3 Ways to Nourish Your Brain
Your brain is the most important organ in your body. It runs the whole show. It begins working from before you are born throughout your whole life. The first thing to develop in utero is the brain and spinal cord. Something has to tell that little heart to start to beat.
The human brain controls everything from physical function to internal reactions. Keeping your brain healthy helps your mind stay active and allows you to function daily.
Previous studies had concluded that the brain is stagnant and brain capacity does not change. Whatever genetic limits you were given at birth, is what you have to work with your whole life. However, more recent studies and the use of Functional MRI show that the brain is neuroplastic and not stagnant at all! It
That means your brain is constantly learning, adapting, and ever-changing. It grows and learns as you do and it is very important that you keep it in tip-top shape at all times.
You can take care of your brain by nourishing it, and you can do that in 3 simple ways:
Your brain lives off of movement – the electrical activity from your muscles feed and fuel your brain like a battery.
Your brain, being mostly mechanoreceptor driven, means it is driven by movement. This is why we pay really close attention to infants and childrens’ motor milestones. We know if motor milestones are on track, the baby’s brain is on track and developing appropriately. From sitting, crawling, walking, and jumping, the brain is developing motor patterns, and making hardwire connections between the right and left brain. Cross-pattern movement to the brain is vital for these critical brain connections.
The movement from side to side in your body feeds your brain. This is why people feel great after exercise and movement. You are feeding and growing your brain.
If you are working a seated occupation, perhaps sitting in the classroom or at a desk, in front of a television, or your phone screen, your brain does not get the nourishment it needs. You have to get up and move your body! When your brain doesn’t get the “food” or movement it needs, it will ask for it in other ways, sugar and simple carbs, finger or foot tapping, nail biting, hair twirling, teeth grinding, knuckle or spine “popping”, or just complete lethargy and fatigue once it hasn’t received what it needs to function appropriately.
There is no one specific movement that is required to nourish your brain. Anything that will use dynamic movements is healthy for you. We encourage kids to participate in taekwondo, karate, swimming, rock climbing, and other activities that allow you to use both sides of your brain.
As children, we are still making a ton of neurological connections. From birth to three years of age, we make a million neurological new connections in a second. It slows down as we get older, but we still make about a million new connections every year in our 30’s and 40’s. That’s one dynamic brain!
Put a little bit more effort in moving your body regularly. The electrical impulses that movements create are very important to your brain’s health.
Your brain needs nutrients – it feeds on what you feed your body.
What comes into your body is broken down and distributed by your digestive system. It is not enough that you move around to keep your brain functioning properly. You need to feed nutrition to your body and brain too.
Studies have looked at cells after eating specific diets. A cell fed “dead” food, ie processed foods, the cells have little movement and appear lethargic and “dead”. Cells fed a variety of “living” foods, unprocessed and straight from the earth, appear vibrant and alive. This is why a healthy diet is always strongly encouraged along with regular exercise.
Your brain consumes about 25% of all of our nutrients and energy. It needs to be fed well, both through movement and nutrient consumption. Some nutrients may be difficult to find in our diet. Both Magnesium and Omega 3 Fatty Acid.
These nutrients will be responsible for coating and speeding up the electrical impulses that your brain needs.
Omega-3s and Magnesium are the most important nutrients in keeping your brain healthy. Omega-3s provide the fat around the brain and neurons that are necessary for electrical impulses to travel to your brain and Magnesium aids in healthy brain development, memory, and learning. Not all magnesium is created equal. You need a form that crosses the blood-brain barrier and opens the calcium and magnesium channels in your brain cells.
Feed yourself a healthy “living” diet of unprocessed, organic foods to keep your brain sharp and healthy!
3. Fresh Air
Your brain lives off of fresh air – it breathes the air you breathe.
It needs oxygen just as much as it needs nutrients and the impulses that come from your diet and movement. Oxygen helps your brain function well and send the signals needed to the different organs that allow you to understand and move.
Yes, it also takes up around 25% of the oxygen supply as well.
When it does not get what it needs, it does not effectively distribute signals to different parts of your body. Oxygen deprivation cause cognitive issues, decreased motor control, and in worse cases, long-term brain damage or death.
Spend time around nature to breathe fresh air in and keep your brain healthy. The fresher air you take in, the better your brain’s condition will be! Despite the chemicals and pesticides in the great outdoors, it is cleaner than indoor air. Our homes are typically full of emissions from our paint, furniture, flooring, and plastics. Find a high quality air filter to help in your home.
These 3 simple ways to keep your brain healthy have a huge impact on our prefrontal cortex – the portion of our brain that inhibits the fight or flight response (Stress). Your prefrontal cortex is responsible for our higher brain functions, it’s what makes us human. It is in charge of developing rational, cognitive, and creative thoughts.
Your fight or flight (stress) response comes from your hindbrain, the amygdala. When there is too much stress and your prefrontal cortex is not being activated, the amygdala is what runs the show. When this happens, it means your brain is in survival and becomes impulsive and reactive. Rational thought is out the door.
Research has proven that chiropractic adjustments stimulate only the prefrontal cortex. It helps inhibit the amygdala from that fight or flight response. It keeps us calm, healthy, improves our healing, and allows us to be the best version of ourselves.
Keep your brain healthy by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy organic diet filled with Omega-3s and Magnesium, breathing as much fresh air as you can, and getting adjustments as needed and recommended by your neurological-based chiropractor!
Purpose Driven Chiropractic prioritizes your wellbeing and your brain’s health. If you are not a part of our office already, we’d love to have you.
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