of a well-balanced diet: breakfast. After sleep, your brain needs a kickstart, with proteins and fats. Unfortunately, oversleeping, dawdling kids and remote-access email trump breakfast. However, there are rapid workarounds, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast that provide your brain with the energy necessary to help you be your best.
Sleeping is a Beauty
Not all brain-boosters come in oils or capsules. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults gets between 7-8 hours each night, giving your brain the time to reboot. Getting this amount is easier said than done, but incorporating a few simple items may help make the most of shut-eye time. A lavender-infused Bed Buddy Mask can block out light and help lull you to sleep. Bunkmate's snoring disturbing your slumber? You, as well as he or she, may benefit from a No-Snore Cervical Pillow Cushion that cradles the head perfectly to keep nasal passages open to fight snoring.
Exercise helps oxygenate the brain to keep it alert and nourished, while stimulating hormone production to keep it healthy. Just like sleep, however, it can be very difficult to work exercise into modern schedules. This led the development of a new breed of easy-to-move exercisers, such as the Exercise Peddler with Handle by Drive or Pedal Exerciser that fits right under your work desk. Another sly way to fit some exercise into your day is the Overdoor Exercise Pulley. The doorframe-mount system enables you to sit or stand while you increase your range of motion -- breathing deeply while doing so will help stimulate your circulation, revitalizing your entire body (including the brain).
Friends Fight Brain Drain
Researchers at the University of Michigan investigated the benefits social interaction may have on mental functioning. Study participants' cognitive capabilities were contrasted against how often they socialized. The findings: those who were more social showed higher levels of cognitive performance -- the stronger their social network, the smarter they were. What's this mean? Time to pick up the phone! Schedule an outing, lunch or a movie night with friends. Stay in touch while on the go to keep your brain in the game with tools such as the Bierley BM-01 Big Button Cell Phone.
There you have it, 10 easy ways to nourish, protect and refresh your brain -- stay sharp for years to come. Make sure you clear any type of exercise program or nutritional changes with your doctor to keep you (and your brain) happy and healthy.
To a life full of Vitality!
Paul Garcia, Author
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121