Our brain is the most important organ in our body. Our brain controls every thought and action we have.  This includes sleep, digestion, memories, speech, movement, and more.

Our gut and brain work in tandem, each influencing the other.

The brain directly communicates with the stomach and intestines (which is what we call the gastrointestinal system) through the vagus nerve.” 

Research shows we can rebuild our brain with the foods we put in our gut.  We can change its function and structure throughout our entire life.

If we suffer from obesity and addictions, we can also suffer from brain atrophy. Alcoholics tend to have smaller brains than non-alcoholics and antipsychotics are  linked to brain shrinkage as well as killing brain cells.

Stress can also kill brain cells, cause brain atrophy, and increase the risk for depression. Inflammatory processes from foods to stress are involved in depression. In fact, prolonged anxiety and depression can shrink the hippocampus. Scientists believe people exposed to chronic stress tend to have elevated levels of cortisol.  High cortisol levels can be dangerous to the brain, damages the lining of the gut, and raises blood sugar levels.

The adrenal hormones that combat stress and relieve inflammation are cholesterol dependent.

The digesting brain thrives on cholesterol. High cortisol levels can create imbalances in our cholesterol levels. These imbalances are linked to inflammation. This inflammation significantly increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’sDisease. Statins can also create imbalances in the digesting brain.

Statin side-effects are also known to increase inflammation and dementia.  Statins are usually prescribed for CVD but theres a lack of evidence that statins actually prevent heart disease.

Try to minimise toxins

* The brain remembers toxic degrading thoughts! Dr. Daniel Amen calls it Negative Nellies. We can get stuck in negative patterns of thinking.

* Drugs such as Antibiotics, PPIs, Metformin, and SSRIs are harmful to the gut and brain microbiota. Some studies suggest Prozac can act as an antibiotic and have an adverse effect on our gut microbiome.

* Our endocrine system helps keep our hormones in balance.  BPAs in canned foods are a synthetic estrogenThese disrupt our hormonal system and have been linked to serious health problems such as brain imbalances, heart disorders, and breast cancer.

* Chemical toxins cause oxidative stress. Chemicals can change genes on and off. One example is Blue dye # 2.  This dye is known to cause brain tumors in rats. Dyes have also been linked to ADD. Dyes can be found in sweets, coloured beverages, cereals, sodas, snow cones and more. Ingesting fake foods, dyes, and chemicals can disrupt the digesting brain.

Fluoride is a toxin to our mind and body. Industrial fluoride in drinking water can cause GI distress and long-term exposure appears to decrease IQ in children. (Connett et al. [8] pp. 148–156) even from natural fluoride in water. 

6 simple steps to improve our brain as we age

1-Exercise. This reprograms our brain by stimulating new brain cells, through a process called neurogenesis. A healthy body really does mean a healthy mind.

2- Stimulation. Just as physical activity keeps our body robust, mental activity keeps our mind sharp. The more we improve our thoughts, the better our brain functions. If we continue to learn and challenge ourselves, the brain continues to grow. Research has demonstrated that learning a new language or studying a new subject over time enhances memory.  An active brain produces new connections and may prevent dementia.

3- Sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep every night along with daily exercise rejuvenates the brain and helps to release toxins and stress. Sleep is critical to building resilience and preventing disease. Plan to turn out the lights and get a good nights sleep!

4- Toxic exposure. Olfactory loss can be the result from toxic exposures. Smelling toxins in laundry and cleaning products go directly to our brain. We can help to reduce toxic exposures in our home by reducing chemical exposures. Choose chemical-free cleaning and laundry products.

5- Meditation. If we make simple changes in our habits we can improve brain function.  Meditation can help change negative patterns of thinking.

6- You are what you eat. It’s calculated that sugary foods, gluten, trans-fats, and alcohol in large doses are toxic to our mind and body by increasing stress levels and lowering immunity. Choose nutrient rich foods over junk.

Every bite size step we take and every thought we think can and will make a difference to the digesting brain!