The Aging Brain: How to Keep Your Memory and Focus Sharp At Any Age

About 50 million people worldwide have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.  

Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60-70% of cases.  

While these are staggering numbers, we know that dementia affects each person in a different way.

Even with cognition studies and papers about it…

There is no answer for dementia.    

It’s frightening to think that you or your spouse or other family members will become one of these statistics.  

If you’re reading this you likely know someone who is one of these numbers or you are concerned about becoming a statistic yourself.   

These numbers are a sign that we are not taking care of ourselves and others very well and cognitive decline with age has become an epidemic,

But the good news is you can actually do something about it…

Evidence is piling up that the aging population is likely to experience different levels of cognitive decline.  It’s a scary notion to think about it really.

Could it be possible to avoid this scenario?

While we cannot stop the aging process, we can modify how we age and particularly our brains.  

In 2017 Dr. Mark Hyman hosted a series entitled “Broken Brain.”  He interviewed over 50 experts during the series with the intention of helping anyone who tuned in to learn how to heal your brain and optimize the brain’s function.

It was a well done series and the takeaways from the series were many.  He discussed several keys to an “ultramind” and I  want to talk about 3 of them. 

1) The first key is to cool off inflammation.  

We are constantly being exposed to a myriad of toxins, chemicals and stresses on a daily basis.  When our system is frequently on overdrive, the pressure on our minds and bodies build.  One of the first things that happens is that it creates inflammation. 

Inflammation of the brain is a central symptom of almost all psychiatric and neurological conditions, as well as most chronic diseases.  

If your brain isn’t working well,  it is almost certainly inflamed.  

So, what do you do to help an inflamed brain?  

Remove the bad stuff and bring in the good stuff.  Remove things like sugar and wheat  from your diet.  There are many anti-inflammatory diets that are helpful if a structured plan is needed.  

Add in a regime for good sleep.  Go to bed by 10pm and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. 

Movement of some kind is essential for decreasing the inflammation in the body. Simple walking can be beneficial to riding your bike or playing in an organized sport on a regular basis. 

Supplement with anti inflammatory foods like:

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary 
  • Garlic

It’s not difficult to make some basic changes that can have a profound effect on your brain and overall health.

2) The second key ingredient is to balance your hormones. 

Our hormones are like an orchestra that all need to work in harmony. Insulin, sex hormones, thyroid and stress hormones and more are vital to a heathy brain.  

The three major hormones include sex hormones, thyroid and insuin. Cortisol is often the missing hormone that isn’t discussed as much.   It’s reported that more than 100 million Americans suffer from insulin resistance.  Insulin is the chemical that escorts the sugar we eat into our cells where it is translated into energy.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body pumps out more insulin than your body can effectively use.  

Our thyroid hormones are like the gas pedal. We want to push on the gas pedal to make us go and give us energy but oftentimes nothing happens. The truth is you can’t push on the gas pedal without gas in the gas tank.

The last hormone we will mention is the stress hormones as this is your gas tank.  These hormones specifically cortisol functions to handle all the stress in your life.  I refer to your adrenal glands that make cortisol as your gas tank.   You must fill the gas tank first before anything will happen to the rest of your car which can be your body in this story.  

It’s essential that your hormones are balanced for brain function.  A plan to balance your hormones should include:

  • Cut out sugar from your diet along with wheat and dairy products.
  • Avoid fluoride which has been linked to thyroid problems. 
  • Get your hormones tested and if needed consider bio identical hormones.
  • Get moving!  Walk, run,  bike to enhance your bodies’ ability to create and utilize your hormones.

3) The 3rd key ingredient is to calm your mind

We are constantly being bombarded with consistent stimuli from the minute we wake until we go to sleep.  The overwhelming stresses of overwork, social isolation, disconnected from family and friends all take  a toll on our nervous systems leading to burnout and breakdown.  

Powerful tools to help calm the mind include simple things like become aware of your thoughts.  Did you know we have over 60,000 thoughts every day and most of them are negative? 

It’s important to realize that our thoughts can be harmful or healing. Our perceptions can bring peace or chaos to our nervous system. Our beliefs literally mold our brains.  A rigid brain  actually creates plaques that build causing a  loss of resiliency with the brain.

There is research revealing there is neuroplasticity to the brain if we learn how to utilize it. 

So, we can take the rigidity within the brain and actually start to rewire and bring some calmness and peace to the brain. 

How do we do this?

  • A nutrient depleted toxic diet has to be replaced with a nutrient rich supportive diet plan.
  • Meditation from guided apps to listening to peaceful music  either in the morning or evening or both.
  • Identify and decrease the biggest stressors in your life whether it be a toxic friend or a relationship that needs some attention.   

All of these factors impact your brain health.  These stressors are damaging the hippocampus that stores memories.  These factors over time stress increase depression and anxiety  within the brain.  

Ignoring these steps will  increase your chances to become one of the statistics we mentioned earlier.   

If you’re ready to improve your brain, take some action on these steps. 

If you are interested in not only supporting your brain but you want to use this link to schedule your 1-on-1 aging case review to learn more about how to support your brain and defy aging

Click here to book your 1-on-1 aging case review

In optimal living,

Dr. Jenny

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