How to Build a Better Brain
Updated: May 19, 2020
One of the biggest complaints that we at Heights of Health hear from people is that they don’t feel as sharp as they used to… foggy brain, poor short term memory. You know, going into a room to get something only to forget why you went there in the first place. Good news is that there are many things we can all do to support the health of our brains. Enjoy our Tips and Hints for optimal brain function.
Sleep! Seriously, sleep is essential for short and long-term brain health. One of the most important things that happen during your shut-eye is the detoxification of the brain via the glymphatic system. These toxins build up over a lifetime to make us more susceptible to memory loss and Alzheimers and sleep is the only way to get these toxins out. The glymphatic system works it’s hardest between hour 6 and 8 of sleep, so don’t skimp here.
Hydrate! We start losing mental function and physical coordination when we are only 1% dehydrated. Unfortunately, we typically don’t experience thirst until we are about 2% dehydrated, so many of us are walking around with under-functioning, dehydrated brains. Aim to drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of pure water daily to keep your body and brain well hydrated.
Move! Over 10,000 studies have proven that a sedentary lifestyle leads to dire health consequences like poor brain function and premature death. Set a timer so that you are not sitting for more than 20 minutes at a time. Get up, drink a glass of water, do some squats or stretches, anything to get your body fluids moving.
Support your cell membranes! Phospholipids are critical for the production of healthy cell membranes, in strengthening the blood-brain barrier to prevent toxic influx and for optimal brain function. Phosphatidyl Choline is a great way to increase levels of this essential (and virtually always deficient) nutrient. You can add the liquid directly to smoothies for amazing creaminess or opt for the pills. Studies show improvement in cognitive function, liver health and neurotransmitter balance.
Skip the sugar! Sugar (especially white and high fructose corn syrup) is terrible for our brains and our bodies. Alzheimers has been dubbed Type 3 Diabetes for good reason. Blood sugar imbalances, high OR low, can cause damage to our brains. Focus on a diet with high levels of good fat, moderate protein, and lower carbs. Avoid sodas and sweet drinks and processed foods that will spike blood sugar.