Cognitive HealthThe Self

Keeping the Mind & Body Fed

This is an ongoing series for those interested in helping their minds and bodies operate at peak capability.

I think most people don't take into consideration all the damage their bodies, and brains endure throughout a single day... let alone over a period of years, or decades. Our species has a tendency to overindulge in everything, whether it's something we consume, or activities we do with others. Add to that stress, anxiety and constant worry over bills, and life events takes it's toll on us physically, emotionally, and mentally. There are ways to help yourself, and we'll share a number of things we've found over the years that have definitely helped us. Keep in mind that we aren't doctors, or nutritionists, so what we offer is merely our personal opinions, and experiences, nothing more.  

With a little research, it's fairly easy to learn that the food we eat... and the liquids we consume... all have a factor on our bodies, and organs including our brain. It's also fairly easy to conclude through simple research that most of the food we intake at this point is void of any real nutrients simply because of how the food is produced in the first place. Trying to feed a population that has grown to the size this one has, is not possible through traditional methods of farming any longer. Add to that all the junk food we consume and it begins to take it's toll... especially as someone ages. 

Supplements, and vitamins are a great source of added nutrition but just like everything else... you have to know what you're buying or you end up with a product that offers very little benefit. Knowing how the body and brain process nutrients is fairly important these days if you're going to stay on top of your health game. For instance multivitamins; You'll see a wall of them at the local store so which one is going to help you? The bottom line is... any of them will help to some degree but since everyone's body is unique, and requires different things no pre-packaged multi is going to get it all done, and in some cases they will contain way more of a particular mineral or vitamin than you need. 

So what do you do? Well, you can start taking a more active role in what goes into your mouth for one thing. Learn a little about how the body processes nutrition, and how it breaks down essential nutrients. We started that journey over 15 years ago, and now have a kitchen cabinet shelf almost entirely filled with supplements, and vitamins. We focus on the main nutrients that are necessary for a healthy mind, heart, liver, kidneys and digestion. Keeping up on current medical info and clinical trials on many of the supplements is also important so you can determine whether they're actually working. It's also important to know whether certain vitamins or supplements require additional vitamins, or other ingredients to break down properly.

As an example... we take a Curcumin extract from California Gold Nutrition which is a very important supplement that reduces inflammation, and helps with joint issues. It also helps with anxiety, and provides cardiovascular support. It works, without a doubt. However finding a product with the right amount of Curcuminoids is one important factor... and the other is that without Piperine, essentially black pepper... it will only be about 15% bioavailable to the body. With the Piperine... it is over 85% bioavailable. So simply running down to Walmart to grab some Curcumin just isn't gonna get you anywhere unless it has black pepper in it. 

Vitamin D3 is another absolutely necessary vitamin that provides powerful immune support. It also helps a great deal with mood, and mental clarity. We take 10,000 IU a day, while most health professionals tell you that 400 to 1000 is plenty. Absolutely not true. As an example... a doctor I went to years ago did a full panel on me that listed everything... and whether I was deficient or not. Vitamin D came up deficient, so he told me to start taking 5000 IU a day. I thought that was a huge amount to take on a daily basis, but I was in for a surprise. After 2 additional blood tests 3 months apart... my system finally showed as no longer deficient. So it took over 6 months of 5K a day to get me back to normal and then only barely. Keep in mind that just 15-30 minutes of midday sun a few times a week produces enough Vitamin D to keep your body balanced.

I'll close out this segment with another group of supplements we take that fall into a category called Nootropics. They are also sometimes referred to as 'Smart Drugs' although they aren't drugs at all, and are available over the counter without prescription. They're powders taken sublingually in varying amounts. They're designed to enhance the mind, and cognitive function, and in some cases a few of them actually help produce new brain cells. A number of them like Huperzine-A, Nopept, Alpha-GPC, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam, and Phenylpiracetam all help with keeping the mind sharp in various ways. Huperzine-A has had a few clinical studies that show it is a definite benefit to someone in the early stages of Alzheimer's or Dementia. It is also believed that by taking this long term, you can prevent diseases that affect the brain like Alzheimer's. We've taken Huperzine-A  for over a year now, and can see a difference it makes in our clarity, and how we process information. It also helps on some level with memory recall. There are various ways to take Huperzine-A including premade capsules, but we recommend taking the powder form sublingually {put under the tongue and let dissolve]. Their are tiny scales you can purchase from companies that offer these Nootropics, and you can also get small spoons that hold 1 gram, or 10-200 grams as well for rough dosing. If you want to be exact, then you'll need to get one of the scales to weigh out the powders accurately.

Enjoy learning about how to better feed your mind and body! Here's another segment!.