Brain Health

There’s lots in the news these days about the baby boomers living to be well into their 90s or 100s. How are we going to make that a lively, enjoyable, and rich time for ourselves? No way our generation is going to retire at 65, play some golf and bridge, spend a lot of time and money on medical problems and then drift into “waiting to die” mode. Many octogenarian friends are still working full time at professions they enjoy, volunteering in service projects, traveling to exotic spots and taking up new creative pursuits.

With all this life span to look forward to I’ve been talking with some of my friends about how to keep our brains in good shape. Here’s what we came up with.

  • Alright, you may be very tired of hearing me say to eat lots of vegetables but that’s the reality folks. Lots of color means lots of antioxidants. Dark colored fruits are great too.
  • Consuming good fats daily like nuts, avocado, olive oil and wild cold water fish is beneficial to your brain. Your brain is 60% fat and you need to feed it good fats.
  • Don’t eat junk! No sugar, trans fats, aspartame or highly processed foods. Read labels! and they should be short.
  • Exercise, 30 to 60 minutes per day is optimal. Build up to that slowly if you do not currently exercise regularly. It’s critical to find something you like to do!
  • Stress-It’s hard on your brain-need I say more?

OK, what supplements do I take for my brain?

  • Methyl B12, B6, activated 5 methyl folate
  • EPA/DHA omega 3 fish oil 2000mg per day
  • Coenzyme Q 10 200mg per day
  • Acetylcarnitine 1000mg per day
  • R lipoic acid 200mg per day
  • Phosphatidyl serine

Everyone’s different and there are some supplements that are especially helpful for memory problems. In my experience Huperzine A, DMAE, and vinpocetine have been the most helpful for age related memory decline. Huperzine A must be used with some caution concerning the dose and the quality of the preparation.

On the other hand if the issue is poor memory because of depression, stress or anxiety then a different set of supplements would be more useful:

  • Tryptophan or 5HTP
  • tyrosine
  • theanine
  • taurine
  • higher doses of B6, or inositol.

It’s always best to talk to a health practitioner skilled in nutrition and supplements to help guide your choices!