Tag Archives: brain health

Can Exercise Strengthen Your Brain?

By Becky Striepe for Care2.com

A new study out of the University of South Carolina suggests that it can!

The study looked at two sets of mice: one set exercised (on tiny, adorable treadmills!) for an hour each day, while the other set was sedentary. At the end of the experiment, the researchers had both sets of mice do one treadmill “run to exhaustion,” and then looked at the state of their brain cells.

What the scientists found was that the brain cells of the active mice had “newborn mitochondria.”

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Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras, Part Two

A brief background plus an overview of the first three chakras was outlined in part one of the Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras. The following is a continuation of the guide that explains the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chakras and what you can do to keep them open and in balance.

4th Chakra

Sanskrit name: Anahata
English name: meaning “unstruck”
Location: middle of the chest
Associated body parts: heart, lungs and arms
Color: green
Element: air
Sound vibration: YA

  • Governs sense of unconditional love, heart-felt gratitude and the ability to share.
  • When your fourth chakra is out of balance you may have difficulty giving and receiving unconditional love for yourself and others. You might also have a weak heart, suffer from arrhythmia, heart palpitations or certain breathing problems.
  • Yoga poses such as camel, bow and cobra help to open and balance the heart chakra.

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3 Tips for a Sharper Mind and Sculpted Body

Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

Use it or lose it.

If we don’t use our muscles, they will wither in atrophy and if we don’t use our brain, our brain will shrink. If the brain is not used, different brain areas will slow down leading to a faster decline in cognitive abilities such as multitasking, learning, memory or movement. A study from Harvard University concluded that lack of brain activity between different areas of the brain means faster aging.

However, what if I told you that is possible to be faster mentally or in better physical shape now than you were 5 or 10 years ago? For the last 10 years, we have being seeing a brilliant phenomena called brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the brain’s capacity to rewire or regenerate itself, and the key is stimulation. Anytime you stimulate the brain, you are strengthening existing connections and creating new powerful networks. In other words, you are strengthening your brain like a muscle.

According to Dr John Ratey Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, exercise is the ultimate way to improve brain plasticity. Nice! But plasticity doesn’t only affect our brains- but affects our muscles as well. Muscle fiber plasticity refers to the capacity of our muscles to change shape, form and structure and there is no age limit, you just need to be consistent with a resistance training program.

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New Legislation Could Ban Food and Plastic Chemicals From Shelves

New legislation could alter the familiar faces of the grocery store aisles, such as Chester the Cheetah or the Jolly Green Giant, in the very near future.

According to CNN.com, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts will introduce a bill later this month that would give the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences power to ban up to 10 harmful chemicals from common household and food products.

Once the NIEHS has named a chemical as “high concern,” its use is illegal after 24 months. Bisphenol A, often used in plastics and known as an endocrine disruptor, is one of the chemicals that could be on the banned list. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is also used in the lining of many canned goods, which are a staple of pantry cabinets throughout the US.

Harmful chemicals such as BPA and DES, a chemical found in cattle feed and breast cancer treatment medicine, can change how hormones operate and lead to birth defects such as neurological disorders or autism, according to the article.

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Top 10 Foods for Better Brain Health

Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

Who doesn’t want to get smarter? Who wants to look better or be healthier? Many recent studies have shown how specific nutrients have positive effects on the brain especially in those areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to good blood flow, help maintain mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

We know how foods play a great role in our brain. This is the conclusion of several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.

According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are Omega 3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.

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8 Tips to Live a Longer Healthier Life

Most people want to live long, healthy, and personally fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, there’s not a Fountain of Youth that will magically give you these things. If there was, I bet we would all be waiting in line for a glass of water from that spring. However, there are some things you can do to improve the quality and length of your life.

Get Physical. Physical fitness is a great way to keep yourself healthy and in shape. All you need to do is add 20 minutes of fitness to your day. Try something that is fun for you, whether it is dancing, walking, yoga, or something else entirely.

Milk It. You need calcium in your diet to prevent osteoporosis. Try eating at least one food that contains high levels of natural calcium, such as dairy products, salmon, and leafy greens.

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Mediterranean Diet Key to Growing Old Gracefully

Following the Mediterranean diet is not only tasty, but has a great benefit on your brain health. Recent research conducted at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago tracked nearly 4,000 adults over the age of 65. Their results confirmed what we’ve heard many times: the so-called Mediterranean Diet, a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and olive oil, helps your brain to age gracefully.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this research proved that those who followed the diet were less likely to struggle with everyday tasks as they grew older. The study also revealed that those on a steady diet of healthy foods performed much better than those who ate lots of red meat, white bread and processed foods, often known as the “American” diet. Researchers found that the best performers consumed lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, olive oil, beans, nuts and moderate amounts of alcohol. The foods have a positive affect on the brain, protecting it by reducing damage caused by oxidative stress.

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The Coffee and Sugar Brain Power Connection

Coffee and sugar seem to go together in many ways. Whether you stir some directly into your java or nosh on a sweet treat while you drink your cup of Joe, the two seem to go quite literally hand-in-hand in most cultures. (Think sugary coffee drinks in America or pastries in France or even espresso with dark chocolate in Italy!) With so many of us trying to lose extra pounds, many of us are forgoing the sugar, as most sugar provides extra calories, causes a spike in insulin and provides no real nutritional value. However, new research is finding that the combination of glucose (sugar) and caffeine can boost brain power!

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The Effect of Food on Brain Health

I’ve often thought, purely out of speculation, that the difference between food and drugs is a fairly fine line. Sure, the side effects can be drastically different (I’m not saying heroin and candy bars are virtually the same thing), but that there’s so much emphasis on the use of certain drugs that people completely ignore the fact that foods are chemicals, and therefore have an effect on your brain in a similar way.

“The distinction of what is a drug and what is food is blurring completely. Natural things are also drugs,” said Gary Wenk, a professor at the Ohio State University and Medical Center and author of the new book Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings. (more…)

Overweight Drinkers More Prone to Brain Injury

Excessive drinking can cause weight gain. That’s not news. But what is news is that if you gain weight and drink excessively, it’s double trouble for your brain health, according to new research.

According to the new study, if you are overweight and you abuse alcohol, you are more susceptible to brain injury than people who drink and are not overweight.

“It is commonly believed that it is the large amount of consumed alcohol by itself that leads to brain injury in alcoholics,” said principal investigator Dieter J. Meyerhoff, a professor of radiology at the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco VA Medical Center. (more…)