Monday, July 7, 2008

The # 1 Secret of Brain Longevity

Did you know that you can boost your brain power right now and prevent memory loss later?
This notion of creating a lifetime of peak mental performance is what I call "Brain Longevity," and has been the focus of my medical practice and research for over 15 years. In fact, because of my pioneering work in this area, I'm often referred to as "The George Washington of Brain Longevity," the father of the field.
So I'm very excited to have you join me as we embark on a voyage to the essence of your being: your brain, your mind, and your memory. The journey of brain longevity will perhaps be the most fascinating and enlightening of your life, as you discover new, heightened levels of brain fitness.
During this extraordinary adventure, I'll be revealing all the latest medical research, which you can apply right now to be at your best.
Yes, you'll have the brain and memory of a much younger you.
You may even feel like a kid again.
When you experience that renewal, you'll probably feel like a new person. You'll no longer feel as you do now -- like your old self. But you won't be a different self. You'll be your real self -- the one you know is there deep inside of you, and the one that has been with you since the day you were born.
That self may have been beaten and bruised by stress, exhaustion, abuse, toxins, or painful emotions such as frustration, fear, or anger. Nonetheless, after all of this punishment, it's still there waiting.
And you'll be able to use what you learn in this ongoing column to absolutely shine again.
My own medical journey hasn't always been smooth sailing. In the beginning, my work was actually ridiculed by ordinary doctors and the conventional medical establishment.
"This is absurd," they'd say.
"Nothing can be done for the brain."
But of course they were wrong. There are many things that can be done to boost your brain power, starting right now. The reason why many ordinary doctors were in a fog, and why many still are, is that they didn't know the # 1 secret of brain longevity.
What's the secret?
Your brain is flesh and blood, just like the rest of your body.
Now, for a few of you this idea may seem mundane. But for many others it will be a revolutionary epiphany. Why? Because I know from experience that many people think of the brain as a mysterious computer. But remember, your brain isn't a computer; it's a flesh and blood organ just like your heart, for example.
And just as there are many scientifically proven, health-giving measures that benefit your heart, there are many ways to benefit your brain as well.
Because your brain is flesh and blood like the rest of your body:
Poor nutrition hurts your brain.
Chronic, unbalanced stress ruins your memory
Lack of physical exercise ages your brain and your body.
Lack of stimulating mental activity accelerates brain aging.1
The other day I was reading an article in a leading medical journal.2 They were discussing the predicted, rapidly emerging epidemic of Alzheimer's disease. Ten million baby boomers will develop this horrible mind-robbing illness, they revealed. But when it came time to discuss something hopeful, they drew a blank. All they could do was sing that same old tired song about genetics and the search for a magic bullet drug.
Well, let me tell you right here and now: the era of magic bullet drug therapy is over. When it comes to a flesh and blood organ like your brain, there never has been and never shall be one magic bullet drug.
And what about genetics?
While you certainly can't ignore your genes, the most recent research, which was just revealed at a leading-edge conference I attended at the UCLA Center on Aging, showed that genetics accounts for only 30% of all cases of cognitive decline. The other 70% is related to your life-style.3
Yes, you read correctly. How you live your life today will go a long way towards determining the state of your mind and memory tomorrow.
As my cutting edge work reveals, and as I'll be sharing with you in this and future articles, you can protect and repair your brain with your lifestyle choices. Memory loss can even be reversed using what I call, The Four Pillars of Brain Longevity
Here they are:
Diet and supplements: The food you eat makes a big difference in your memory function. Certain high fat foods, such as grain-fed beef clog up your brain cells, while fish such as fresh frozen Alaskan salmon and some vegetables and fruit actually protect it. Moreover, there are a number of memory-specific supplemental nutrients that can make a big difference as well.
Stress Management: This is critically important, because, as we'll see in future articles, chronic, unbalanced stress kills brain cells in the hippocampus, your brain's memory center. The practice of regular relaxation techniques and social activity can help.4
Exercise: The latest research clearly shows the fundamental imperative of physical, mental, and mind/body exercise in maximizing your memory. Exercise may even grow new brain cells, recent research denotes.6
Anti-aging hormone replacement therapy. There may be a place for the artful replacement of certain hormones to help maintain not only optimal physical health, but brain health as well.5
That's what it's all about: creating ultimate cognitive vitality now and preventing memory loss later. We'll be covering a lot more of this timely subject in the coming months. Topics will include the latest immediately useful information on diet, supplements, meditation, physical and mental exercise, and much more.
It's going to be a "how to" mind-expanding experience.

Author:Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

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