Are you damaging your brain daily?

The answer is probably yes. But don’t worry, the damage doesn’t have to be permanent.

I am a bit biased, but to me, the most important organ of the body is the brain, because, without it, we would not be able to experience life. I love waking up in the morning and seeing the sun stream through my kitchen window as I smell my tea brewing as I wiggle my clean toes in my soft warm slippers. I laugh softly to myself as I hear my husband play the Happy song, my dogs run through the house like bullets and my kids shake out their sleep and get ready for the day. If my brain didn’t function well, I might be alive but I wouldn’t be living.

I have made it my life’s work to know how to take good care of my brain and create a life I love. And it is my mission to support others to be able to do the same. But so many people are unaware of the impact that simple, every day habits can have on their brain and their lives. In fact, most people damage their brains daily. Probably you, too. However, you can undo the damage you have been creating for years, if you just change the three habits I describe below.

It may sound simple and intuitive; but to have health and keep it, you must learn how to get on, and stay on, the healthy lifestyle track. Here are some of the most important brain-damaging habits to avoid:

1. Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation can be the root cause of depression, immune dysfunction, heart disease and diabetes. Your health is greatly diminished by lack of sleep and most particularly your brain health. What is the solution? Make sure that you get adequate sleep for your particular needs. How do you know what that is? You should wake up well-rested and alert each morning. If not there may be some sleep dysfunction that should be addressed.

2. Eating Gluten

It might sound like a cliché these days, with everything from pizza to sparkle birthday cake is going ‘gluten-free’ these days. But there are good reasons why this trend is catching on and it doesn’t have to do with taste. It is because partially digested gluten (which is a protein found primarily in wheat) causes inflammation that affects not only your gut but also your brain. Inflammation in the brain makes you fuzzy-headed and depressed if left unchecked is thought to lead to Alzheimer’s Disease and other degenerative brain disorders. Who wants that? Not me!

3. Ignoring your microbiome

Over the last decade, the microbiome has emerged as one of the hottest areas of biomedical research. It is arguably the most complex organ of your body which you, most likely, didn’t even know you had. The microorganisms that make up the microbiome have a profound effect on your body AND on your behavior. The bad guys make you sick and cause you to crave junk food that feeds them. The good guys prevent the growth of harmful microbes and regulate our immune system. They influence our risk of depression, obesity, bowel diseases, and other health problems. They determine how effectively we process the medicines we take. What do the good guys eat? Fiber, lots of fiber. So when your grandmother told you to eat your vegetables, she didn’t know she was telling you to feed your microbiome but she did know it would keep you healthier and happier.

I recommend doing all you can to sleep better, avoid inflammatory foods such as wheat and feed your microbiome for good healthy growth. If you aren’t sure how to do any of these things, contact me for more information.