Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brain Wellness

The human brain performs an incredible number of tasks. It controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. It accepts a flood of information about the world around you from your various senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, etc).

The brain handles physical motion when walking, talking, standing or sitting. It lets you think, dream, reason, and experience emotions. All of these tasks are coordinated, controlled, and regulated by an organ that is about the size of a small head of cauliflower.

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist, says: “In America far more attention is paid to the heart than to the brain. We have prioritized the heart as important to our overall health. Many of us belong to aerobic and exercise clubs, grocery stores and restaurants promote foods for the healthy heart, and in our language we romanticize the heart at every opportunity. We need to be paying the same kind of respect to the human brain, the most magnificent system in our universe."

Nussbaum has more than 15 years experience in the care of older persons suffering from dementia and related disorders. One of his main points is that these diseases of old age actually begin in childhood, when failure to actively exercise the brain creates the conditions for later brain debilitation.

Like any part of the body, the brain requires proper nutrition, proper rest, proper protection, proper support, or, in one word, proper care. Some brain research reports that reading aloud and moderate to vigorous exercise are the greatest stimulators of brain circulation and metabolism.

Simple health laws have profound effects on brain health. These include: proper nutrition (maximizing intake of fresh, unprocessed foods including plenty of fruits and vegetables while minimizing processed foods), dietary supplementation (necessary for most of us these days due to overly processed foods we eat, environmental stress, and poor lifestyle choices), adequate hydration with water, avoidance of any food substances that can impair brain function, proper sleep, and rest.

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