Just one facet of getting older is the fear of our brain beginning to deteriorate. I have watched my dad become forgetful as he head into his 90's and it was very difficult to watch. To prevent this for as long as he could he would do maths every night in bed, keeping his mind active. After doing some research on on brain health, I found a lecture by Daniel Amen. Interestingly he explains how his studies reveal that alzheimer's, depression and obesity are interconnected and by making certain lifestyle changes you can tackle all three diseases. In particular he focused on Alzheimer's and explained how there is no known cure and that more and more people are being diagnosed every year. Through his work he has found the best way to treat it is to decrease illnesses that increase the likelihood of getting it. I.e. obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
Whilst there are a number of ways one can go about changing their lifestyle I wanted to focus particularly on Neurotoxins or in other words chemicals that are in our environment that affect the health of our brain as we age. A fun fact is whist your brain is approx 2% of an individuals weight yet it uses 20% of the bodys energy, 10 times faster than the rest of the body (IIN Studies). It requires lots of energy to function and what you eat and are exposed to has a direct affect on its processes. When I suggest to clients to change over their cleaning products, eat organic and go for chemical free cosmetics I often get a blank look. Yes, this is an overwhelming thought and perhaps it seems extreme but I am going to list a few common toxins that we are all exposed to, along with where they can be found and how easy it is to avoid them. This will demonstrate that the more you can limit the toxins in your environment the better chance you have of fighting some of the above chronic illnesses. The kicker is they also affect hormones and thus some individuals ability to lose weight.
- Manganese - Found in Aluminium cans - Avoid soft drinks.
- Arsenic - Found in soil and on food - Avoid by buying organic.
- Mercury - Found in dental fillings and some fish - Ask for non mercury fillings and eat .
- Lead - Found in paint of old homes and drinking water - Check your paint if the home is older than 1978 and drink purified water.
- Tetrachloroethylene - Dry cleaners use this - Check your dry cleaner uses organic products.
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers - Found in plastic, foam and fabric products - Buy leather, wool and cotton products.
- Chlorpyrifos - This is a pesticide for food - buy organic or wash your food very well.
- Ethanol - Found in alcohol and petrol - It's pretty obvious but drink less and breath less (haha)
- Toluene - Found in petrol, nylon, paints, adhesives, cosmetics, perfumes and plastic bottles - Avoid it by being mindful not to breath in the fumes whilst filling up the tank and buy chemical free cosmetics/sun creams
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls - Found in farm raised salmon and food - Buy wild salmon and organic produce or wash it properly
Are you scared yet? And this is only to name a few. There are plenty more we are exposed to everyday. But without getting carried away it is simply important to understand there ARE toxins everywhere and we can't eradicate all of them from our lives but we do have some control over the products in our homes and what goes on our skin. I urge you to try swapping for healthier options now not one day when your older. As one product runs out change it for another with no chemicals, this will make the process easier and less overwhelming. I can assist you with this process and happily show you how I am gradually going through this myself. I hope you have found this useful and that I have inspired you to think of health as being more than just what you eat and how you exercise.