Congratulations! In the top of your noggin exists the most complex, the most sophisticated and mysterious object known to human science- your headtop computer AKA; the brain. Capable of great beauty and kindness as well as terrific horror, the human brain is not only the thing that sets us apart from the animals, it is the tool by which we carve wellbeing out of all perceived possible futures.
So it’s for good reason that we wish to protect our brain function, for the lower our brain function falls- the less able we are to negotiate our wellbeing with other humans. Of course, over time due to the ravages of injury and age, our brains gradually break down just as any physical system will do. That, finer brains have told us, is called entropy.
The good news is that while the cells that compose our brains do not regenerate as readily as other types of tissues- the brain can spontaneously generate new connections between existing neurons.
Say, for example, you have five brain cells. (Way to go, that’s four more than some current politicians have.) Let’s say each of those five are connected to their neighbor, and the two farthest neurons are connected to each other. That’s five connections creating a loop. Messages can make the rounds, no problem.
Okay, now suppose two of these neurons are eaten by microscopic alligators. What? It could happen! Now, you’ve only got three neurons. But wait a minute, if you connect each of your remaining three neurons to each of the others, you now have six connections instead of five. Your neural network is now complex enough to simulate the power of five neurons!
Did your brain just flip over inside your head?
In addition to this, you can regrow neurons as well, just not as easily as you can regrow skin or bone. This is how neuroplasticity works. And while the ability of the brain to rewire itself is limited, it is powerful.
Now that we know just how wonderful neuroplasticity is, let’s talk about ways to nurture and promote it for longer lasting, peppier, and more juicy brain meat.
The Foes of Neurogenesis
In addition to age and accidents, several factors contribute to damage to our brains. Most, we can avoid.
Certain drugs are known to inhibit neuron and dendrite growth. Chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics are chief among them. Other neurogenesis inhibitors include the SSRIs; the psychiatric drugs commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
We actually treat mental illness with drugs that damage the brain. This is the chemical equivalent of smacking someone on the head for making a mistake. So tell your doctor, he’s not the Fonze, and your head is not a jukebox.
High levels of glucose are not good for your brain either. Sugar is a cheap fuel. Eating it is like putting cheap gas into a sports car. Have a treat once in a while, but otherwise, avoid sugars.
Likewise, foods that cause inflammation (sugars) create a toxic environment for the brain. Inflammation makes the gut unable to keep toxins out of your bloodstream- turning your whole system sour. The brain whithers under these conditions.
Friends of Neurogenesis
Now for what you can do to keep your beautiful brain feeling cool and fruity. First thing’s first- eat healthily and stay active. The key is to sustain it. Do not set high standards and goals that you will abandon in a week. Make small improvements each day. Understand that you are not your own slave. You cannot tyrannize yourself. So, make small incremental improvements each day.
Commit to doing at least one small exercise every day, even if it’s just one set of sit-ups. Then, eat fewer carbs. Ideally, you want them out of your diet entirely.
Next, give your brain the supplies it needs to grow. That’s omega fatty acids and protein. These are the materials from which the connections between brain cells are made. Without them, neurons cannot communicate. Fish oil is a must.
Next, remember that moderate servings of red wine are good for your brain, heart, circulatory system, and your social life. Have a nice glass of red wine every night. We have it on the highest authority that it’s even better than water on certain occasions.
Remember, without good brain health, very little else matters. So take good care of your brain.
~ Health Scams Exposed