• Brain Health: Ayurveda Tips

    by Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, MD
    on Apr 30th, 2016

As we get older there’s probably nothing that we value more than maintaining our brain health. A healthy brain means healthy memory which is such an important part of who we are. In this video, Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D, talks about what makes the brain healthy and what compromises brain health.


Factors that increase brain health:

Factors that compromise brain health:

A recent study looks at the effect of sugar on brain health. Our brain uses sugar primarily as its main fuel. However, if we eat too much sugar, we take too many refined carbohydrates in our body and our daily diet, that is not good for our brain. In fact, it can make the brain resistant to insulin, which brings glucose into the brain tissue to nourish it and give it fuel. As long as you’re not overdoing it on refined sugar and refined carbs you don’t have to cut all those good healthy natural sources of carbohydrate out of your diet, but do it in balance.

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, people who are 70 years and older have 3.5 times increased a risk of memory loss if they followed a high-sugar diet. However, those who had diets that included healthy fats had a 42% reduction in the risk of losing their memory.

Another factor to consider for brain health is the presence of heavy metals. For example, aluminum and lead have both been associated with loss of cognitive ability. Clearing these from the system can usually be done effectively with supplements, diet, and natural products, but levels must be followed up with testing to be sure the metals are gone.

The natural system of health care from India, called Ayurveda, has preached for thousands of years the benefits of an “unctuous diet”, meaning a diet rich in healthy fats. In modern day times, fats have been something we have been told to avoid. Recently, however, this advice is starting to change. This is just another example of how at times this ancient wisdom was actually understanding the brain and the body better than we have with all our modern science. Eating fats such as nuts, avocado, and healthy organic olive oil help to protect our brain, which is itself 60% fat.

Another way to promote brain health is the healing herb from the Ayurvedic tradition called Gotu Kola. It has a few different names including, Centella Asiatica, Indian Pennywort, and sometimes Brahmi. Gotu Kola, in animal studies, has been shown to offset every known mechanism for creating dementia. For example, it reduces the toxicity of aluminum. It also reduces free radicals and an abnormal protein called beta-amyloid that is associated with Alzheimer’s. In addition, Gotu Kola has been shown to increase learning and increase memory in animals.

Gotu Kola is a great herb to have as part of your daily routine. You can make it as a tea and drink it throughout the day. Nancy Lonsdorf reports that many of her patients find that it gives a natural alertness without jitteriness that is sometimes found with caffeine.

Something to keep in mind is the Ayurvedic principle of synergy, meaning several herbs working together is greater than any of the herbs in isolation. For this reason, Nancy Lonsdorf recommends a MAPI formula called Youthful Mind that combines Gotu Kola with Shankhpushpi and Tinospora Cordifolia. These additional herbs make for an excellent combination for increased brain health.

In addition to healthy fats and certain herbs, one of the most important factors for a healthy brain is enough sleep. In sleep, it’s been recently discovered, our brain cleans itself; it actually flushes out toxins. We want to keep our brain healthy, so be sure to get enough good sleep.

Check out Dr. Lonsdorf favorite supplements for Brain Health:

For a Personal Wellness Consultation over Phone or Skype with Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, contact our office today!

Disclaimer

The sole purpose of this video is to provide information about a healthy lifestyle. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult your personal licensed health practitioner who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively.

Check with your doctor before taking herbs during pregnancy or taking herbs once you become pregnant.

Author Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, MD

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