Medically Edited and Reviewed by Dr. Erin Zinkhan MD, BSBE
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 incredibly powerful. Brain Awareness Week encourages us to invigorate and nourish this marvelous organ.
It's no surprise that diet and exercise are critical to brain health. How we fuel our bodies directly impacts how we perform. What is surprising, however, is how easy it can be to incorporate brain-boosting measures into your daily diet and routine. The Vitality Medical product team has amassed multiple budget-friendly products that can be easily added to virtually any lifestyle.
Below, learn more about these 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 media focus on the benefits of supplements, it's all too easy to overlook the bedrock of a well-balanced diet, including breakfast. During sleep, your body uses stored sugar to keep blood sugar levels normal. However, in some people blood sugar levels can drop too low, making you feel light-headed and cranky. If you don't have time for breakfast and are feeling "hangry," Carnation Instant Breakfast can provide you with a quick pick-me-up to bring blood sugar levels back to normal.
Sleeping is a Beauty
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is easier said than done for some people. Incorporating a few simple tips may help you get the most out of shut-eye time. A lavender-infused Bed Buddy Mask can block out light, and lavender essential oils can help some people sleep better. Is your 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 to keep nasal passages open and decrease snoring.
Exercise helps the brain be healthy. Just like sleep, however, it can be very difficult to work exercise into modern schedules. The availability of easy-to-move exercisers, such as the Exercise Peddler with Handle by Drive or Pedal Exerciser that fits under a desk, make incorporating exercise into your daily routine easier. 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.
Friends Fight Brain Drain
Researchers at the University of Michigan investigated the benefits that social interaction may have on mental functioning. Participants' cognitive capabilities were evaluated with how often they socialized. The people who were more socially active showed higher levels of cognitive performance. What's this mean? Time to pick up the phone! Schedule an outing, lunch, or 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!