Today, 9/10/2018, Dr. Oz, once again, touched on the importance of us eating the proper foods and lifestyle changes in maintaining proper brain functions. Losing your memory as you age is a very common fear. Luckily, there is more research today than ever before on what you can do now to improve your brain health and prevent issues in the future. Dr. Daniel Amen’s memory rescue plan can help you sharpen and strengthen your mind. His acronym BRIGHT MINDS helps you remember and recognize all of the risk factors for future memory loss. Read on to find out what to stands for and learn about the helpful changes you can make right away.
The “B” in BRIGHT MINDS stands for blood flow. If your brain doesn’t get enough blood flow its function will be compromised. Beyond exercise, the right foods can actually increase blood flow. Beets widen blood vessels and increase blood flow as a result, and they’re easy to toss into any smoothie or you can try drinking tea from the Chinese herb gingko, which has been shown to improve focus, energy, and memory.
The ‘R’ in BRIGHT MINDS stands for retirement. If you are retired, stimulate your brain every day with puzzles, math games, or memory exercises in order to keep your brain strong and fight aging. Decrease inflammation with salmon, walnuts, and avocado. Also try to avoid head trauma by taking precautions like wearing helmets and performing balancing exercises, especially as you grow older. Toxins in our environment can increase our risk of memory problems, and unfortunately can sometimes be hard to avoid, so Dr. Amen recommends taking saunas and eating organic whenever possible. Monitor your thoughts to ensure you maintain good mental health. Try to kill your automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) by writing them down when you feel mad, sad, or out-of-control and talking back to them to tell them they are not true.
The ‘G’ in BRIGHT MINDS stands for genetics. While many of us worry if our parents or grandparents have dementia, it is possible to fight genetic memory loss, according to Dr. Amen. Combining vitamin D and green tea can help you take a step in the right direction. You can eat vitamin D foods by making an omelet for breakfast with eggs, mushrooms, and salmon or you can enjoy all of these foods separately, the key is getting an adequate dose of these nutrients into your diet on a daily basis. When you combine these foods with green tea, you’re attacking dementia from two different angles, as vitamin D seems to protect against this condition and green tea has been found to reduce the plaque that can form in the brain.
The ‘D’ in BRIGHT MINDS stands for diabesity, that refers to being diabetic, overweight, or both. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and because this is such a huge risk factor, there seems to be a bigger memory loss problem than ever before. Incorporate spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne into your diet whenever possible; these are also excellent for decreasing inflammation. Focus on fiber-rich and magnesium-rich foods such as broccoli, avocado, chia seeds, black beans, or quinoa. Only eat clean protein (free-range, grass-fed meats) and smart carbohydrates (such as whole grains, quinoa, bananas, or sweet potatoes). Finally, be sure to exercise every single day.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Oz via Dr. Daniel Amens, “Bright Minds”