Show Notes on How to Improve Your Brain Function and Memory:
Thank you for listening to Wholebeing RN Radio! Join me for this episode how to improve your brain and memory and keep your mental function healthy.
In this episode, we are talking about these key digestion fixing points (you can scroll down to read the article if you prefer) :
- How do you know if you are having brain troubles?
- What causes poor brain health?
- What can we do to improve our brains?
- Energy Balancing Excercise
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Free Wellness Tribe
- Wellness Tools (Supplement Brand Recommendations)
- Keto Family Cheat Sheet
- Meditation Quickie
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How to improve your brain health and memory function...
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How's your brain health? Weird question, huh?
If you find yourself typically feeling “off” in the way of being tired, easily distracted, down, forgetful, moody, or maybe even worse...you are probably dealing with some sort of brain fog or unhealthy brain function. It’s really no surprise, because our brains require a stream of vitamins and minerals, proteins, fatty acids, and sleep in order to function at peak performance and in this fast-paced, over-stimulated, and nutrient-poor world, it is no wonder our brain function is suffering (and our kiddos too!)
Luckily, as long as your brain fog, ADHD, mood disorder or Diabetes Type 3 hasn’t progressed too far (and sometimes even when it has), it is often 100% repairable. Wouldn’t it be nice to regain your focus, bliss, and clear-headedness? You can! How does it get better than that?
We have talked a lot about how what you put in your body nutritionally or in your environment affects your gut or your digestion and how that has an impact on your overall wellness and immune system, but did you know it also has a big impact on your brain? Moreover, how the primary impact stress has on the body isn't just on the digestive tract but through the digestive system and on the brain? Crazy right?
Mental health disorders like anxiety, ADHD, and depression aren’t the only troubles tied to brain function and what we put in our bodies. Alzheimer’s is now considered Diabetes Type 3? The simple fact is that what we do to our bodies with our environment, nutrition, and stress causes real problems with our squishy brains.
I have to take this opportunity to say, that I am a huge Walking Dead fan, so every time I wrote or spoke "brains" that is all I could think about during this research. Also - you're welcome - because now you are thinking about it too. And here is the obligatory shout out to my Walking Dead peeps -- xoxo. And if you haven't watched it - check it out on Netflix, you will be hooked. Yes, I am a comic #nerdgirl but you aren't really surprised by that, are you? 😉
How do you know if you are having brain troubles?
It sounds like quite the conundrum right, if I am having brain problems how will I know? Well for most adults, especially if you haven't had the trouble your entire life, you perceive a difference. And it can also be pretty easy to see in kiddos too. It would take up way to much time to list them all, so if you have concerns or questions, you can let me know! (Most of today's information will stick with grown-ups but I will do a special on kiddos and anxiety and ADHD soon.)
Here are some of the common symptoms you may be lacking in brain health:
- Tired, fatigued, low motivation or inspiration
- Easily distracted, trouble concentrating
- Frequent headaches, maybe even migraines
- Forgetfulness, frequent "tip of your tongue" situations
What causes poor brain health?
There are so many causes if you aren’t suffering from these troubles chronically (meaning all the time)...it could be something simple (and these are things to check first in kiddos) like lack of sleep, dehydration, nutrient deficiency, and of course tummy troubles.
On a cellular level, poor brain health is caused by inflammation and the changes that inflammation causes to the brain's 3 primary hormones, dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol. Most of you have heard of these hormones, cortisol is commonly referred to as the “stress hormone that helps you to carry your weight in your midsection. Dopamine and serotonin are happiness hormones working to keep you calm, happy, and motivated.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep can have a lot of causes...too much caffeine, too much alcohol or sugar or refined carbohydrates, or even a nutrient deficiency leading to lack of sleep. Often times, this is a very simple remedy and can be at least temporarily improved with a few simple tweaks.
This one is a big one! Dehydration can wreck our brain function. How much water are you drinking in a day? It should be over about 100 ounces, and kids need a ton too! If you are petite, your requirements may be less than that, so play with it. Coffee, tea, sodas are all dehydrating and don't count towards your ounces!
Unfortunately, the standard western diet carries far too much sugar, caffeine, refined carbs, gluten, dairy and artificial sweeteners and not nearly enough good fat. These items wreak havoc on the gut and lead to the inflammation that causes poor brain health and an imbalance in the brain hormones cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Poor diets strip our bodies of the vital nutrients it needs to power our brains. By nature of our food system, most people are deficient in Magnesium, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and B vitamins, all of which are key to our brain health and function.
High stress produces high cortisol levels leading to fatigue, brain fog, that weird wired but tired feeling, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. The weird but really cool thing about stress is that it is perceived...in other words YOU and you alone decide or chose what is stressful to you.
What can we do to improve our brains?
Okay, enough talk about how we are killing our brains...let’s talk about how we can improve them. For help with any of these things, you can schedule an appointment with me to fix it or for me to teach you how to heal it yourself.
Eat for Your Brain
High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low-Carb Diet -- yep another word for that is keto, but not in the way you see everything drenched in cheese and bacon keto. There are some ways to eat keto style and avoid all of that inflammation causing food you see on Pinterest and those little Facebook recipe videos.
It is a complete MYTH that we need lots of sugar for our bodies and brains to function. Eating low sugar (functionally low carbohydrate) is majorly beneficial to your clarity and energy levels and as a bonus decreases your risk of coronary artery disease, and has loads of other benefits.
For some ideas perfect for the whole family - check out this download of the Keto Family Cheat Sheet - there's no reason for this not to be a family affair.
Take Care of Your Gut
Taking care of your gut can be as simple as eating for your brain and making sure you are getting a healthy dose of good quality probiotics. This usually amounts to 30 billion CFU daily for adults who are maintaining (not trying to overcome a challenge), you may require more.
Even when you eat a perfectly balanced and healthy organic diet, you still must supplement...our soil and animals are too depleted to fulfill the steady stream of nutrients that our brains need. The most important supplements for your brain are some of the very basic ones that I recommend everyone take. They are a good quality omega 3, you will need 3-5,000mg a day, a good quality probiotic 30 billion CFU, Vitamin D3 (only soluble in fat), B vitamins, and then if need be you can supplement with amino acids to help rebalance the hormones in the brain.
As I mentioned, stress is your choice. So what would it be like if you chose something else? To get you on the right path to making that type of choice, you can use tools in your toolboxes like meditation and movement to reduce your perception of stress and allow yourself to make a different choice.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about meditation is not knowing how to "do it" or not being able to "do it right." Usually, that is a code word for "I haven't found my meditation match." Here are a few ways to give it a go with my Meditation Quickie Guide.
Balance our Energies
This is an Energy Medicine technique I learned from Donna Eden. I use it as part of my own daily energy routine, and highly recommend it for you too. This is also really good for little ones but will cover it more in depth to their specific benefits in an upcoming episode.
Here is a little video on how to do it:
I love simple methods that don't take much time or energy with science to back up why they work, and crystals fit the bill for that.
There are loads of crystals that are on the frequency to help with brain function. One of the best ones is actually one of the easiest to find...amethyst. I have seen it in Target and TJ Maxx these days, so you don’t have to go down to a metaphysical store to get some. Amethyst helps with all things head related, including headaches, focusing, bad dreams, memory, you name it. This is something you can totally do on your own, or if you would like to schedule a crystal session you can do so here.
To do this on your own, source your crystal (go buy the dang thing) and then see how it wants to be used. What comes to you? Your intuition is often the right way for you to work with it. Some options include meditating with it, placing it in your water (careful!), placing it under your bed, in your pillowcase, on your bedside table, or simply carrying it in your pocket.
One of my favorite ways to add some brain energy is by diffusing essential oils, the best one for this is usually Peppermint. (You know I love PlantTherapy.com for good quality + organic oils!). Peppermint can be diffused with a diffuser or dropped in the shower to help encourage high energy brain function and memory improvement.
To wrap up this brain health talk...
I hope that you have added some new tools to your toolbox to improve your brain function and your energy levels.
As always, everything in life is a choice, you have the power in your life and existence to make that choice, you can choose to live better, to mitigate stress, and feed your body the ingredients it needs to maintain and improve your brain function.
Ultimately you and the expression of you in your human suit is up to you and the choices you make, so work towards making good ones. In this instant gratification society, know that every choice you make in the right direction is progress, even if the two before or the one after isn’t the best choice. Be well.