How To Increase Brain Function
By Travis Wade
Neural plasticity is the regeneration of new brain cells. You thought that was impossible? No, it’s possible. I’ll tell you how but first I have to explain a little bit about proprioception. Proprioception is the innate ability to know where your body is in space. There are a lot of proprioceptors on the feet which allows us to balance. More proprioception firing causes increased neural plasticity, brain function, and heightens all of our senses.
Inversely, inflammation in the body causes stiffness of the muscles and joints which decreases proprioception firings. Less proprioception firing decreases brain function. A good anti-inflammatory diet and learning proper mobilizers will help with stiffness. Come see me or send me a message for more help with the diet and exercise details.
Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Exercise
Neural plasticity requires Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDNF. Intermittent fasting is still fairly new but has been around long enough for some studies that show it increases BDNF by up to 400%. Intermittent fasting just means narrowing your eating window down. For most people this would be skipping breakfast and not eating for three hours before bed. There are methods to the madness on intermittent fasting and healthy ways to do it. For details on intermittent fasting done right, contact me.
BDNF has massive protective factors on your neuromuscular junctions. Neuromuscular junctions are where the nerve stimulates the muscle. When people age part of the reason why people lose their strength is because of the breakdown of the neuromuscular junctions. BDNF is great to help prevent that.
In the Journal of Neurology, they state that physical exercise decreases age related brain shrinkage, increases cognition, and promotes neural plasticity. I’m sure we are all shocked with these findings, right? It does this in so many ways but a couple are increasing proprioceptive firing, increasing BDNF, and increasing blood flow.
Exercise also decreases the amount of stiffness for more proprioceptive firing. I’m sure you’ve noticed the more we move the more we feel alert. Exercise also increases myogenic regulatory factors which protect nerves.
Incidentally, leg strength is the biggest determining factor in brain function, (and your vertical BTW). Ya nerds still hate squats? Make sure you use proper form or you’ll wreck your body. Book a consultation with me. Correcting form is very individualized and needs in person attention but you can check out my video here for a quick overview on squats.
High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT training is the best cardio exercise you can do to stimulate BDNF amongst other benefits. If you don’t know how to do this, book a consultation with me. It should be done once a week for massive cardio improvements and brain health. There are many different kinds of HIIT training and can also be individualized for your needs.
A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is crucial to brain function and most of us have heard about the benefits of vegetables, however… according to the Open Heart Journal, healthy fats are crucial for brain function. Don’t skip your Omega 3’s.
I’m pretty sure most people are on to the fact that healthy fats are good for you in so many ways. There are hundreds of books written on this now and I’ve seen a few that have an avocado on the cover. Doctors are still recommending a plant based diet but a high fat plant based diet. I recommend an avocado a day and a handful of healthy nuts, grass fed butter, and coconut oil.
Anything that is a neurotropic factor is something that increases neural plasticity or brain cell production. BDNF is the most powerful neurotropic factor we have discovered but others exist. Coffee berry extract has shown to increase BDNF by 143%. I still don’t know where to get coffee berry or coffee cherry extract, (not to be confused with coffee bean extract). A couple other neurotropic factors are mushrooms and Dave Asprey’s Brain Octane Oil.
Now for the grim truth we don’t want to think about. Some very smart people did a study at the university of Calgary to show the effect of small amounts of mercury on neurons. You have to see this unbelievable video. Detoxify your mercury.
We are all exposed to mercury. It’s in the air, tap water, and our food. The solution? Stop breathing, drinking, and eating. Or detoxify your mercury. Get as much sunlight as you can preferably in the morning. It has infrared light which is a great detoxifier. Selenium and zinc are also mercury detoxifiers.
The culprits: Tuna, sushi, coal burning, amalgam fillings, vaccines, occupational exposures, florescent light bulbs, thermostats, batteries, red tattoo dye, skin lightening creams, over the counter products such as contact lens fluid, neosynephrine and more. Reduce your exposure as much as possible.
If you are like me, you’ll have to get your fillings removed. The main way humans are exposed is contaminated fish and amalgam fillings. See a biological dentist about getting the fillings removed. A conventional dentist can do more harm than good by drilling out old fillings without proper precautions or protection.
Amalgam fillings might seem petty but it’s estimated that you get 3-17 ppm of mercury from them daily. They get approved as being safe but when they are removed they are considered toxic waste and are illegal to throw in the garbage. It’s ok to put them in your mouth but it’s not ok to put them in the garbage. You have to see this unbelievable video.
I wish you lots of health, love and happiness!
The only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton.