Do you think about brain health?
We often think about mental health nowadays. At work. At home. It’s the buzzword du jour.
But what about your brain health? What are you doing for that?
After all, how your brain functions determines your thinking, your feeling and your actions.
You see, what you do to your body, you do to your brain. And what you do to your brain, you do to your body.
Every aspect of our lives comes down to the decisions we make, and those are determined by our prefrontal cortex, or our executive function.
What our brains and bodies dislike
What are the major things that wreak havoc for optimal functioning of our brains and our bodies? Think of these as sources of inflammation.
- Food impacts our pre-frontal cortex function, like those with a high glycaemic index that send our blood glucose levels sky rocketing. Think of refined flours and refined sugars.
- Pesticides and excess antibiotics exposure that disrupt our gut microbiomes.
- Chemicals that affect our hormones and endocrine function like plastics, skin care products, air fresheners, fire retardant materials in mattresses and sofas.
- Mould – often hidden in the walls from water damage that happens at home, and is a major risk factor in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Then there are the more obvious ones, like unmanaged stress, poor sleep, isolation and a lack of community and human connection, physical inactivity.
How a tractor can help your brain health
I saw this tractor on the beach on the south coast of Spain as I was running one morning. It made the beach look really appealing after the sunbathers had made it a little messy the day before.
No-one wants an untidy, litter strewn beach. Not only is it unpleasant for getting a dose of vitamin D, it’s much more difficult to clean up if the litter accumulates over time.
It’s like your body and your brain. The sources of litter – inflammation – for your brain accumulate over time. And at some point your body will tell you it has had enough.
It’s too full of toxins, and you’ll notice the signs and symptoms coming out.
And like the tractor, you don’t need to do this every day or make all the changes to support your brain health (and your mental health and your body) in one go.
The sources of litter – inflammation – for your brain accumulate over time.Tweet
Doing a little bit, every day, like this tractor at the beach will set you up for success in your health, and every other aspect of your life.
When there are fewer beachgoers, the tractor doesn’t need to tend to the beach as much.
Similarly, when the sources of inflammation for your brain and body are dialed back, it’s ok to go into maintenance mode.
Over to you!
What do you want to do for your brain health?
- Is it minimising your exposure to pesticides by trying out organic food?
- Perhaps it’s minimising the use of plastic containers by reducing your takeaways of hot food in plastic containers.
- Maybe it’s checking at home for mould