Fifty percent of dementia is caused by nutrient deficiencies. And Alzheimer’s is also known by another name, type III diabetes. Neither nutrient deficiency or blood sugar dysregulation are hereditary. The way our health goes is largely dictated by nurture, not nature. You may or may not have heard of epigenetics. Epigenetics is the ability to turn genes on or off. Genes are instructions to our cells to make different kinds of proteins. Our habits, thoughts, the food we eat, the company we keep, the exercise we do or not can turn genes on or off, making or not, different kinds of protein – and this dictates our health. Three things you can do today to “nurture” your brain that can have an immediate impact on your memory are:
- Proper hydration
- Increased circulation
- Balanced blood sugar
Not enough water can cause brain fog. And just a 2% reduction in brain hydration can cause short term memory loss. Think of a wilted plant. Why is it wilted? Not enough water. And when we water it, it quickly perks up. The rivers for the synapses to connect your thoughts can function. To optimize your memory, make sure you drink at least half your weight in ounces. Electrolytes are equally important for the water to be absorbed by the cells so they can communicate with each other.
Our brains use up to 25% of our blood to function. If circulation is a problem, your brain is not getting what it needs. Think about this, if you’ve just exercised, chances are, your hands, feet and nose will be warm. When those places are cold, it’s because there is less blood flowing through them. Blood carries oxygen to make energy so that the cells can function. Without that not a lot can happen. Think of stagnation, think of brain fog. And again, just like in dehydration, the fast flowing river that allows your synapses to connect is not flowing as well. So lapses in memory can happen. One thing you could do to improve circulation to the brain immediately is to do 20 pushups. You’ll feel your heart pumping, and if you pay really close attention, you’ll feel your brain is working better too. Try the 4 minute workout by Zach Bush – short enough to do several times a day and keep your circulation moving. And your memory working better too.
Have you ever had a time when the thoughts just aren’t coming? You can’t remember why you walked into a room? Do you have difficulty remembering someone’s name or recalling a word? Chronically high blood sugar over time can damage the blood vessels in your brain leading to chronic memory issues. But low blood sugar can cause immediate memory loss that is temporary. I will admit, when I miss lunch or eat too late, I notice my brain struggling. I’ll forget what I’m thinking about mid-sentence. And that is the sign that I need to eat. If you let this happen over and over it will cause damage as well. The rule of thumb that I use, unless you are able to easily dip into your fat stores for energy:
Eat within 30 minutes of waking and every 4 hours to avoid a blood sugar crash.
Do this and you’ll notice that if your eating habits are not great, your memory will work better.
So simply, drink water, eat on time and move your body often. Your brain and your memory will thank you.