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The Gut Brain connection 2

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As touched on from last weeks blog, we strive for ultimate overall health and wellness, however we find increasing numbers of mental health issues and related diseases.

In this modern world, the brain has to contend with a cocktail of haywire hormones, internal and external toxins, inflammation, increasing mobile phones usage, nutritional deficiencies, and a barrage of many other stressors.

If the brain isn’t fully functioning as it should, then how can the mind be working optimally?

You can only help to fix your thoughts, when the brain is in a good health.

So how do we get the brain working optimally and what can we do to improve brain function and cognition?

The following areas were discussed on the course, and I shall be going into each in detail in following weeks;

Chronic mental stress changes the brain structure and it’s communication/
connectivity system. There are tree type root structures that act to send signals within the brain. During periods of high stress these are damaged.
More research is being done to find whether new pathways can be created and some research looks promising. Some however do die off with damage and disease.

Inflammation – your body can react to internal and external stressors which places strain on your body. It’s the body’s way of healing itself and it’s part of its immune response. It defends against bacteria, viruses and foreign bodies. Inflammation can damage the brain and cause anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is thought to have a greater influence on heart disease than cholesterol. High sugar in the diet can greatly increase the body’s inflammatory response, as can processed/refined foods, vegetable and seed oils, artificial trans fats, high alcohol intake, imbalanced gut bacteria. It’s a huge area I’m going to be focussing a lot more on in future blogs.

Dietary adjustments – good fats like omega 3 are critical in building an effective brain pathway. Seeing as the brain is made up of predominantly fat (60%) also cells and water you can see the importance of having fat (the right ones) within the diet. It was suggested to minimize vegetable and seed oils use as they are high in omega 6’s (it helps to get the right balance of 3 and 6).

Vaccinations, it is thought, which have within them certain toxic metals.ie aluminum, have been shown to have strong links with autism.

Mercury (within fillings) it has been suggested destroys brain neurons and cells. By having them in your mouth they can leach continually.
It was recommended to get them taken out by a biological dentist and be in relative good health and take probiotics to minimize toxicity. Only one or two close together at a time max, due to the impact on your body’s systems. One lecturer suggested probiotics might help minimise their impact.
I had previously spoken to a top dentist about this and she thought mercury leaching would be minimal as the filling is sealed however we were told of much research to refute this.

Impacted/disturbed and lack of sleep can have a major impact on brain health. Poor sleep has been shown to accelerate Alzeimers risk in the brain, and also destroy brain cells and neurons.

Caffeine was shown to reduce blood flow to the brain by 38%, it constricts, wires your system, can inhibit sleep and signals the fight or flight adrenaline response. It was suggested to try organic decaffeinated coffee.

Alcohol has been shown to kill brain cells and shrink the brain. Levels in studies varied but obviously worsened with increasing, regular amounts.

Fasting (20-30% daily reduction) it is suggested, can allow the brain to make new connections, and actually improve function. It can help the body get in repair mode.

So from some of the most recent research what can we do to impact on our brain health?

Eat food in its natural state with minimal
processed/refined, build in varied types of food including fermented and yoghurt cultures. Have good omega 3 fats within the diet from oily fish, flax and chia seeds, walnuts and spinach.

Sleep well, for a sufficient amount of time (8+hrs)

Minimize alcohol consumption

Not overusing mobile phones

Exercise and move more – high intensity/interval type exercise including dancing choreographed skilled movement. Aerobic exercise to oxygenate the brain together with resistance based exercise.

Limit stimulants like caffeine.

Reduce chronic stress using different ways, being mindful, building in rest and recuperation, find your own coping strategies.

Get your mercury fillings taken out

Fasting – try 2 or 3 meals a day and limited or no snacking, close your eating window time, or intermittent fasting. (There is suggestions of the bodies healing/repairing responses increasing here).

Take probiotics supplements to help restore a good gut flora.

Stay tuned for much more detail over the coming weeks. Please DM me for any specific questions.

Best wishes
Stuart

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