Three Nutrients for Improved Brain / Neurological Health and Where to Find Them

Three Nutrients for Improved Brain / Neurological Health and Where to Find Them

Take responsibility for your brain and nervous system health!

It’s been eight years since I was diagnosed with RSD, due to a work place accident. If I had continued to follow doctor’s orders I would be walking with a cane today. In early 2012, I decided that I’d had enough after hobbling passed my surgeon’s Bentley in the hospital’s parking lot. My goal was to be able to walk, run, and live a great life filled with physical activity. Brain and nervous system health were the keys. Even though I was determined to succeed, getting the right information, was a little more difficult than I imagined.

Of all the many specialists that I’d seen regarding my neuropathy not a single one asked me about my diet, sleep and exercise. They were all focused on their training. The surgeons wanted to do another operation. The pain specialists wanted me to try another medication. You get the idea.

Trial, Error, and Research

Through research and speaking to nutritionists, and fitness experts, such as Mark Sisson, I decided that food was to be my medicine. It took me several years to figure out truth from dogma when it came to brain and nervous system health. I’d like to give you the three nutrients and some foods and supplements that I found most useful to reduce the inflammation of my nervous system, and improve my cognitive function.

 1. Creatine

Creatine is one of the most researched natural supplements.

Few experts would argue the benefits of having enough creatine in their diet. Some folks think, creatine is just for athletes that want to put on more muscle. Well it’s also important for brain cognition too.  It’s also important to the central nervous system. Creatine recycles ATP. The human central and peripheral nervous system, relies on ATP. Brain and nervous system health recycles its own body weight in ATP each day. ATP is also a precursor to your DNA.

Best source of creatine

Red meat is a reliable source of creatine. It’s also a great source for zinc, iron, and B vitamins. Grass fed and locally raised cattle or bison are usually the great sources of red meat. Sea food like Albacore tuna are also good. In fact, you can get up to 5 grams ( a good daily amount) of of creatine from a pound of fresh tuna fish. I doubt many of us can eat a pound of fresh tuna a day. So what can do you to up your intake of this valuable nutrient?

Creatine Supplements

My preference is always to get my nutrition from food. However, Vegans, vegetarians, and people who normally do not eat much red meat or seafood can get the benefits of creatine without eating meat! They can benefit by taking a supplement called polyethylene glycosylated creatine. I find that it works better for me, than creatine monohydrate. You be the judge. Either one would be beneficial to your brain health!

2. Magnesium

Your body needs magnesium for pretty much everything you do. It’s one of the most important minerals for your overall health. Magnesium helps regulate your immune system, heart rate, and metabolism.  If you are having troubles with injuries that will not seem to heal, magnesium can help.

Best sources of magnesium

Some of the best food sources are leafy greens like spinach, and kale. Seafood like salmon, and tuna are great. Black beans are dood, although some people don’t do well with legumes, so figs and bananas might be best for you in that case.

Magnesium Supplements

There are many types of magnesium products. They have several uses. You should know which one would work best for your needs. For instance, if you picked up a bottle of magnesium, at your local GNC, it might be magnesium oxide, which is commonly used as a laxative. Magnesium oxide is not as soluble as some of the other choices. That’s why it’s an excellent laxative. Your body will eliminate it quickly. Remember Milk of Magnesia?

I take Magnesium Orotate, which is known to have the greatest effect on the heart and nerves, at the cellular level. There are several choices that could work best for you. Some of these include magnesium sulfate otherwise known as Epsom Salts, Magnesium Chloride which comes in topical solutions as well as tablet form, and chelated forms such as Magnesium Malatate.

3. Zinc

Zinc deficiencies have been linked to immune system disorders, and poor cognitive function. It’s the most common mineral deficiency along with iron.

Food sources for more zinc!

Pumpkin seeds pack about 7 milligrams in a single cup. That’s about half of a daily dose. Grass fed beef, lamb, and some fish are also good sources. Throw some pomegranate seeds on your salad for a delicious dose of zinc! One of my favorites is cocoa powder. I’ll put about 2 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder in my afternoon veggie shake. That gives me about 5 milligrams from eating something that tastes chocolaty and satisfying!

 Taking a zinc supplement

The most bio available form of zinc is chelated zinc orotate. Avoid zinc gluconate. It has poor absorption. and you’d be wasting your money.

Take Magnesium and Zinc Separately

Magnesium and zinc are involved in virtually every bodily process. these two minerals are essential to brain and nervous system health. They are often packaged together as a sleep aid. This is very convenient. Although, I recommend that you take them separately, for reasons of absorption. Zinc and Magnesium will fight for absorption when taken together so you should maybe take zinc in the morning and then take the magnesium about an hour later. If you prefer to take zinc and magnesium together, try using ZMA. There are several versions of this on the market. Just remember magnesium and zinc are best absorbed on an empty stomach, but if it messes up your stomach, then eat a light meal with your supplements.

Eat loads of leafy greens!

There are so many benefits to eating more dark leafy greens that I don’t know where to start. Fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, and iron are just some of the nutrients that will keep you sharp and fit for years to come.

That said, I’m not a big kale fan. It’s not like I hate it. It’s just – everywhere. Swiss chard, bok choy, and dandelion greens are some of my favorites. I’ll eat some collard greens in the morning with some soft-boiled pastured eggs for a load of minerals like magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Pastured eggs are a great source of omega three fatty acids, which help your brain synapses fire more efficiently. These fats are highly bio-available in pasture raised eggs.

Bonus tip!

More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report finds that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population –have diabetes.

To improve your overall health and wellness and not just your brain and neurological health, eat less sugar. In fact, cut out all processed foods and sugar from your diet. carbohydrate is one of the most important macro-nutrients. You don’t need to rely on pastas, breads, and other processed carbs. You’ll get plenty when you start eating more vegetables everyday.

I hope that these tips are helpful to you. Please subscribe!

Can Cookware Cause Cancer?

Can Cookware Cause Cancer?

Can cookware cause cancer? – 4 Safe Non-Stick Alternatives to toxic Cookware – You have heard all about the importance of eating healthy foods. You understand how to measure your calories, and macro-nutrients like fats, protein, and carbs. But what about your non-stick cookware? Did you know that your shiny new copper coated non-stick skillet is potentially very toxic to you and your family? Even the healthiest diet can cause severe health problems if your pots and pans are toxic.

The cookware industry has been searching for a safe non-stick coating for healthy cooking for decades. The grand daddy of synthetic non stick surfaces for cooking is Teflon. Teflon cookware gets its non stick properties from a coating of PTFE. When heated above 572°F, this plastic polymer releases terrible toxins. These toxic fumes lead to flu-like symptoms called polymer fume fever. It’s more commonly known as Teflon flu. Several chemical compounds found in Teflon cookware are threatening to the body, as well as to the environment.

Like many other non-stick surfaces, aluminum cookware is usually coated. Just like several of the other toxic surfaces that are underneath the safe ceramic coating. Ceramic is an effective barrier to the negative effects of aluminum. However ceramic is prone to chipping while cooking or washing your cookware. Rapid heating and cooling can crack an expensive skillet. This allows the toxic metal to leach into your food.

Aluminum foil, is even more dangerous. There’s an established “safe” amount of aluminum the human body can manage. It’s approximately 20 mg per pound of body weight a day. When you wrap your food in aluminum foil and cook it this way, the amount of this substance that leaks into the food significantly exceeds the permissible level. For me personally, no amount of a toxic metal in my blood stream is okay.

Aluminum is a neurotoxic metal. Elevated levels of aluminum in the body have been linked to several central nervous system diseases, including ALS, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia.

Uncoated copper pots and pans, are quite toxic. A nice dinner of salmon in lemon sauce, could lead to desert in the ER with a case of metal poisoning. And that’s because it can release copper when you cook acidic foods.

Companies like All Clad, Calphalon, and Cuisinart are always cooking up expensive new non-stick surfaces to sell to you. A new skillet can run you upwards of $200. This is especially painful when you later discover that your shiny cookware is really poisoning you. Ouch!

Safer Options

So what should you do? Non-stick cookware makes clean up easier, and you use a lot less oils and fats in your cooking with non-stick cookware. The solution is easy. Stick with the classics, such as, cast iron, carbon steel, glass, and 100% ceramic cookware.

Here Comes Ironman!

Your grandma knew how to make a cast-iron cookware as smooth as any overpriced option from Wolfgang Puck. Cast Iron has great heat retention. So your food stays warm just in case someone’s a little late for dinner. Cast iron heats well and evenly.It doesn’t leak anything toxic into your food. Plus it has the added benefit of increasing your body’s iron levels.

Many manufacturers are now making preseasoned cast iron pans. If you follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, your morning omelet will slide right out of the pan. Cast iron is also about as durable and rugged as cookware can get. You can make popcorn in your cast iron Dutch oven over a campfire, without a scratch on it. Try that with your $200 copper pot.

When in Rome

Carbon steel is very popular in Europe. It’s a lighter, and equally durable alternative to cast iron. Carbon steel is generally safer stainless steel, because stainless can contain nickel, another toxic metal. It’s better to be on the safe side in my opinion. The only draw back to carbon steel is it’s a little harder to purchase here in the United States.

Earth Friendly

Glass cookware is about as safe as you can get. It does not release anything toxic when heated, Glass doesn’t hang on to any old food flavors. It’s also eco-friendly!

You might be scratching your head as to why I suggest 100% ceramic cookware. Notice the 100% part of the sentence. The problem with ceramic coated cookware is not the ceramic part, it’s the aluminum, lead, and other toxic substances underneath. Ceramic coatings are usually soft. They chip and peel. All ceramic pots are much more durable, and don’t peel, or chip like coated versions.

Conclusion

So, can cookware cause cancer? The answer unfortunately is – yes. In my opinion, it’s always better to be on the safe side, when it comes to your health. Why go with a new and untried non-stick pan, when, all you have to do, is do what your grandma did. Iron, steel, glass, and ceramic have been around for a very long time, and they’re here to stay.

Food Allergies Ruin Healthy Sleep

Ayurveda for modern living

Understanding Neurofeedback with John Mekrut

Understanding Neurofeedback with John Mekrut

Episode 26 of Happy and Healthy Over 40: Understanding Neurofeedback with John Mekrut. This is a conversation with leading Neurofeedback expert, John Mekrut. We discuss the human brain, getting older, training your brain through Neurofeedback – and bees!

John Mekrut’s Bio

Mister Mekrut is the owner of The Balanced Brain Neurofeedback Training Center which specializes in training the brain in self-regulation for maximum performance. He is the father of two teenage girls. One of his daughters is on the autistic spectrum. Neurofeedback training helped her improve her self-regulation and stop taking medications. It was a wonderful transformation and set her on a path of success in school and life.

His experience with his daughter, led John to train at the Othmer Institute in Woodland Hills, California. John trained with Sue and Siegfried Othmer. They are two pioneers in Neurofeedback training.

“I keep myself informed about the latest developments in neuroscience, attend professional development courses and am always looking to add elements of mind/body work to my practice. Since the brain does not work in a vacuum, I encourage proper nutrition, sleep habits, and behavioral changes that will aid in the work of properly re-regulating a disregulated brain.”

John’s decade long experience with biofeedback and Neurofeedback technologies has made him a recognized leader in his field.  He is the President of the Western Association of Biofeedback and Neuroscience. It is the oldest professional organization for biofeedback professionals and for the second year in a row.

John is also included in the TransTech 200 as one of the two hundred thought leaders promoting the use of technology for mental, physical and spiritual wellness. John Mekrut is a sought after speaker in a variety of  venues. He maintains a robust clinical practice serving clients from toddlers to senior citizens.

What are some applications for Neurofeedback?

John Mekrut utilizes state of the art technologies, which provide direct awareness of the brain’s own signaling. Neurofeedback teaches the brain to build new neural pathways and increase blood flow to specific regions that need it, physically rewiring your brain to transform the way you think, feel, and experience the world. It is taught to re calibrate its behavior and promote stability and flexibility of response.

The clinical applications go back over 30 years. The applications include improving the symptoms of complex and developmental trauma. Some of the issues addressed are: ASD, ADHD, ODD, anxiety/depression disorders and many more.  The holistic nature of the training complements and augments any other interventions that may comprise a treatment plan.

This led to Mr. Mekrut’s association with Hope Psychiatry, where integrated modalities are the cornerstone of long-term recovery. John is a valued member of the team, and his work is part of the integrative effort to improve the lives of the growing community.

Links

The Balanced Brain Homepage

La Maida Clinic

Domains of Well Being and Happiness

Relieving Suffering Through Emerging Bio-Technology

How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Helped Black Belt Mike Radell Beat a Heart Attack

How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Helped Black Belt Mike Radell Beat a Heart Attack

Episode 23 – How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Helped Black Belt Mike Radell Beat a Heart Attack: 76-year-old, Mike Radell is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and a very wise man. In this episode, Mike explains how his strenuous training and dedication to BJJ helped him overcome the effects of a heart attack. He teaches the importance of vigorous exercise in your life, as you continue to get older, in order to stay out of the doctor’s office, and into the life that you love!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt Mike Radell shares his insights in training for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Mike has been an inspiration for me personally. He’s always been one of the black belts at Machado academy that I looked up to, because he was older and yet always appeared to be very energetic and full of life. He’s the quiet humble dude that you’d never want to mess with and that impresses me most of all! I’ve been looking forward to this interview for several months now.

If you’re worried if you’re too old to try something new, then consider that, Mike was 55 years old when he began his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu career. Ten years after that, Mike suffered a heart attack. His cardiologist said the strenuous exercise and BJJ training had strengthened Mike’s arteries. In short, living an active lifestyle had saved Mike’s life.

Ironically, the doctor was also a judo player. His name is Maeda. The man who brought BJJ to the Gracie family in Brazil was named Mitsuyo Maeda. Coincidence or fate?!?  When Mike asked him if it was a good idea to continue to train after the heart attack, the Judoka said, he didn’t see a reason why Mike shouldn’t.

Even though Mike is 76 years old, he makes time to practice Jiu Jitsu, every week. He’s built friendships, and continues to improve as a BJJ player. He admits that the life he leads is better because he stays fit and eats healthy. Mike advocates for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, not because of winning belts or medals, but because it makes his life better.

He also was the man who introduced the sport of Jiu Jitsu to Felicia Oh. She has gone on to win many titles, and is a member of the “Dirty Dozen”. These are the first twelve non-Brazilian women to achieve Black belt in BJJ. Felicia gives thanks to Mike in her interview here on an episode of the podcast.

Mike spends quality time, riding bikes, and surfing with his son. He travels with his wife, and usually manages find to a Jiu Jitsu Dojo for training during their travels. He is also preparing the next generation for BJJ by teaching his grand children this martial art.

Self Care for Caregivers

Self Care for Caregivers

Self Care for Caregivers is about how to handle the crisis of our aging parents. Caregivers often times forget to look after their own health and well-being. Health Care professional Karen Bromberg gives tips, and insights on best care practices for our loved ones as they age and for yourself as a caregiver.

About Karen Bromberg:

Karen is the founder of HelpYouThru. She was inspired to develop an online resource for elder-care. She advocates for both the senior, and their family caregivers. Karen’s idea came out of her experience with caring for her parents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Karen has been a practicing health care professional for over 25 years, as well as a registered and certified Audiologist.  Her website, and community provide care and support to the growing number of adult caregivers, and their aging parents.

In this episode, Self Care for Caregivers, we discuss, difficult conversations with our aging parents and some useful tips for you based on Karen’s own experiences with her family, and her online community.

What You’ll Learn:

  1. Karen, tell us why she started her company, Help You Thru.
  2. Why it make sense to have things prepared long before your parents are ill.
  3. What are some of the most difficult conversations that an individual can have with their parents.
  4. The personal sacrifices that people should be prepared for when their mother or father get seriously ill.
  5. Why it is best to be proactive instead of hiding your head in the sand.
  6. What are the 3 most important tips for best care for your parent?

Links:

Health Information

Caregiver’s Corner

Glossary of terms

More Information

Relieve Suffering through emerging bio-technology

Domains of Well Being and Happiness

Domains of Well Being and Happiness

Domains of Well Being and Happiness

What does it mean to be “happy”? The Domains of well-being and happiness is a great episode if you’ve every asked yourself, “Why am I not happy?” or if anyone has asked you, “What would make you happy?”. Some of us have forgotten the answer to this question for ourselves.

Dr. Jeffrey Jessum, and I discuss the nature of happiness after 40. Jeffrey E. Jessum is a clinical psychologist and long-time practitioner of Mindfulness Meditation. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA and his Master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Psychology.

What is Happiness?

“Happiness is the relief after extreme tension.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

There are two definitions to this question. One definition is emotional happiness. This type of happiness is the pleasant sensations in the body that we experience, when we’re rewarded with something. We feel this type of happiness in childhood, when mommy gives us a cookie, for being a good boy.

The second definition is the domains of well-being. Dr. Jessum says there are four domains of well-being. The first is our relationship to ourselves. It’s the subjective way in which we see the world. The second domain is how we see others.

Dr. Jessum talks a lot in this podcast about the third domain. This is all about our physical health, and vitality. Jeffrey models this aspect well in his personal life. He is very physically active and is a long time advocate of meditation. Exercising outdoors instead of at the gym, always improves my own mood. Try it! In my opinion, this aspect of well-being and happiness is the one that is easiest to understand for most people. Many have a hard time communicating with others, but everyone can understand why a hike in the mountains can make you happy.

The fourth is our understanding of the physical environment around us. This one can be a tough one for some. Living or working in a dangerous environment, can be a contributing factor, to potential unhappiness. Children growing up in a broken home, where violence is an almost daily occurrence, contributes to their unhappiness. Although, even a poor environment may not effect some people. We’re all wired a little differently from one another.

Can you learn to be happy?

 “We don’t even ask happiness, just a little less pain.” ~ Charles Bukowski

Some men, over 40, have forgotten what it means to be happy, because we spend so much of our time trying to make others feel happy. Our bosses, wives, and children always come first. When is there time for us. Dr. Jessum and I discuss this as well. It’s more than possible to be happy. It’s essential!

Working with a coach or therapist is a good way to get a handle on your own personal domains of well-being and happiness. Dr. Jessum’s website has a lot of tips for you to check into on the topic. You can contact him at the website, if you want to work with him. You can always contact me here with any and all questions or comments.

BE HAPPY!

~Hector R.

Keywords; domains of well-being, coaching happiness, well-being healthy care, integral, integral psychotherapy, wellness, employee well-being, happiness, mental happiness