Building Better Brains
Did you know that cognitive slow down begins as early as your 40s? A recent study found that 45-49 year olds have an average of 4% decline compared to a decade ago. 65 year olds showed a 10% decline! By the time someone has reached their 70s or 80s and been diagnosed with dementia, the process has been underway for decades. The possibility of losing our minds is certainly terrifying and many people think cognitive decline is an inevitability of aging.
But that’s not true!
I’m here to share the good news that we don’t have to resign ourselves to the inevitability of a declining brain. There are so many things we can do to keep our brains healthy, and even improve cognitive function and performance even if you are noticing changes.
Here is a recent success story of measurable reversal in only a month! This is a 73 year old male with diagnosed early onset dementia earlier this year. Take a look at the before and after pictures of the standardized “copy the cube” and “clock” tests. He made clear improvements and the Parkinson-like tremor is better too. His overall score improved back to where it was 9 months ago! This is a clear example of reversal of cognitive decline with lifestyle and IV nutrients.
While I customize every protocol to fit each individual’s situation and lab findings, two factors are absolutely essential. 1) following a healthy brain lifestyle and 2) ensuring all necessary vitamins and cofactors are present so the body can heal, detoxify, and regenerate. Let’s take a closer look.
A healthy brain lifestyle
I talk about lifestyle instead of diet because it is about learning and following a way of living rather than simply following a diet plan. The best pattern to implement for a healthy brain is Mediterranean lifestyle. Of course, this is a diet high in vegetables, fish, and whole grains. It is low in sugar, red meat, processed foods. Olive oil, rich in mono unsaturated fat and polyphenols, plays a central role in the diet. The Mediterranean diet is certainly not “low fat.” Indeed, our brains are largely made of fat. and some have questioned whether the low fat/no fat fads of the late twentieth century played a role in the dramatic increase in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia we see today. There are other confounders – the “low fat” alternatives to regular foods were often highly processed or full of chemicals – remember margarine?
The Mediterranean lifestyle is more than what you eat. It is also about being active every day and engaged in social interactions. Whether in Greece, France, Lebanon or Spain, these cultures have walkable cities and often require climbing lots of hills and stairs to get around. This daily activity is key. Further, walkable cities foster socializing. People see and talk with their neighbors, or enjoy a coffee together in a café. The importance of social connection is well established as a preventive factor in maintaining a healthy brain.
I recently created a 28-day Better Brain program to make it easy to re-create this lifestyle no matter where you are. This online program is implemented via an App on your phone or tablet. I’m very excited about having this lifestyle-based tool available to people everywhere! It includes a delicious menu and recipes, a physical activity program, breathing & meditation, trackers and reminders to keep you engaged, and more! You can learn more here.
Next time, I’ll delve into the second factor – key nutrients for brain health.