“Effective health care depends on self-care; this fact is currently heralded as if it were a discovery.”Ivan Illich
Dr. Jennie Valles, a neurologist at the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, reports that good social, physical and nutritional habits promote cognitive wellness – in other words, diminishing your physical, chemical and emotional stresses leads to a healthier brain.
Dr. Valles offers six innovative ways to make your brain stronger.
1. Be social. Spending time with friends and family is not only fun, it stimulates your brain and enhances the quality of your thinking.
2. Eat lean. Choosing eating habits consistent with the “Mediterranean Diet,” with lean meats, low starch vegetables and fruits, will reduce inflammation and cell damage, improve blood pressure, and balance cholesterol levels, all of which lead to a healthier brain.
3. Consider vitamins. In addition to a healthy diet, many people can benefit from taking vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements. Ask your doctor of chiropractic or wellness practitioner what you can add to your food to improve your brain health.
4. Meditate. While some may question the necessity of meditation, it’s been around for thousands of years, and clearly has a calmative effect on those who practice it – and some recent studies suggest that meditation has a positive impact on attention, memory, verbal fluency and cognitive flexibility.
5. Sleep. Your brain cleans and maintains itself during the seven or eight hours you sleep, which is why getting that much sleep is essential for a healthy brain.
6. Exercise. Two or three thirty minute weekly workouts produce proteins that preserve and grow brain cells. Exercise reduces the shrinkage of your hippocampus, necessary for memory and thinking.
These six habits, along with a regimen of chiropractic care, will extend your brain wellness many years. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Roger Sperry stated that “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine.” That’s one reason why chiropractic adjustments are so good for you – they are part of a complete program of brain health.
So to stay healthy, develop great lifestyle habits, and take care of your brain!