“I can’t lose my brain,” a patient said tearfully. ”Without it I am nothing. With it I can do anything.” All too often, the people most interested in brain health are those who are suffering from deficits in brain function. Yet the steps to brain health begin much earlier.
The human brain is made up of neurons surrounded by cell membranes and wrapped with insulation. It is infused with blood vessels and supported by cells that create the neurons’ framework and help to govern their action. Neurons join in ways that reflect the conscious and unconscious experiences we have and, in turn, help us interpret the world. Everything we have ever experienced is stored in our brains.
Our brains are electrical. They are magnetic. They mirror the actions of those around us. They bond to those we love. They synch with the brains of others with whom we connect – whether over a lifetime or for a moment. And our synched brains actually change in response to the experience of those with whom we are bonded, even if they are large distances away.
Our brains make us the individuals that we are and also contribute to creation of a larger living entity – that of the community.
So how do you save your brain?
Pay attention to the parts and how well they function together. Here’s a list of things that we, as individuals and as a community, can do.
|Eat healthy fats especially DHA||Reconsider menus in schools and senior centers|
|Evaluate and remove toxins||Advocate for a healthy environment|
|Choose a vegan diet rich in protein||Include nutrition education at all school levels including medical school|
|Exercise every day||Maintain school physical education; program for community exercise including bike trails|
|Identify and remove excess inflammation||Many of the items above will reduce inflammation|
|Reduce stress and enhance relaxation||Unplug, slow down, eat home-cooked meals together|
|Be aware of and responsible for your thoughts||Keep mental health resiliency as an educational focus|
|Connect with self, nature, and others||Focus activity and effort on creating community and bringing people together Institute mandatory early childhood education|
|Provide a very varied learning environment|