Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some brain powering words of wisdom...

Here are some exciting things to know about how our brain responds to exercise and diet! I think it's good for everyone to know that the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet are much more than just how you fit in your jeans...

So, how important is going to a fitness facility? According to a 2007 Columbia University study, working out at a fitness club may help you sprout new cells in the dentate gyrus, an area of the brain vital to memory. Researchers measured blood volume in the brains of adults who worked out four times a week for four months and found that all that activity sparks the production of more neurons. Man, I must be reeeeaaaallly smart! Hehehe :)

What's another way to get smarter? DANCE! "Few activities stimulate as wide a variety of brain systems as dancing does," says Daniel Amen, M.D., author of Magnificent Mind at Any Age. "Dancing requires everything from coordination and organization to planning and judgment." Ditto for martial arts. "Both require you to position different parts of your body simultaneously and in synchronicity—and with dance, you've got to move along to music," says John Ratey, M.D., author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. "That's a lot of mental stimulation." See, ZUMBA, Hip Hop, and Turbo Kick don't only get your fitter and happier, but also smarter!

Here's some nutrition must know, Larry McCleary, MD, and author of The Brain Trust Program says that the best brain foods are those that would rot if the power went out. Pick fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins and avoid the dreaded duo, trans fats ("they diminish brain cells' ability to communicate with each other") and high-fructose corn syrup ("it can shrink the brain by damaging cells"). See, I've been telling you all trans fat & HFCS are EVILLLLLL!! McCleary also says that eggs are the best breakfast for the brain!

This next nutrition nuggets is really interesting since so many people are anti-juicers because of the sugar that goes along with juice drinks... But in a 2006 University of South Florida study, people who drank three or more 4-ounce glasses of fruit or vegetable juice each week were 76 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who drank less. The high levels of polyphenols—antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables—may protect brain cells from the damage that may be caused by the disease, says study author Amy Borenstein, Ph.D. Eight six-ounce glasses of water a day will do you good, too. "Your brain is 80 percent water, and if it's not hydrated, your neurons can't perform properly," says Dr. Amen. Just choose the right kinds of fruit & veggie juices- like ones that say 100% juice- then READ THE INGREDIENTS!! Some have HFCS in them!!

And one more for ya, Drinking five or more cups of green tea per day can make you 20 percent less likely to experience psychological distress than if you drink less than a cup, according to a new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Yummmm!