By Kennedy Shelley
It’s too early to say this will stop dementia, but it certainly will give millions hope for restored brain function.
The question is, will anyone hear about it because it is not a drug and no doctor is going to get to do a life-changing surgery.
The solution is exercise and changing the diet.
But this is the most powerful therapy studied yet that can radically allow the brain to heal itself.
The brain has trillions of connections between different parts. This is the essence of who we are. It includes our personalities and our memories.
The brain is made up of fatty substances known as neurons. Connected to one another by specialized nerve fibers known as axons.
How these cells die and are replaced is critical to keeping your brain viable.
This means the total number of connections is constantly changing, and this can be good or bad depending on your brain’s health.
The proteins that run this process are called neurotrophic factors. The most important is now thought to be the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
THE GUT/BRAIN CONNECTION
Now, this is going to be new to most people. BDNF is not only produced in the brain, but also in our gut bacteria.
And the quality of the BDNF produced in the gut is dependent on what you eat.
When the neurons of the brain receive enough BDNF proteins they thrive, too little and they start to die off.
Your memory and ability to learn is really dependent on your gut health because that’s where the important proteins are made.
This is clearer when you see certain neurological diseases being cured by certain dietary changes. For instance, the easiest and only treatment for epilepsy was a ketogenic diet.
More and more we are seeing just how important gut health is to maintain mental health.
The old saying “you are what you eat” may be truer than we realized when we said it originally.
HOW DO YOU INCREASE BDNF?
The bad news is the number one treatment is rigorous exercise. The good news is that you don’t have to do very much.
High-Intensity Interval Training of one minute on (working as hard as you can) and one minute of rest for 20 minutes was enough to significantly increase BDNF, even more than those who ran hard for an hour.
The diet change consisted of getting rid of vegetable oil (industrial seed oils) and sugar.
If you do these two things, you will give your brain more BDNF, which some call “Miracle Grow” for the brain.
You might even get more benefit if you skip breakfast and only eat lunch and an early dinner (known as intermittent fasting).
Getting more sun may also help some by increasing vitamin D levels according to some research.
But you can’t supplement your way out of a bad lifestyle.
HIIT and getting rid of sugar and processed food will go a long way to increase the Miracle Grow BDNF proteins your brain needs to thrive.