You know when you are stressed out and are probably familiar with the feelings that let you know you are stressed, but did you know your brain can also get stressed out? When we are stressed, the body releases cortisol that can affect memory and interfere with other cognitive functions. Cortisol is especially detrimental to the hippocampus part of the brain that is responsible for short term memory. So when you have those moments when you walk into a room and can’t think what you went in there for, it could be that your brain needs some de-stressing.
Coping With Stress
Finding activities that help you relax overall, will also help your brain from being stressed. What works for one person to relieve stress doesn’t necessarily work for everyone so it’s important to try a variety of techniques to see what works for you. A few to try include:
- Tai Chi or QiGong
- deep breathing techniques
- a hobby
- listening to music
- go for a trail ride with friends
A Stress Free Diet For Your Brain
You can also make sure you are feeding your brain the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and with a diet that has nutrients known to relieve stress on the body. Foods with magnesium, B vitamins, and chlorophyll are some good stress relievers. Leafy green vegetables, fish like halibut, oysters, nuts and seeds are good sources and should be increased in the diet when you feel stressed or start experiencing brain fog as the more stressed you are the more your body uses up these nutrients. Foods high in antioxidants are good for a healthy brain because they fight off damage from free radicals which the brain is particularly susceptible to. Bright colored fruits, veggies and sprouts are good antioxidant foods and thus good brain food. The brain in particular needs a lot of nutrition for it to function properly. The problem is that nutrients have to get through the layer of cells called the blood brain barrier that protects the brain. A healthy brain specifically needs glucose, certain amino acids and essential fatty acids, but only very small fat soluble molecules and micronutrients are able to cross the blood brain barrier to nourish the brain.
While glucose is actually a small enough molecule to cross through the blood brain barrier, the catch with it is that the molecules need to be paired with an appropriate protein before it can get through. Proteins also must be broken down into amino acids before they are able to pass the blood brain barrier. The solution is to make sure your diet includes whole grains with complex carbohydrates. As you digest the carbs you’ll make the sugar or glucose that your brain needs. Oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa are all good brain food as are starchy vegetables like potatoes, beans, peas and lentils. Whole grains in your diet also helps keep cholesterol levels low and reduce the buildup of plaque so that you have a good flow of blood to the brain. Then make sure you include lean protein foods in your diet. Fatty fish are a particularly good protein for the brain as they also have the essential fatty acids such as omega-3 that the brain needs. Having healthy fats in your diet is especially important for brain health since the brain is 60% fat. Other good food sources for healthy fats include flaxseed, olive oil, walnuts, chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables and bluegreen algae.
AFA Bluegreen Algae For the Brain
Bluegreen algae not only has the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that humans need, it also has the amino acids and carbs the brain craves and of course is a great source for chlorophyll. The form of bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed allows its nutrients to pass over the blood brain barrier faster and easier. It has all 20 of the amino acids we need to build healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters and the essential fatty acids that support healthy blood to feed the brain.
A few other natural ingredients that have been found in research to support brain function include:
- Bee pollen with lots of amino acids that stimulate memory and concentration
- Wheatgrass Juice with nutrients to help clear brain fog
- Gingko that increases circulation and increases oxygen to the brain promoting an increase in memory and concentration
- Turmeric that has curcumin found to enhance memory and nerve growth in the brain
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be hard to get all these great brain supporting nutrients. You can get all these ingredients plus AFA bluegreen algae, Hawaiian noni, and eleuthero in this supplement designed for those with a demanding, high-stakes lifestyle, where heightened focus and mental clarity is a critical factor.
I know all about busy schedules and demanding deadlines that make you think you don’t have an extra minute to spare. But taking the time to make sure your brain isn’t challenged by stress will pay off. Having a clear mind that is able to focus and remember all you need to will help you get all those things done more efficiently and reduce the damage stress can do to the body and brain. Take the time to find ways to reduce your stress and nourish your brain with the special nutrients it needs and you’ll find living with less stress you can still get the job done.
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