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She used to be sharp, remembered everything, was quick to quip but now she’s beginning to repeat herself and forget what she’s done that day. Everyone is putting it down to her age and saying its just a part of getting old. Its the beginning of the end. But does the end have to be so full of despair and inhuman. Not necessarily.
Latest research has shows that the brain regeneration continues throughout life. It was previously thought that once the brain had matured to adulthood that that was it. However, the brain can repair itself and create new neural pathways – age is no limit. Latest research and case studies have shown significant improvements in brain health and even reversal in some instances of diseases such as alzehimers, dementia, autism, ADHA, Parkinson’s disease. And it all boils down to nutrition.
Meet your ‘second brain’ – your gut. The brain and the gut are linked; the development of both started from the same place (think embryo) and they are constantly speaking to one another – directly. Trillions of bacteria live in the gut and they are sending more messages up to the brain than the brain is sending down. The gut has a significant impact on immune responses, hormones and brain health. A ‘leaky’ gut occurs when the intestinal barrier is damaged and undigested food, toxins and bacteria can enter the blood stream and this lead to inflammation. With this comes a whole host of health issues, such as alzehimers, Parkinson’s disease, brain fog, fatigue, just to mention a few!
If you’ve ended up here chances are that you’re worried about a loved one. Theres a lot of information available online on brain health and the science behind it but lets get straight down to what you can do right away to help. Here are the four areas you should focus on:
- Look at the diet and focus on improving gut health. Dr Mark Hyman provides great information on diets to improve gut health.
- Reduce/eliminate sugar intake and if diabetic, check that it is being managed properly (please consult your Doctor before making dietary changes).
- Consume more good fats. Good fats are essential for brain health – your brain is about 60% fat. Healthy sources of good fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, cold-pressed olive oil, virgin coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, fatty fish, eggs. Supplements are also available.
- Community. Lack of community and social interaction can be deadly. Healthy friendships influence our feel good hormones and how/what we eat. Take a look at the Grandactions campaign set up by Anni from Dadima’s and see how you can get involved. It was created by Anni to help tackle loneliness and social isolation by bringing different generations together.