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Brain Health

How to Grow NEW Brain Cells & Score a Steel-Trap Memory

BY PUREHEALTH RESEARCH | Sep 10, 2021

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Your memory defines you and is interwoven into your personality. Your life experiences are what makes you, well, “you.” So, what happens to “you” when your memory fails?

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are running rampant. More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Scientists estimate that by 2050 that number will top 13 million.1 Between 2000 and 2019, the deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by a whopping 145%. About 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. That’s more than breast and prostate cancer combined.

Memory loss changes how you think, feel, and act. You may lose self-confidence, become frustrated, and shy away from social situations. You might misplace items and believe they were stolen and begin distrusting those around you. You might forget to include ingredients or the steps of favorite recipes you’ve used for decades. People who have gardened for years might suddenly look at the plant in their hands and wonder what they’re supposed to do with it. But the most shattering loss is forgetting the people you love.

This condition devastates your finances and your loved ones tasked with the burden of your care and who must cope with witnessing your decline.

Alzheimer’s Drugs Don’t Work

Dr. David Perlmutter, MD is a Board-Certified Neurologist and five-time New York Times bestselling author. Alzheimer’s disease played a significant role during his illustrious career as well as in his personal life. His father, a respected brain surgeon, was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and died from it.

PharmaceuticalsDr. Perlmutter states that a 2018 meta-analysis published in the Journal American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open was designed to determine the effectiveness of Alzheimer’s drugs in 10 high-quality studies in 2,714 patients.2 Researchers found they all lack effectiveness and some of these drugs, were shown to accelerate cognitive decline:3

Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Perlmutter states that a 2018 meta-analysis published in the Journal American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open was designed to determine the effectiveness of Alzheimer’s drugs in 10 high-quality studies in 2,714 patients.2 Researchers found they all lack effectiveness and some of these drugs, were shown to accelerate cognitive decline:3

“… the very drugs that are being prescribed across our country and indeed around the world with the idea that they are somehow going to treat Alzheimer’s disease are actually associated with a more aggressive decline in cognitive function.”

Dr. Perlmutter says, “There is no meaningful treatment for Alzheimer’s available.” The best course of action is prevention. He felt helpless because all he could do for his patients was “diagnose and say adios.” So, he left his clinical practice to educate the public about prevention.

Avoid the Brain Bombs

  • Processed foods
  • Sugar
  • Stress
  • Sleep loss
  • Excess weight
  • Fluoride
  • Aluminum
  • MSG
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol - any

7 Ways to Grow More Brain Cells

Brain cellsYou’ve likely heard of neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process of growing new brain cells (neurons). Evidence shows the brain continually grows new cells even at the point of death. But as you age, these actions slow to a CRAWL. This leads to shrinking gray matter commonly associated with signs of forgetfulness and cognitive difficulty. However, you can stimulate this process back to peak performance. How? Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

Brain cells

You’ve likely heard of neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process of growing new brain cells (neurons). Evidence shows the brain continually grows new cells even at the point of death. But as you age, these actions slow to a CRAWL. This leads to shrinking gray matter commonly associated with signs of forgetfulness and cognitive difficulty. However, you can stimulate this process back to peak performance. How? Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

BDNF is a naturally occurring protein in the brain that improves brain function and lowers your risk of mental disease. Touted as “Miracle Grow” for the brain by experts because it stimulates NEW brain cell growth! It plays active roles in the hippocampus (learning, memory), prefrontal cortex (cognition), and other areas. BDNF helps repair brain cells, form new connections, and is essential for mood, learning, and long-term memory. Researchers also consider it a natural antidepressant.4

The following are 7 scientifically proven ways to ramp up your BDNF:

  1. Turmeric – Studies show that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric crosses the blood-brain barrier and may increase BDNF.5 6 7 Researchers found it may help clear amyloid plaques – the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.8 Curcumin also enhances serotonin and dopamine, two brain chemicals involved in good moods.9 10
  2. Alpha-GPC – This choline-based compound helps create the main brain messenger, acetylcholine. It also increases BDNF and neuronal growth, enhancing memory and cognition. Studies also show it helps protect against decline during stressful situations.11
  3. Bacopa monnieri – Bacopa boosts BDNF, enhancing learning, memory, and cell growth.12 This potent antioxidant fights harmful free radicals in the brain, balances mood, and decreases forgetfulness. It also helps shield against DNA damage involved in severe memory loss, age-related memory loss, and cognitive decline.”13 Bacopa can help the brain remove some of the iron known to interact with memory-clogging amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.14 15 16
  4. Exercise – Regular exercise is the most effective and fastest way to skyrocket BDNF and improve learning, memory, and mood. Studies show that just 5 weeks of mild-intensity exercise reversed cognitive decline in aged rats. And high-intensity exercise improves memory in young sedentary men. During exercise BDNF is released in the brain, skeletal muscle, platelets, and more.17 Studies show it BDNF increases the volume of hippocampal gray matter – the learning/memory center.18
  5. Yoga & Meditation – Studies show that these practices increase BDNF levels with positive effects on mental fitness and inflammatory status.19 In 2011, Harvard scientist Sara Lazar found that mindfulness meditation actually changes the structure of the brain. It increases cortical thickness in the hippocampus. And a study from UCLA discovered that long-term participants of meditation had more gray matter volume throughout their brains.20
  6. Keto diet – The Ketogenic principle involves eating a low-carb, high fat, diet with adequate protein. This switches your body from sugar-burning into fat-burning by creating ketones. This is known as a state of ketosis. Ketones are the brain’s preferred energy source.21 One ketone, beta-hydroxybutyrate, produced by your liver, increases BDNF.22 26
  7. Intermittent fasting – In one study, a 48hr fast boost skeletal muscle BDNF by a whopping 350%.24 Skipping breakfast, unfortunately, isn’t long enough to boost BDNF. Like carb restriction, going longer without eating places your body in a state of ketosis.

Best Foods to Boost Brain Power

BrainFatty fish – The brain is about 60% fat and requires healthy fats to remain robust.25 Omega 3s found in salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines are excellent for memory prowess. Omega 3s help build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.26 Research also suggests regular fish eaters tend to have more gray matter, improving decision making, memory, and emotion.27

Brain

Fatty fish – The brain is about 60% fat and requires healthy fats to remain robust.25 Omega 3s found in salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines are excellent for memory prowess. Omega 3s help build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.26 Research also suggests regular fish eaters tend to have more gray matter, improving decision making, memory, and emotion.27

Coffee – Surprisingly, coffee is great for your brain! Both the caffeine and antioxidants support brain health. Caffeine keeps you alert by blocking the chemical messenger, adenosine, that makes you sleepy.28 29 It boosts dopamine, the “feel-good” brain chemical.30 Sharpens concentration and attention.31 But experts, including Dr. Perlmutter, recommend avoiding caffeine after noon, so it won’t interfere with your sleep – critical for brain health. Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 hours. So, half the caffeine remains in your system 5 hours later, and one quarter after 10 hours.

Blueberries – These delightful berries are bursting with anthocyanins antioxidants, that reduce inflammation and the damage caused by free radicals. Two significant pathways that lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies show that these antioxidants accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells.32 33 And it could help improve memory and some cognitive processes in older adults.34

Broccoli – These pretty florets are potent with antioxidants and vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for forming sphingolipids, a densely packed fat found in brain cells.35 Studies show broccoli has been linked to better memory and cognitive status in older adults.36 37 But it doesn’t stop there, it also contains compounds that provide anti-inflammatory effects, helping protect the brain from damage.

Green Tea – Green Tea is fabulous for boosting brain function and improving memory.38 39 Studies show the caffeine improves alertness, memory, and focus.40 And L-theanine, an amino acid can enter the brain and stimulate GABA activity, a brain chemical that helps reduce helps you relax, reducing anxiety.41 42 It allows you to better cope in stressful situations with a clear mind. Plus, its rich polyphenols and antioxidants that help protect against mental decline, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.43 44

70%+ Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are brimming with brain-boosting goodness, including flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants that all protect the brain. Researchers found that flavonoids gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory, enhancing memory and slowing age-related mental decline.45 46 47 48 49 50 Studies also show that chocolate enhances your mood.51

And before you think you can sneak in some milk chocolate – it’s not the same. When purchasing your dark chocolate, make sure it’s naturally sweetened with coconut, monk fruit sweetener, or similar and not sugar. Remember, sugar causes inflammation that is toxic to the brain.

Keeping active, socializing, playing brain games, puzzles, avoiding junk foods and alcohol, eating healthy, and getting sunshine are all excellent ways to keep your brain engaged. Using the above methods will help skyrocket your BDNF, nourishing brain growth, and memories that last a lifetime!

REFERENCES:
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