Ask most doctors what a healthy brain is and what you should do to keep your brain healthy and you’ll probably get a vague answer. At the Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine we have answers and we want to teach you about them.
Brain health means having a resilient, happy brain. A healthy brain is a balanced brain. If you have been feeling sad or depressed lately without a reason, then you might have unbalanced brain chemicals. Also, your brain controls all of the activities of your body, so an unbalanced brain can cause a myriad of other health problems.
Neurotransmitters and Brain Health
Have you ever heard the word neurotransmitters? It sounds so scientific, but learning about neurotransmitters is key to understanding how to feel better and have a healthy brain. These chemicals transmit signals from one brain cell (neuron) to another. They play a key role in mood, thinking and memory. In fact, everything you do is regulated by the neurotransmitters in your body. Have you heard the phrase “gut feeling”? That’s because these compounds are found in the intestine as well as the brain.
Junk food and bad eating habits can mess with your brain. Your waistline isn’t the only thing altered by your diet. People who eat poor quality foods rich in sugar and white flour are more likely to develop mental disorders, depression, anxiety and fatigue. A poor diet lacking nutrients like the omega-3 essential oils and important minerals will cause damage to the neurotransmitter balance in your body and create emotional problems.
In addition, intestinal infections, food allergies, stress, and environmental toxins can damage your neurotransmitter balance. This isn’t good for brain health or overall health. To get the most out of your brain and to feel happy, neurotransmitters must be carefully balanced.
The Hormone-Neurotransmitter Connection
Did you think hormones were just for pregnancy and menopause? Well, they’re not. Hormones are one of the most important aspects of healthy brain function. They are essential for the healthy functioning of your body and your brain. For example, estrogen has a direct impact on whether you feel happy or depressed. Progesterone is a calming hormone and decreases anxiety and panic attacks. Your hormones work hand and glove with your neurotransmitters for keeping your brain healthy and happy.
Smart Ways to Maintain Healthy Brain Function
Do antidepressants help? Not as much as the drug companies would have you think. Statistics indicate that depression improves with the use of a placebo (a sugar pill) in almost half the people that are studied. Despite their popularity, antidepressants like Prozac don’t work long term and may cause more problems than they help. In order to maintain a healthy brain and treat depression, it is necessary to replace and rebalance what is missing. Pharmaceuticals are effective less than half the time.
The conditions that nurture a healthy brain are the same ones that nurture a healthy body: proper diet with nutritional supplements, hormone balancing, and neurotransmitter balancing with safe, natural amino acids. Exercise and stress reduction techniques round out the picture.
At the Sklar Center Healthy Brain event, we will be giving you a Brain Health Quiz and showing you how to optimize your health and your brain.