How To Improve Your Brain Health

brainhLife expectancy is getting longer but sadly, quality of life can be impaired by the degenerative disorders of the brain that are becoming more prevalent. Every year in March, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) aims to educate people on the latest brain research findings and on developments in research on brain disorders such as Parkinson’s and other problems that affect brain function, such as strokes.

We all want to live life to the full, into old age, so Johan C. Jeronimus DC DACNB, an Ealing Chiropractor and founder of Neuroworks Clinic offers three steps that could have significant benefits for brain health, throughout life, for all of us.

Here is his three-step strategy for better brain health:

  1. Sleep Well!

Sleep has many positive benefits for brain health and our quality of life, with its beneficial effects on levels of anxiety and stress and helping to improve and stabilise mood. During sleep, the toxins that accumulate in the brain can be flushed out, and Neurotransmitters are replenished, for example, Serotonin is very important in managing wellbeing, helping to alleviate depression, anxiety and stress in our daily lives.

Not getting sufficient sleep, for whatever reason, puts us at risk of clinical depression. (1)

  1. Keep Moving!

The benefits of taking regular exercise are two-fold. Indirectly, exercise brings improved sleep, an uplift in mood, and reduced anxiety and stress levels. All of which, are factors in avoiding cognitive impairment. Directly, exercise brings health benefits for the brain in less insulin resistance, reduced inflammation and  improved release of growth factors, chemicals that help improve the number of newly created brain cells as well as the proliferation of the new veins and capillaries that feed the brain.

One point to stress regarding exercise though, is that it is important when doing any physical activity to wear the correct head protection. Any head injury is potentially serious, so no matter how trivial it may appear, if you do get injured, seek medical advice right away.

It is also important to exercise regularly – and for many of us, motivation is a big issue, so participating in a class, exercising with a friend or engaging a personal trainer are all things that could help. (2)

  1. Eat Well!

Keeping our brains and bodies healthy depends on giving both the right fuel in the form of food, drink and supplementation. Your Ealing Chiropractor can advise on diet and lifestyle changes to help you as well as providing advice on supplements that might be particularly beneficial in your case.

Eating right need not be boring  Рfor example, it is not necessary to give up coffee or chocolate as two or three cups a day and half to one ounce of dark chocolate daily both have beneficial effects on concentration, memory and mood.

Eating beans or pulses that help to ‘iron out’ any spikes in levels of blood sugar will keep the glucose that the brain uses as ‘fuel’ flowing steadily.

The cardiovascular system transports nutrition around the body and into the brain. An adequate blood supply is vital. Eating monounsaturated fats (for example, Avocados) and essential fatty acids (wild salmon, rich in Omega-3 is a good source), help to keep brain and body functioning healthily. Whole grains also benefit the cardiovascular system, providing soluble and insoluble fibre that has been shown to decrease risks for heart disease.

Protect your brain from the harmful effects of oxidative stress with the powerful antioxidants in berries, particularly blueberries.

To help reduce the cognitive decline, (a ‘side-effect’ of the number of birthdays we have had), ensure an adequate intake of Vitamin E. Seeds and nuts are both good sources and one ounce daily is all that is needed.(3)

Help Is At Hand

Your Ealing Chiropractor can help you with these three steps to a healthier brain.

  • It might be that back pain or another physical problem is stopping you from taking the regular exercise you should.
  • Perhaps, you have a stressful and demanding job that is robbing you of your restorative sleep because you just cannot ‘switch off’ at night.
  • It might be that in your busy day, ensuring that the nutritional needs of your body and brain are met in full is an area where you need some help and advice.

If any of the points above apply to you, help is at hand. For your overall wellbeing and for the long-term health of your brain, call Neuroworks today to arrange an appointment on 020 8566 3757.

Note: The team at Neuroworks is 100% in agreement with the aims and work of the DANA Foundation, organizers of Brain Awareness Week but is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with it.

(1) https://www.perthbraincentre.com.au/lifestyle-changes-to-support-a-healthy-brain-and-overall-well-being/

(2) http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

(3) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-smart-healthier-brain

 

Food Allergies Effects on Brain & Body Health

food allergy and bodyMany people, suffering from a diverse range of symptoms including joint stiffness, inflammation, and muscle aches attribute these symptoms to ageing. Those with memory problems and lack of focus (brain fog), even fear Alzheimer’s Disease or similar conditions. Many of these worries could be groundless – in fact, many could be directly attributable to a food or ingredient in the diet that is causing these inflammatory reactions.

Food allergy treatment is something that more people are investigating now that food allergies and intolerances are more widely publicised. For many, finding the root cause of their symptoms and eliminating the offending foodstuff from their diets has led to an improvement in health. Sadly, many more people continue to suffer with these undiagnosed problems with the result that the inflammatory changes within their bodies are worsening over time and, in some cases, can result in serious health issues.

Research on the effects of inflammation in the body have shown some worrying results; Brain inflammation, for example, has been linked to many problems, from mild conditions such as brain fog to more serious problems including clinical depression and degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. In the body, inflammatory problems such as arthritis can cause a great deal of pain and incapacity as the immune system attacks body tissues and causes damage to joints.

The Difference between Food Allergies and Food Intolerance

The symptoms of food allergy can manifest very suddenly and while for some, they may be mild, for others, anaphylactic shock can be life-threatening. For those with food allergies, the only solution is to stay away from the foods causing the problem.

For food intolerance sufferers, while the symptoms may not be as dramatic as in the case of an allergy, however, food intolerance can cause very serious long-term health problems. Psychological symptoms can be mild (feeling slightly ‘brain fogged’) to more serious conditions such as depression and even dementia. Physical symptoms may include skin problems (for example, eczema), mouth problems including ulcers and canker sores, and digestive upsets including bloating, wind, constipation and/or diarrhoea.

Many people are surprised to learn that foods that have never caused a problem before can suddenly provoke a reaction at any age.

Do You Suspect a Food Allergy or Intolerance?

It is estimated that 2% of the Australian population has some level of food allergy while for children, the figure is as high as 5%. Coeliac disease where wheat gluten causes major problems for sufferers affects one in every hundred people but as many never get a diagnosis there may be many more people affected than we know.

For undiagnosed Coeliacs and for others who have a sensitivity to gluten or another type of food intolerance, inflammatory changes caused by the allergen in the diet may be causing long term harm and storing up potentially serious health consequences later on.

However, for those who suspect that the clues to the cause of our ‘brain fog’, aching muscles, upset tummies and stiff joints may lie in our diets, food allergy treatment can be sought. Sunbury Chiropractor Daniel Chatfield can offer nutritional guidance and supplement advice as well as Chiropractic treatment for his patients. Please arrange an appointment to discuss the options and possible treatment alternatives available, call Chatfield Chiropractic today on (03) 9746 3977 (Sunbury) or (03) 9303 9952 (Roxburgh Park).