You have a brain, is that true? From that brain comes your mind: thoughts, ideas, and actions that create your life, fulfill your destiny and leave your legacy.
What we’re learning more and more is that a certain particular part of your brain is very important. It’s called the frontal brain or frontal lobes and most importantly, the prefrontal cortex (PFC). You better hope yours is in great shape or you’re going to find aging more and more difficult. When your PFC works well, it helps you pay attention and not be distracted. Know anybody who is chronically late? Poor frontal lobes.
Think of the PFC as the CEO of your brain; it’s like the supervisor. Your PFC is involved in the following important functions:
· Impulse Control
· Follow through
And guess what else? It’s also critically important for learning and even emotional regulation and having empathy. When your PFC works well, you think twice before saying something you’ll later regret. Having low activity in your PFC makes you more impulsive and likely to engage in risky behavior.
So if you want to perform at your best and highest level, consider the following:
1. Do more aerobic exercise: low PFC activity is associated with low levels of dopamine in your brain and one of the best ways to boost your dopamine is with aerobic exercise. Beyond that, regular exercise grows new brain cells in your memory area, boosts cognitive ability and improves focus and attention.
2. Eat more lean protein. Moreover, to strengthen your brain avoid sugar and other simple carbs. They mess up your glucose levels and distract you. If you are a vegetarian, this can be a challenge, so explore alternative ways of getting protein, such as by eating beans and rice. If you are not a vegetarian, simply cut up bite size pieces of chicken or turkey breast and snack on it all day.
3. Set Goals: your PFC is involved in planning and forethought. But it needs clear direction. To do that, become clear on your specific goals in life including health, relationships, work and so on.
4. Stress is Dangerous. Try to practice some form of stress management technique on a regular basis. This has been shown to:
· Calm Stress
· Enhance brain function
· Reverse memory loss
· Increase self control
· Improve Focus
· Reduce depression and anxiety
5. Last, but not least, consider some brain nutrients. Ask your local health food store for a good and reputable brand.
It’s never too late to activate your brain for Alzheimer’s Prevention, you can find more information about all these points above, including the 12 minute memory exercise at www.alzheimersprevention.org.
Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.
President and Medical Director
For Additional Information On Dementia & Caregiving