Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 2:  Lifestyle Tips

Last week we shared an article about how to boost your cognitive health using nutrition. Click here to read that post: Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 1: Nutrition

Whether you yourself are suffering, your loved one is struggling, or you are an advocate of healthy living- you will want to take note of the tips offered in this guide.

This guide is based on Dr. Bredesen’s #1 Bestseller, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline,  His substantial work in the field of reversing cognitive decline is instrumental for anyone suffering from this themselves or supporting a loved one going through this process.  

Here are some great tips that would truly benefit all of us, especially those of you who are trying to find the right protocol to support your brain health.  1) Exercise 

5-6 times per week for 30-60 minutes, raising heart rate and including both cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Exercise increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has important anti-Alzheimer’s effects. It also helps to improve oxygenation, improve sleep, reduce overall stress, reduce fat and associated adipokines, improve insulin sensitivity, and improve overall brain and body physiology in numerous ways. Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent cognitive decline, and is an important part of the protocol to reverse cognitive decline.2) Sleep

Sleep has multiple mechanisms to reduce cognitive decline. For example, it induces melatonin, which reduces the amyloid-beta associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, it is critical to memory consolidation and it alters cellular anatomy to foster the removal of abnormal and toxic species from the brain. Thus, sleep has multiple mechanisms to support the reversal of cognitive decline.

Most people have a sleep debt, due to chronic lack of optimal sleep, both in quantity and quality. It is crucial to ensure that you do not have sleep apnea. If you do have sleep apnea, it is very important to treat it whether by CPAP, oral device, altering sleeping position, or other methods. Melatonin:

It can be helpful to use melatonin at bedtime. A physiological dose is 0.5mg, which can be taken by mouth or sublingually, depending on formulation. Some take higher doses, up to 20mg, and it is a relatively benign supplement, so you can adjust your dose.

If the dose is too high, you may notice that you awaken after about three hours of heavy sleep, and you may feel sluggish the next morning. If the dose is right, you should notice increased dreaming and awaken feeling refreshed. Melatonin has many effects, among them reducing amyloid-beta, reducing reactive oxygen species, and tumor suppression.

If you find that you are awakening in the middle of the night and ruminating, unable to return to sleep, you may find that Tryptophan (500mg) or 5-hydroxytryptophan (100 mg) helps to prevent this. Please discuss this with your practitioner, especially if you are on an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) for depression, or a related SNRI (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor).Helpful Sleep Tips:

In order to optimize cognition, try to get as close to 8 hours of sleep each night as possible. It is best to go to bed before midnight, although some people find that their circadian rhythms do not allow this. It is also best to make sure that the room is as dark as possible. Many people like to use an eye mask for this purpose or blackout curtains. In addition, have your bedroom be as quiet as possible and free of EMFs. Lastly, wind down in the evening instead of exercising or working right up until bedtime. 3) Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the most important contributors to cognitive decline, and stress-related molecules such as cortisol and corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1 are mediators of neural cell death and cognitive decline. Therefore, an important part of the overall program is to reduce stress-related effects, and there are many ways to do this, so please choose the ones that you enjoy. Relaxation Ideas:

Some people choose meditation, and indeed meditation has a positive effect on cognition. Others love music, walks in the park, yoga, visiting museums, lovemaking, or many other things (or all of those things). The Neural Agility recording, designed for brain neurophysiology, is “meditation on steroids,” and many enjoy that. This should be done 5 times per week, in the evenings, for 30 minutes, relaxed and lying down with the lights down. Finding joy and relaxation in life is very important to reduce the brain-damaging stress that many of us feel in our busy lives.4) Mental Exercise

There are many ways to do mental exercises. Try Posit, Dakim, Lumosity, learn a new language, do Sudoku, or crossword puzzles, etc. The key is to do these in the presence of improved biochemistry. Do not do these exercises to the point of exhaustion. A typical session is 40-60 minutes for 4 or 5 times each week. If you are new to this habit, it is ok to start with shorter sessions and increase the duration with time. Remember, some mental exercise is better than none at all. Make it a priority to stay mentally active. In essence, you “use it or lose it.”5) Auditory Physiology

This is like “meditation on steroids.” Use with headphones and listen from your phone, iPod or computer in the evening. It is ideal to practice this 5 times per week, for 30 minutes each time. Rest as you lay down on your back in a dark room and relax. These specialized tones can affect the release of powerful brain chemicals that can regulate mood, improve sleep, and reduce aggression as well as depression. Listen here: http://www.fariastechnique.com/music-for-interhemispheric-synchronization  and Dr. Bredesen recommended this program : http://www.activemindsglobal.com/products/revita-mind/

6) Hygiene

Dr. Kenneth Seaton from Australia spent his career studying the relationship between hygiene, inflammation, and cognition. One of the measures he used to gauge inflammation was the albumin-to-globulin (A/G) ratio. Albumin is an important protein to remove amyloid, and to carry many other molecules (including drugs and hormones) in the blood. When inflammation occurs, from bacteria, fungi, viruses, harmful microbes or dietary inflammagens (like trans fats or simple carbohydrates) the globulin fraction (from which antibodies are derived) increases at the expense of the albumin fraction. This reduces the A/G ratio. This is associated with reduced cognition.

Hygiene, and the maintenance of intact barriers (gut lining, blood-brain barrier, oral, nasal, integumentary (skin, nails, hair), etc.), play a key role in optimizing the A/G ratio. Oral hygiene with an electric toothbrush, floss, and a water-pressure flosser are all important. Oral microbes have been identified repeatedly in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease. Some like to use nasal washes, as well. Evaluation for MARCoNS (multiple antibiotic resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus) is helpful, especially in anyone with type 3 (toxic) Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, ensuring good nail and skin hygiene can be helpful.Your Cognitive Health Is Worth The Investment:

In essence physical and mental exercise, sleep, relaxation, auditory physiology, and hygiene are all important factors to consider when supporting your brain health. All six of these lifestyle tips will help to optimize your physical and mental wellbeing.

Please click here to learn more about Happy Health Institute can guide your health and healing. Happy Health Institute Services: http://onnalomd.com/services/. Furthermore, you can click here to book a free discovery call to gain personalized attention: http://onnalomd.com/contact-us/.

If you missed the post from last week, be sure to click here: Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 1: Nutrition.

PS: Join our free Facebook Group here to learn more about cognitive health and more happy healthy tips: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happyhealthcommunity/To learn more on this topic please reference our resources below:

Book: The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen, MD

Website + Research: https://www.drbredesen.com/thebredesenprotocol

Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 1: Nutrition

If you want to improve your brain health, at any age and in any condition, this article is a must-read for you.

This article is perfect for four types of people:

A) You are starting to notice the first signs of cognitive decline:

  • Confusion
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Loss of short-term or long-term memory
  • Identity confusion
  • Impaired judgment

B) You simply want the best brain health your whole life through.

C) You are supporting a loved one who has started to lose optimal brain function.

D) All of the above.

Whether you yourself are suffering, your loved one is struggling, or you are an advocate of healthy living- you will want to take note of the 16 tips offered here in this guide.

This guide is based on Dr. Bredesen’s #1 Bestseller, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. His substantial work in the field of reversing cognitive decline is instrumental for anyone suffering from this themselves or supporting a loved one going through this process.  

These tips would truly benefit all of us, especially those of you who are trying to find the right protocol to support your brain health.  Stay tuned next week too when we share part 2 of this special series!

1. Fast for at least 12 hours between the end of dinner and the beginning of breakfast.

This allows autophagy to occur, which helps your brain to destroy aggregated proteins and other unwanted accumulated molecules. It is best to break the fast with water with some lemon, as a detoxifying drink. Please note: It is best to work with your functional medicine doctor to ensure your blood sugar levels are in a safe proper range for fasting.

2. Fast for at least 3 hours prior to going to bed.

This helps to prevent insulin from inhibiting melatonin and growth hormone, and thus improves sleep and immune function. 

3. It is key to minimize simple carbohydrates

Such as sugar, sweet treats, bread (white and brown), white rice, white potatoes (OK to eat sweet potatoes and other colored potatoes in small quantities), soft drinks (both regular and diet, since diet alter microbiome), alcohol, candy, cakes, processed foods, and anything else with simple carbohydrates. The goal is to change from carbohydrate metabolism to lipid metabolism.

4. Make most of your diet from items that have a glycemic index lower than 35.

For a list of glycemic indices for food, see: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-for-100-foods

5. Vegetables should be the largest part of the diet

Especially non-starchy ones. Include both uncooked (salads) and cooked. Include as many colors as possible.

6. Avoid fruit juices, but eat fruits 

The whole fruit includes the fiber or have smoothies with fruit, but do not make the smoothies too sweet —best with some vegetables.

7. Avoid gluten and dairy as much as possible.

It is recommended that you get Cyrex Arrays 2, 3, 4 and 20 to help guide you: Array 2 is to determine if you have leaky gut; Array 3 is to determine if you have gluten sensitivity; and Array 20 is to determine whether you have a leaky blood-brain barrier.

8. Reduce blood sugar

You can do this by including fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Try this recipe to make your own almond milk.

9. Reduce toxins

Try this by including cilantro, cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts).

10. Include good fats

Such as avocado, nuts, olive oil, seeds, etc.

11. Avoid processed foods and instead eat whole foods.

12. Meat is a condiment, not a main course.

If you eat it, fine, but don’t eat too much (2 or 3 ounces, 1-5 nights per week), and eat pastured chicken or grass-fed beef. Fish is fine if wild caught, best to avoid high-mercury fish such as tuna, swordfish, and shark (fish with large mouths and long lifespans are worst). “SMASH” fish are best (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring).

13. Emphasize foods with high nutrient density

Such as kale and romaine lettuce. Each day, try to eat at least 3 helpings of:

  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale, collards, spinach, or chard.
  • Colored vegetables or fruits, such as berries, carrots, or beets.
  • Sulfur-rich vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus.
  • Include aromatic herbs such as cilantro, parsley, basil, or mint.

14. Be aware of the “dirty dozen and clean 15” foods.

The Dirty Dozen are foods highest in pesticides, and therefore important to buy as organic: Click here to learn more: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php The Clean 15 are foods that are not sprayed as heavily, and therefore relatively safe to buy conventionally (non-organically): Click here to learn more: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php  See: www.fullyraw.com/dirty-dozen-clean-15

15. For grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, it is helpful to remove the lectins and phytates

Do this by soaking prior to cooking. https://wholelifestylenutrition.com/health/is-soaking-grains-and-legumes-necessary-and-how-to-properly-soak-and-prepare-them/

16. Incorporate pro-biotics and pre-biotics

Do this after determining that you do not have a leaky gut (Cyrex 2). Pro-biotics help to optimize your microbiome, the bacterial population in your gut. Pro-biotic foods include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, dairy- free yogurt, tempeh, miso, kefir, and coconut water. Pre-biotics help to support the bacteria of the microbiome. Pre-biotic foods include jicama, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, and others. 

May this guide to boosting your cognitive health be helpful for you.

There are 16 powerful tips here, and starting with just one will make a difference. If you’d like personal support in this process. Please click here to learn more about Happy Health Institute can guide your health and healing. Happy Health Institute Services: http://onnalomd.com/services/. Furthermore, you can click here to book a free discovery call to gain personalized attention: http://onnalomd.com/contact-us/.

Tune in next week when we share Guide To Boosting Your Cognitive Health Part 2: Lifestyle

PS: Join our free Facebook Group here to learn more about cognitive health and more happy healthy tips: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happyhealthcommunity/Image result for facebook group

RESOURCES:

Book: The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline

by Dale Bredesen, MD

Image result for end of alzheimer's book

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Today, I have a great yogic technique that I want to share with you. It’s breath work that yogis use to control their moods and energies.

When we are distressed, we take quick, shallow breaths.

When we are relaxed, we take deep, full breaths.

When we practice regulating our breathing patterns, we improve our mental and physical state.

This technique is called Alternate Nostril Breathing.

The nerves going out from the two brain hemispheres cross at the level of the eyebrows. The left hemisphere connects to the right side of the body and right nostril, and the right hemisphere to the left side of the body and left nostril.

Right nostril breathing (Coffee Replacer).
It activates qualities of left brain: the Sun energy—warming, projective, concentrative, alert, and action oriented.screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-9-08-51-pm

  1. Have the left hand in Gyan mudra (touch thumb with index finger) relax on lap
  2. Raise your right hand, use the index finger  to close your left nostril
  3. Slowly inhale through the right nostril
  4. Eyes can be closed or 1/10 open looking at tip of nose
  5. Long deep breaths for 3 minutes
  6. To end you take a deep breath in with both nostrils, hold the breath, for a count of 10, then release.

Left nostril breathing (Calm Inducer). 
It activates right brain qualities: the Moon energy, calmness, receptive, cooling. Best to use before bed or anxiety.screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-9-08-56-pm

  1. Use the thumb on your right hand to cover your right nostril
  2. Breathe slowly through your left nostril
  3. Eyes can be closed or 1/10 open looking at tip of nose
  4. Long deep breathing for 3 minutes

Try RIGHT in the morning, and LEFT one before bed, and enjoy the powerful effects of this breath.

Happy Breathing!!

4 Natural Immune Boosting Tips

Whether you are a parent with kids going back to school, or you work in a large office environment with lots of handshakes or door knobs to grab, September to November months are often when people begin the cycle of cough and colds, earaches, strep throats and sinus symptoms.  Some more prone to it than others.

Here are some simple tools to boost your immune system so you can avoid being out from work, or avoid frequent visits to the doctors.

1. Pay attention to Diet

Remove inflammatory foods can make a huge difference in boosting your immune system, and we now know that foods with high phytonutrients can fight disease too.

  • Remove most sugar, including artificial sugar, processed sugar, fruit juices and sodas.
  • Remove cow and goat dairy like cheese, yoghurt, milk.  It is known to cause more phlegm and mucus in our body.
  • Eat 8 servings (a small fist/serving) of fruits, especially berries and vegetables like dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower)
  • Use food as medicine and eat lots of onions, garlic and ginger to benefit from their anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory
  • Eat high quality protein (fish, lean meats) and fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado)

2. Get enough Sleep

It’s easy to extend the summer fun and push for late night social events or watch one too many TV series.  Instead, give yourself more time to sleep by going to bed early, and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. 

Our body fights inflammation better with melatonin from our body during our sleep, and we make better at repairing our body with protein and cells when we have enough sleep.

3. Use a Nasal Saline Rinse daily

Using a nasal rinse using saline can help reduce respiratory infections significantly.  You can use a neti pot, my favorite is the Neil Med Sinus Rinse Bottle that you can get in major pharmacies.  And use the pre-packaged pH balanced saline packets so it’s soothing to the nasal cavities.

4. Take these 3 vitamins every day

  • Vitamin C –
    • Study shows cold symptoms decrease by 13% with taking 1 gram daily of Vitamin C for prevention.
    • Take 500mg buffered ascorbic acid twice a day, or 1000mg daily.
  • Vitamin D –
    • Vitamin D is essential fat soluble vitamin that acts like a hormone in our body, important for immune functioning, decreasing inflammation, control of cell growth.
    • Get 10 -15 minutes of mid-day sun exposure to your skin (Adjust base on your location and how close you are to the equator and also the time of year. )
    • Take 2000 IU (international units) per day
  • Zinc –
    • Zinc is an essential mineral for keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes and creating DNA.  If you take it daily for up to 5 months, zinc reduces chances of you getting a viral infection such as colds.
    • Food sources of proteins includes oysters, crabs, nuts, spinach, seeds: sesame, pumpkin, sunflowers, chia and flaxseeds, dark chocolate, and mushrooms.
    • Take 25mg per day.

 

Brown R, Pang G, Husband AJ, King MG. Suppression of immunity to influenza virus infection in the respiratory tract following sleep disturbance. Reg Immunol. 1989;2:321–325

Pratter MR. Cough and the common cold: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2006;129(1 suppl):72S-74S.

Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(2):CD001364

Slapak I, Skoupá J, Strnad P, Horník P. Efficacy of isotonic nasal wash (seawater) in the treatment and prevention of rhinitis in children. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 20 08 ;134 (1) : 67-74.

 

 

 

An Immune Booster: Yogi Tea Recipe


screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-32-34-pmEver feel horrible when going through a detox, or a change in diet, or sometimes just feeling under the weather?

This is my secret weapon.

Yogi Tea is a health promoting, delicious, soothing drink and coffee substitute.  I like to make a big pot of it and drink it throughout the day, especially in the winter months, or when I am doing a detox.

In the science of yogic foods the spices used are said to have the following properties:

  • Black pepper: blood purifier
  • Cardamom pods: digestive aid
  • Cloves: beneficial to the nervous systemscreen-shot-2016-09-08-at-9-32-51-pm
  • Cinnamon: strengthens the bones
  • Ginger root: healing for colds and flu, increases energy

The milk in the tea binds the flavor of the spices.  Other milk substitutes can be used. A homeopathic dose of black tea binds the effects of all the ingredients, creating just the right medicinal balance.  The cinnamon creates enough sweetness that you might not need to add honey.

(Bonus tip:  watch the cloves dance in the boiling water, and smell the aroma of the cardamom. It’s a beautiful sight.)

Ingredients:

For each cup:
10 ounces of water (about 1 1/3 cups)
3 whole cloves
4 whole green cardamom pods, cracked
4 whole black peppercorns
½ stick cinnamon
¼ teaspoon black tea
½ cup milk or equivalent
2 slices fresh ginger root

Cooking Instructions:

Bring water to a boil and add spices. Cover and boil 15 to 20 minutes, then add black tea. Let sit for a few minutes, then add the milk and return to a boil. Don’t let it boil over. When it reaches a boil, remove immediately from heat, strain, and sweeten with honey, if desired.

Golden Milk: A recipe for healing inflammation

IMG_0636

Turmeric has been used for many years to fight depression, aches and pains, inflammation, degenerative brain disorders, heart disease, and preventing cancer, and common colds.  

You can make it with dairy free milk.  It is important to cook in an oil in order to release the medicinal benefits of turmeric.  To get the full anti-inflammatory benefits, drink it  first thing in the morning and before bed, and avoid eating for another 30 minutes after.  This recipe allows you to make your Golden Milk in batches.

Prep Time: 5 minutes             Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for the Golden paste:

  • ½ cup of turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of water

Directions for the Golden paste:

  1. Cook the ingredients at low – medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, until it has a “toothpaste” consistency. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Ingredients for the Golden milk:

  • 1 tablespoon of golden paste
  • 2 cups of dairy free milk  made from coconut, almond, soy, rice, hemp
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • optional: pinch of cinnamon, or 1 tsp of honey

Directions for the Golden Milk:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of Golden paste with the milk, oil, blackpepper and optional sweetener.
  2. Heat in small pot SLOWLY while stirring until well.
  3. Ready to serve.