6. Create some fun in the sun
The brain is loaded with vitamin D receptors and we now know that vitamin D plays a critical role in brain health and function. The easiest way to increase your vitamin D level is to spend some time outdoors.
Optimize your vitamin D level by:
- Practicing safe, prudent sun exposure
- Making a proactive effort to regularly eat the few foods that provide vitamin D including oily fish like wild salmon, egg yolks and grass-fed organic dairy products.
- Taking 5,000 IUs daily of a D3 supplement or as directed by your healthcare provider based on your blood level. (Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements)
7. Happiness is the spice of life
Spices (and herbs) contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant compounds that make your brain smile. Use rosemary, ginger, turmeric, curry, cinnamon, and garlic.
8. Toast to a cup of happiness
Freshly brewed tea, particularly white or green, is turbo-charged happiness in a cup!
L-theanine is a natural calming compound found in tea. Drink it freshly brewed (loose leaf or bagged) and hot or warm for maximum EGCG. This anti-oxidant is a cancer fighter that boosts the immune system and can decrease the speed at which you age. That ought to put a smile on your face! Adding ice can decrease the absorption of tea’s antioxidants. Steep it for at least 5 minutes and add a twist of lemon or lime. The vitamin C in the citrus can greatly enhance the bio-availability of the tea’s antioxidant polyphenols. Forget bottled, processed, or powdered teas. Research shows they have minimal to no EGCG and many have added sugar.
9. Chocolate – remember the 70% rule
Chocolate has ridiculous antioxidant power and a rapidly growing list of potential health benefits.
Dark chocolate has been shown to significantly boost blood flow while improving the health of arteries and lowering blood pressure. Remember, the brain loves blood flow! Dark chocolate has also been shown to boost mood and enhance focus. In addition to its antioxidant capability, dark chocolate also has magnesium, zinc, fiber, and caffeine-like plant-based stimulants that the brain loves. Make dark chocolate your dessert or treat of choice. Remember, any chocolate with less than 70% cacao is a candy bar!
10. Idle your engine
Summer tends to be a time when we want to be active outside, but do not forget to idle your engine. Lack of sleep is a major contributor to the formation of a type of protein-based plaque in the brain called Beta Amyloid. When this protein builds up in the brain, you will find yourself with brain fog, less focused and often depressed. The easiest way to sweep this plaque out of your body and prevent it from building up is to sleep. A great night’s sleep will increase your happiness factor by 10.
Contributor: Dr. Gregg Baron
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. None of the information presented is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.