I recently watched Ocean Robbins interview Team Sherzai in relation to their research on preventing Alzheimer’s disease and maintaining optimal brain health. Their years of research have identified the most critical components of having a well-functioning brain for a lifetime. Guess what they are? Diet, exercise, stress reduction. Sounds easy, but most of us fall short of making these simple lifestyle changes. And it’s not all our fault. We live in a very complex, fast paced, stressful society that has high expectations and demands our attention 24/7. At some point, all of us reach that point where the only thing left to say is, “Enough!” Maybe that day is today.
Team Sherzai recommended the following ten things to Incorporate into your lifestyle to maintain a healthy brain for a lifetime:
- Follow the MIND diet. This is a Mediterranean style diet that is a whole plant diet. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, but decrease the amount of meat and dairy. Preliminary studies with the MIND diet have shown a decrease risk for Alzheimer’s.
- Build cross brain connections. Meditation or grounding techniques, such as recitation or abdominal breathing, will help to redirect the brain and focus the mind on pleasant memories or sensations.
- Switch up your routine. Don’t follow the same route to work every day. Learn something new, maybe a new hobby or exercise routine.
- Take brisk walks. This decreases the inflammatory hormone, cortisol, and it encourages the growth of new blood vessels.
- Use these three exercise strategies: Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise, include some strength training for your muscles, and do this consistently for 5 days a week. Random acts of exercise don’t count.
- Replace bad stress with good stress. Seriously and with intention, look at your life and release those things that are no longer needed or not relevant to the life you want to live.
- Eat foods your brain loves. Leafy greens, blueberries, turmeric, and coffee are great starters.
- SLEEP! Lack of sleep is destructive to your brain. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
- Establish healthy routines. Arbitrary healthy acts are not beneficial. Once your healthy routines are hard wired, they will occur naturally.
- Use SMART goals. The acronym stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Sensitive.
Gut health equals brain health. The science of the microbiome is life changing for everyone, not just those of us with gastrointestinal disorders. Gut health can determine whether or not we will have a life of good health, well-being, emotional stability, and productivity well into our golden years or a life of sickness, disease, fatigue and emotional unhappiness. Good gut health can potentially prevent a diagnosis of heart disease, autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Grave’s disease, and even Alzheimer’s.
The notion that good nutrition equals good health is a concept that has been accepted for years. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Thanks to current research, it is now an established fact. Eating a healthy diet has never been more important than now that we have experienced the results of a pandemic. We must boost our immunity in order to save not only our lives, but those we love as well. Good nutrition is essential for holistic health.