By Randy Lee, ND
Our brain is the central organ of our entire nervous system. It weighs about three pounds and is protected by the bones of the skull. Along with the spinal cord, it makes up the central nervous system. The brain controls most all of the activities of the human body. It processes, coordinates and integrates the information it receives from sense organs, and it aids in making the decisions as to the instructions sent to the rest of the body.
So far as health is concerned, most of us take our brains for granted. Most of us try to guard against brain injuries by wearing protective headgear when we are doing things we know to be dangerous, but we don’t give much thought to nutrition specifically for the brain. I love the now popular commercial that says “We take something for our hearts, but when it comes to the brain, we don’t usually take anything.” Of course, they are advertising a specific nutrient, but they are at least raising awareness that we do need “brain foods.”
This month we’re going to talk about brain issues from several aspects: the health of the brain itself, memory issues, the brain as it relates to emotions, and detoxing – yes, the brain. You can follow these blogs, or check out the specific articles on our website at TheHealthPatch.com.
So what does a healthy brain need? Some of the things may surprise you. For example, cholesterol, while requiring regulation of its levels, is necessary for human health. It is a building block for some hormones and is an essential component of the membranes surrounding human cells, including in the brain. These membranes have a critical role in regulating cell function and allowing chemicals to pass into and out of cells. To ensure you don’t have too much in the brain, you might consider sunflower lecithin. It may help to regulate cholesterol levels and promote better brain function.
Of course, the brain needs lots of oxygen. Therefore, exercise causes an increase in your oxygen intake (one source specifically remarked that “your legs are pumps to the brain”); herbals like ginkgo biloba are helpful for this, and the many antioxidants to remove free radical damage are also primary to brain health.
Many of my customers are on extremely low carb diets; remember carbs are fuel for the brain. Keep some healthy ones in your diet! Good dietary sources for the brain include fish, cheese, eggs, goat’s milk and oat straw tea. There is also a formula for a “brain tonic” which I have used and like: one raw egg yolk blended with four ounces of goat’s milk or apple juice plus two tablespoons of lecithin. It can be taken daily for up to five days at a time – then rest for at least a couple of days. Take care of your brain; you only get one and it has to last for a lifetime! Live long and in good health.
Randy Lee, ND, is the owner of Nana’s Pawpaw Patch – Herbs, Oils & Teas for Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd., Midwest City. For more information, call 405-736-1030 or e-mail PawPaw@PromoteYourHealth.com or visit TheHealthPatch.com.