Brain Health and Why It’s Important
The brain is one of your most vital organs, it controls your body’s functions and helps you understand and interact with the world around you, and just like the rest of your body, it needs to be looked after. Diet, exercise, sleep quality and quantity, connecting with others, and how you manage stress are key lifestyle factors for brain health and cognition (your ability to think, understand, learn, plan, and remember). When brain health is optimized, it has the blood flow required for top performance and you’re better able to pay attention and solve problems.
Optimizing brain health also reduces your risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, later in life. According to the American Stroke Association, 3 out of 5 Americans will develop a brain disease in their lifetime, and by 2030, the total cost of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke is expected to exceed $1 Trillion.
Maintaining a healthy brain will help your mind stay clear and active, so that you can work, rest and play. Let’s learn more about environmental factors that influence the brain and simple lifestyle changes you can make now to prevent cognitive decline.
Dementogens – the Toxic Burdens to the Brain
Dr. Dale Bredesen, my mentor and renowned Alzheimer’s researcher, UCLA professor of neurology and author of the, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline describes dementogens as a chemical that increases your risk for cognitive decline and contributors to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementogens are similar to carcinogens, the chemicals that cause cancer, because they’re all-pervading and everywhere. Daily we are exposed to them, without even being aware.
Here are the 3 groups of Dementogens
- Metals: Such as mercury, lead, arsenic, as well as air pollutants like carbon monoxide.
- Organic Chemicals: Such as pesticides, glyphosates, paint thinners, formaldehyde, toluene and petroleum.
- Biotoxins: These are toxins produced by living organisms, such as the mycotoxins produced by molds. Check for the Big 5 toxic molds: Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium, and Wallemia.
You’re probably wondering… “how do I avoid my exposure to these everyday Dementogens”? Well, it’s impossible to completely avoid these toxic burdens, so a combination of reduced exposure and taking time to reduce your toxic load is the healthiest approach.
Assessing your Brain Dementogen Burden
There are many direct-to-consumer tests that may help shine a light on where dementogens show up in your life. If you are interested in a home use test to determine your biotoxin mold exposure, order a test kit from Mycometrics.com, and work with a qualified clinician to understand the results and recommend a treatment plan. I tested my own living spaces and found it very helpful.
How to Reduce Your Exposure to Dementogens
We know we can’t avoid them completely, but start with the basics: your water, food, and self-care and cleaning products.
- Water: Avoid hard, plastic water bottles (BPAs) and bottled water because heat, acid, and oil leach the chemicals from plastic, ie sitting in the hot sun. Instead, drink filtered tap water
- Go to the Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database to quickly discover what’s in your tap water.
- Air: Steer clear of the smoke from candles, especially scented candles.
- They emit toxins such as toluene and benzene. Trying using Beeswax candles instead.
- Food: When you can, choose organic fruits and vegetables.
- Use the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen™,” to indicate which produce is least likely to be contaminated with pesticides and safer to purchase conventionally
- Self-Care and Cleaning Products: Many products contain a long list of ingredients and additives linked to dementogens.
If you’re looking for a step by step approach to cleaning up your toxic load, sign up for the Toxin Takedown 14 Day Transformation.
Detox – Sweat it Out!
Sweating helps your body regulate temperature, but it also shrinks fat cells by helping release toxins and dementogens that are stored in them. Detoxing in this way helps your brain run more efficiently overall.
- Take a Hot Bath: A hot Epsom salt bath with some baking soda and lavender is a wonderful way to purge your body of dementogens.
- Work Out: Sweaty exertion is GREAT for clearing the head of dementogens and any feelings of anger or frustration.
By making some small changes in your lifestyle, you’ll decrease the dementogen burden in your brain. As always, I am here to help you every step of the way! Follow me on Instagram for more brain health tips.
To your good—dementogen-free!—health,
Click here for full podcast playlist.