We take it for granted that our brain will always function and be there to keep our body and mind running smoothly. We take care of our bodies and try to take care of our emotional selves too, however how many of us actually take conscious care of our brains? It is a vital organ, and needs looking after as much as all our other organs! It is what makes us think, however that doesn’t mean it can think itself healthy.
So, how to make sure you keep your grey matter in tip top condition? Not surprisingly it is actually very similar to the rest of our bodily healthcare; rest, exercise and diet all contribute greatly to keeping our brain at its best. Ilene Ruhoy is a neurologist who also works in natural therapies such as acupuncture and herbal nutrition and combines her integrative methods to promote good brain health. Having survived brain cancer herself she knows that brain care is an absolute must and not something to be dismissed or neglected. Her holistic advice is not a suggestion, it is based on rituals which she believes everyone should adhere to in order to give your brain optimal function. Part of the reason being that circadian rhythm (basically our 24-hour cycle) is what our brains need as they are circadian organs and therefore practicing routine is something we can provide to help it thrive.
Rules for optimum brain health
Diet rules everything, even our grey matter, and so maintaining a healthy diet is vital for supporting brain health. However not only in the form of what we eat but very importantly when we eat. Keeping to a dietary schedule is just as beneficial to our brain health as making sure we get all the necessary nutritional value from our foods. If your brain is considering that the body is going to be fed at 8am then try to stick to that each day and everything will function better. Having a routine helps the being as a whole, and we are all for treating the body as a whole. If you choose to embark on a new diet then make sure that you stick to the same meal times each day, this will also help to reduce unnecessary snacking, unless of course we do that at the same time each day too! Ruhoy also adds that she believes in intermittent fasting and this would not have to affect your daily routine, just be sure to begin eating, or break your fast, at the same time each day.
Go to bed:
We don’t just need those eight hours of sleep, we need them to happen at similar times each night and end at similar times each morning to enable our brains to remain steady and settled. Sleep provides us with a refreshed body and mind each day and so the way we encounter it is very important. Ruhoy suggests that of all the routines we undertake, sleep ought to be the number one priority “the glymphatic system of our brain is most active during sleep and helps rid the brain of cellular debris and metabolic waste by-products”. She also adds that the process of getting ready to go to bed should also be something of a ritual so that your brain is aware that it is wind down time and begins to prepare itself. This allows us to have more chance of a deeper sleep and therefore will feel more rejuvenated the next morning. Disruption to sleep pattern can cause much disruption in life and so keeping to a bedtime and wake up time is paramount for a healthy life.
Another obvious must when it comes to our health, but keeping to a routine when it comes to the timing of our exercise regime is just as important as actually doing it. Not an exact time but either morning, afternoon or evening and stick to it, this will optimise brain health as well as release our happy hormones and keep our body functioning effectively. Changing up what you do when you workout isn’t a major factor, it is just the hour at which we do it that affects our brain health.
Keeping our body and mind fit, sleeping properly and eating well are all paramount to our overall health but keeping a schedule and sticking to it also aids our brain health and keeps everything functioning effectively. Give it a try and see how you feel. I think that if your brain feels safe and nurtured by knowing when the body is going to be given everything it needs then it too can work at its best level. This is certainly something I am going to incorporate into the life of my family.
Online diploma courses in over 60 Holistic Therapies
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer over 60 distance learning diploma courses in holistic health therapies. Visit our A-Z course listing page to see our courses and when enrolling don’t forget to visit our Special Offers page first! Anything you’d like to ask? Just Contact us, we can help with anything from questions on enrolling to explaining how we work — our courses have no deadline and no expiry date – stress free study!