The brain uses 25% of the body’s entire energy supply but only accounts for 2-3% of the body’s total weight.
The brain needs the right raw materials to make neurotransmitters - vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
25% of the cholesterol in your body is found in your brain where it plays an important role in brain function.
Inflammation is extremely damaging to the brain.
How can you support your brain?
Regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning.
Prolonged periods of stress are extremely damaging to the brain. Anxiety leads to high cortisol which is very damaging to the neurons which are responsible for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Regular meditation has been shown to increase the volume of the prefrontal cortex and the ability of the brain to think rationally. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation and stress. Try a meditation app such as Headspace for 10 minutes a day.
Sleep has an incredibly restorative function for the brain (aim for 8 hours). When the body is asleep the brain is able to clear out its waste. Worsening sleep quality and duration is linked to a build-up of the protein that is seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
What nutrients does the brain need?
• Omega 3s
a fifth of the brain’s weight is made up of essential fatty acids which play an important role in the transmission of nerve signals.
• Vitamin D
low levels have been linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer's.
found in colourful fruit and veg (particularly berries). Buy organic where possible for higher levels.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet including plenty of oily fish, eggs, nuts and seeds (especially walnuts).
Healthy fats: olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, butter and ghee.
Vegetables particularly green leafy ones.
Green tea is very anti-inflammatory and studies show 2 cups a day may be effective in improving cognitive function.
Good habits for brain health:
Start your day with low-GI foods.
Spend time outside: walking in nature for 30 minutes a day has proven to be more effective than antidepressants.
Ideally fast for 12 hours between your evening meal and breakfast.
Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Try to spend the last 2-3 hours of your day relaxing and reduce the amount of blue light from screens (phones/computers) that you are exposed to during this time.
Brain in a nutshell:
Vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants are needed to make the brain work efficiently. Stress and inflammation can be detrimental to the brain, on the contrary sleep and exercise are beneficial. Don’t be shy. For a more personalised approach book your consultation.