Living a long and healthy life starts with the health of the brain. When our brain function is  compromised, it negatively impacts our organs, muscles, not to mention our ability to think,  remember, and process information.  

What does decreased brain function look like? 

  • You may notice you walk into rooms and forget what you went to grab 
  • You may not remember your last family vacation to the beach like everyone else • You find yourself struggling to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning and everything  you do feels like a chore. 
  • You get physically and cognitively drained when you try to multi-task at work and go home to  your bed as you don’t have the energy to go to the movies with your friend. • When you go to lay your head down on your pillow at night your mind all of a sudden wakes  up and you can’t stop racing thoughts. 

You have likely experienced one of these and know it isn’t the life you want to have. If you don’t  have these, that is great because our brain is very resilient but can only compensate for so long  till it breaks. Either way, support how your brain connects is essential.

Brain Plasticity 

Our brain health is largely dependent on its own plasticity, or lability to learn. It has an incredible  ability to adapt to new information and orchestrate new functions in our bodies as our needs  adapt. 

Consider how a child learns to crawl, then walk, then run, or how an adult can go from a novice  to an expert in any field they put their mind to. This is an example of positive plasticity. An  example of negative plasticity is feeling anxiety by thinking about walking into a grocery store.  

While our brains naturally connect, we have to take active measures to make sure it connects in  the right patters (just as we need to challenge our muscles regularly in order to stay strong). A  toxic environment, disease, injury, stress, poor diet, and an unhealthy lifestyle can inhibit the  brain’s capacity to operate on all cylinders and will create negative plasticity. Even healthy  individuals can lose brain functioning with age alone. We only have one brain and must do  everything we can to protect it. 

10 Nutrients For Brain Health 

There are many things that can be done to promote or regain brain health, but we are going to  focus on nutrient intake. While there are many nutrients, we are going to focus on the ten.  

  • Omega 3 Fats

The brain is made up of 60% fat, therefore maintaining a diet rich in healthy fats, such as  oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), olive oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and avocados is  a great way to support and rejuvenate the brain. Alternatively, healthy fat intake can be  achieved through fish or cod oil supplements. 

  • Choline

Choline is an essential nutrient needed for brain health, and is found in Brussels sprouts,  liver, lima beans, eggs, and wheat germ.  

  • Vitamin E

The health of the brain relies heavily on Vitamin E, found in foods like dark leafy greens,  nuts, and whole grains. 

  • Flavonoids

Flavonoids, found in chocolate, tea, red wine, berries, and beans, help to regulate the  activity of our cells and can fight harmful free radicals. Blueberries in particular are a  powerful antioxidant and have been proven to improve memory and cognitive function as  well as reduce inflammation. 

  • Turmeric

Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric, is known for fighting inflammation. Turmeric  can encourage intake of oxygen in the brain, which is crucial to high brain function. 

  • Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral for many bodily functions, including sleep, muscle  relaxation, and digestion, but it’s also just as beneficial for the brain. The best place to get  a good dose of magnesium is from dark, leafy green vegetables. Lucky for dessert lovers,  magnesium is also found in chocolate. Magnesium can also be taken in supplement form. 

  • Sulforaphane

Sulforaphane is found in cruciferous vegetables. It helps with neutralizing toxins and  removing wastes from our body. It is also shown to protect the brain in addition to anti cancer benefits. Animal studies suggest its benefit in reducing amyloid beta plaques and  improving memory. 

  • Fiber

Every day, more and more research emerges that supports the strong connection between  the gut and the brain. The health of the gut largely depends on dietary fiber, which feeds  our microbiome (the bacteria in our digestive tract). A healthy and diverse microbiome is  

created and fueled by a variety of fiber-rich foods (think: fruits and vegetables). A healthy  gut is a healthy brain. 

  • B Vitamins

B vitamins support essential nerve health and help form our DNA. They perform many  other vital roles in the body, and protecting the brain is no exception. Meat and eggs are  great sources of B vitamins, but it can also be taken in supplement form. 

  • CoQ10

We all naturally have CoQ10 but it can decrease as we age. CoQ10 can be obtained by  eating fatty fish, some nuts and seeds, legumes, oranges, strawberries, and the muscular  parts of meat. CoQ10 may reduce harmful free radicals, guard against oxidative damage,  and has the capacity to improve memory. It can also be obtained through supplementation. 

If you’ve seen nuts listed more than once on this list, you’re not imagining it. If tolerated well,  nuts are a healthy dietary staple. They contain many beneficial components that contribute to  better brain health. In a study published on PubMed, it was shown that nuts (walnuts in  particular) have powerful, long-term benefits on cognition in older women. 

Before taking any supplement or making major dietary changes, it’s important to discuss it with  your doctor or nutritionist. 

Diet is only one component of health, and our brains can benefit from many other healthy  practices.

What else can we do to protect our brain?

  • Get adequate sleep 
  • Engage in physical movement 
  • Reduce stress  
  • Stay connected to loved ones 
  • Learn new skills 
  • Stay hydrated 

Although water isn’t a “food” per se, staying hydrated is one of the most overlooked aspects of  brain health. According to an article published in National Geographic, our brain needs  cushioning and lubrication for its tissue, which water provides. Water is necessary for removing  toxins from all bodily systems and organs, including toxins from the brain. Dehydration can  decrease the brain’s capacity to function properly, leading to short and long-term damage. 

By engaging in healthy behaviors on a regular basis, we increase the health of our brain, and  limit the possibility or severity of brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s  Disease. These diseases affect hundreds of thousands of people every day and are only increasing  in numbers, yet many of these cases are preventable if brain health is our focus.  

According to Amen Clinics (founded by Dr. Daniel Amen), “It’s common for medical  professionals to tell their patients who are complaining about forgetfulness that age related memory loss is normal. And the vast majority of us believe there is nothing we 

can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease or to stop it from deteriorating further… The  truth is, Alzheimer’s is a lifestyle disease—similar to heart disease or type 2 diabetes —and your everyday habits contribute greatly to your level of risk.” 

Final Thoughts 

Our brain is the most important organ we have. The rates of brain degeneration  conditions are rapidly increasing. There are many things that you can start doing today  to promote or regain your brain health. One of the most important things we can do is  eating the right foods to support our brain. 

It is okay, you are likely overwhelmed at the thought of how many different things  may influence your brain health and would like expert help.  

You may be wondering how we evaluate and address your brain to allow it to function  at the highest rate. We utilize The BMB Method (Brain, Mind, & Body) that has been  refined over the past 9 years. This allows us to look where others aren’t, as well as  view each person as an individual by: 

Evaluating the brain looking at function using eye movements, balance, and  brain waves. 

Evaluating the mind reviewing past traumas and the subconscious programming  that prevents you from success in life. 

Identifying how the different systems in the body are functioning using  symptoms and lab testing. 

By using The BMB Method we are able to provide answers and solutions when other  programs have failed. If you are ready to try a new approach to these symptoms that  are robbing you of your life or just want to maintain your brain health then request  your health strategy session today.

Brain Optimization Guide
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