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MetroEast Natural Healing knows education is the best tool for our patients to have a thorough understanding of how our bodies are designed to heal naturally. We also want our patients to know who we are, how we operate, and how we work with you to heal your body through personalized nutrition and detoxification.

Your Brain on Whole Foods

The brain plays a role in every aspect and every stage of human life. It is constantly working, even when the body is at rest. When the brain is functioning properly, humans are capable of incredible things. They usually do not think twice about the control center that keeps every function of their body humming along and allows them to think, learn, adapt, and feel.

It’s not until after a person misplaces their keys a few times, experiences foggy thinking at work, notices that their mood feels unusually low, or is missing their motivation that brain health comes to mind. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease are the most well-known reasons why the brain receives attention, but neurological function exists on a very broad spectrum. As the most essential organ in the human body, it only makes sense to care for the brain everyday.

Discovering that the brain is the largest user of cellular energy (ATP) in the entire body might give the impression that it’s a complex organ to nourish. The good news is, the habits that are deeply ingrained in humans for overall well-being are the same practices that allow the brain to thrive. The rules of a healthy life are really the rules for a healthy brain.

Nutrition and dietary patterns play a key role in brain health. The gut is known as the second brain thanks to the enteric nervous system (ENS). This system is made up of hundreds of millions of neurons that communicate directly with the main brain. The ENS is the reason humans can feel emotion in their gut. This two way communication essentially means that how one fuels their body is how they fuel their mind. Focus on these three habits to maintain or improve brain health:

-Eat the rainbow. Consuming a large variety of colors fills the diet with adequate levels of key nutrients that protect the brain. These include antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc from foods such as berries, leafy greens, broccoli, citrus fruits, and avocados. Aim for 3-4 cups of vegetables and fruits per day.

-Consume cold-water, fatty fish. Go for 2-3 servings per week of salmon, cod, or tuna to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake. The brain is made up of 60% fat, and half of that is omega-3s! These fats are key to building nerve cells and essential for learning and memory.

-Reduce inflammatory foods. Cutting back on foods with added sugar, refined carbohydrates, sugary beverages, and alcohol consumption does wonders to reduce harmful, chronic inflammation in the body and especially the brain. Thanks to the gut-brain connection, it is well established that inflammatory foods impact brain function and memory.

-Outside of the kitchen, three other areas that deserve attention for their pivotal roles in brain health are movement, sleep, and stress reduction.

-Exercise is known to improve mood, memory, and reduce inflammation. Aim for 120 minutes per week of aerobic activity, whether that’s walking, biking, or workout classes.

-The importance of quality sleep cannot be overemphasized. Consider how one night of bad sleep impacts problem solving, mood, and energy. Now apply that to years of poor sleep. Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time (even on the weekends), keep the bedroom dark, cool & quiet, and be sure to unwind before bed by reading or journaling. Bonus tip: keep cellphones out of the bedroom.

-Stress management does not need to be complicated, but it is required for optimal brain function. Pick any activity that reduces stress, whether that’s yoga, deep breathing, reading, or knitting, and commit to 5-10 minutes per day.

Wherever someone finds themselves on their brain health journey, it is never too late to improve the function of this incredible organ.

Through the use of Nutrition Response Testing, the team at MetroEast has been able to celebrate countless brain health wins. We’re thrilled each time a patient is able to experience what a healthier brain feels like. Whether that’s an improved mood, better memory or more energy, we know this means a better overall quality of life.

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