Miracles in Michigan, vol.6
Thank you so much to our incredible tribe. I am blown away how much these newsletters connect with people. Thank you for all the feedback. Please keep sharing them with your friends and family!
Want to know why I'm still surviving and thriving after almost 20 years when so many of my former colleagues have faded away or gotten out of practice?
It isn't because of my ability to craft an email, take a great x-ray, my encyclopedic knowledge of 80s pop culture or my boyish charm...
... it's because I care. I care a lot.
That's why these newsletters touch so many people because they are deep, they have SOUL, substance, something everyone can feel...
Today we are going an inch wide and a mile deep. Hang with me, this one is worth the read (trust me).
Today I'm going to share with you some of the miracles we see in the office every week. This one is special. Special to me, special to this young lady's parents and extra special to this young lady.
No names will be mentioned (I take privacy very seriously). And I got permission from this young lady's father to share this.
One of the more serious spinal conditions to show up in a Chiropractic clinic (any clinic for that matter) is a spinal condition known as scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a lateral curve of the spine that can often become debilitating or crippling if it's not addressed properly.
Two things to know about scoliosis:
1. Scoliosis is an advanced spine condition that regular Chiropractors are not equipped to manage.
2. Chiropractors with advanced training and knowledge are some of the best doctors to manage scoliosis. Why? Because we do spine work all-day every day giving us a big advantage.
If you want to know more about scoliosis, and all the different types click here. I could spend hours writing about it, but I really want you to experience this story and not write a dissertation on spinal conditions.
Here's the miracle you've been waiting for!
So we have a young lady in the office, she is 9. (scoliosis is more prevalent in young ladies, if you want to know why click the link above) Both parents are concerned about an early scoliosis diagnosis they received from the MD. After some discussion, we decide it would be wise to evaluate and measure the scoliosis so we can determine the proper course of action. X-ray analysis determined that the spine measured at 16.8 degrees of curve. (Remember ideal is ZERO, zilch, nada, nothing)
The parents are very proactive and very health conscious and want to know what options they have to manage this. The most popular option parents often hear is ("let's wait and see if it gets worse"). Most people reading this probably innately know something doesn't feel right about that option.
I recommended we build this young lady a hyper-corrective nocturnal orthesis. This is a type of spinal brace that is worn at night. (nighttime is when human growth hormone is released into the bloodstream and spine growth happens). We are attempting to influence the growth of her spine over time. A concept known as Wolff's Law. (this is how dental braces work)
I combined state-of-the-art digital x-ray with 3D scanning technology to create a computerized 3D model of this patient's spine. We then sent our scans to a company called Spinal Technology. Spinal Technology then combines the digital x-rays and the 3D scans to custom print a corrective orthesis to the EXACT specifications of this young patient's spine. (yeah, it is almost unbelievable, I get tingles talking about it). 1st miracle.
The orthesis is then shipped to our clinic and we fit the patient. The first question every parent has is "is this going to work?".
To answer this question definitively we set up a 6-week progressive x-ray to determine the effectiveness of the orthesis. The goal here is to take an x-ray with the patient wearing the orthesis and measure any changes. Obviously this x-ray will help us determine is the brace is working.
Well, if it wasn't on x-ray (pictures) you might not believe it, but when the young lady is wearing her orthesis the scoliosis is reduced from 16.8 to 3.8 degrees! Yes you read that correctly, 3.8 degrees! I included the x-ray below so you can see the miracle for yourself. (miracle #2)
Patient's 1st x-ray and 2nd x-ray 6 weeks after brace fitting.
In addition to building adolescent scoliosis braces I have also built many braces for another scoliosis condition known as de-novo scoliosis; a degenerative classification of scoliosis found in adulthood. While our clinical objective is slightly different then adolescent scoliosis, the adult braces still have profound effects on long-term quality of life.
Every person reading this newsletter is a living, breathing human being. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, son, daughters - you are not a "number". You will never be treated as a number under our care.
These newsletters are to help my tribe shift through all the noise in their lives and distill it down to the core things that matter. Faith, family, friendship, health & meaningful work.
Go out and do good work this week!
To Our Health,Dr. Wegmann
P.S. last week's email resonated with A LOT of people. Read it here if you missed it.
Are you sure? VOL. 5
Happy Friday, my fellow health seeker.
Here's a fun statistic I just made up: "99% of people suffer from overwhelm at some point in their lives."
And while I made it up, overwhelm is a very real thing.
Not only is it real, but it also really makes people sick. The more overwhelm and stress you deal with the higher your chances of illness.
So today, we're trimming the fat and getting focused.
That's right, hold on because we're going on a minimizing binge.
This is like hitting the reset button, sometimes you just gotta do it.
Here are four ways to trim things up, instantly feel lighter and start living a more inspired lifestyle...
(I have a downloadable gift (pdf) for you at the bottom of this email covering the incredible benefits of collagen. Collagen promotes healing!)
Unsubscribe from every low-value, high-pitch email. Unfollow useless social media people. This will instantly eliminate the distractions. Read only things that have value and fulfill you.
Clean out your email and get focused on the core things in life. Faith, family, friendship, health & meaningful work.
Make time to do nothing. I know, I know... who has time to do nothing? "But my identity is based on always being busy". So what, maybe it's time for a new identity.
There is an undertone in our society that in order to be successful (valuable) you have to always be busy. This is a LIE. This is your reminder it is ok to slow down and do nothing sometimes. This is for your inner peace and health.
• BE LESS
Be less accessible. In a constantly connected world it's easy to think "I have to always be available". Put boundaries on your personal time. Doing this step will instantly create a sense of peace.
Carve out quite time. EVERYDAY. This is the most important step. Create a routine that revitalizes your energy. Take a walk in nature, sit quietly, enjoy your cup of joe, meditate or spend time in prayer. What's most important is that you allow yourself to appreciate the moment and be still. EVERYDAY.
Together, these four things will give you so much more clarity and focus you'll literally feel the stress melt away.
You'll feel light as a feather, and your health will improve.
Take a deep breath and let's clear the clutter.
P. S. Last week's newsletter was a doozy, read it here.
P.S.S. Here's your free gift below. Download this resource detailing the amazing health benefits of collagen.
say it ain't so, VOL. 4
Happy Friday, my fellow health seeker.
These newsletters are different, very DIFFERENT. Here's how I would like you to use them. Please make a folder in your email and save these emails in that folder. Technically these aren't your typical "newsletters" they're like a small gem, a diamond in the rough, foghorn in the mist, you get it, they have SUBSTANCE and a whole lotta soul.
Some topics will directly impact and touch you, others will not.
But, but, BUT... here is what is going to happen. I will write a newsletter on migraines (headaches), let's say you've never experienced one. Now I don't expect you to read the whole newsletter but if you save it in your file and a month later a friend or coworker says "ahh, this migraine is killing me" you can say "hold on one moment I have a "resource" for you".
You may just change someone's life! And what's the point of walking around on this earth if we're not looking out for our fellow humans.
This week I have a very interesting story that happened with a patient in our office.
A few years ago, I had a lady come in as a new patient. She was in her late 50's, well-dressed and cultured. The exam went well, we conversed, she explained how she was referred to me and I proceeded to evaluate her. Nothing out of the ordinary. We scheduled her for a follow up appointment and ROF (report of findings).
After going over her findings and discussing her x-rays we discussed the true Chiropractic philosophy. The true Chiropractic philosophy is considered both art and science. I explained the (science) of Chiropractic was finding spinal misalignments (subluxation) that interfere with the body's innate ability to heal. The (art) is understanding the components needed to keep the body well.
I will NEVER forget what she said to me.
She said, "I spent 12 years in Japan and in Japan the healthcare philosophy is, you pay your doctor to keep you healthy, you want to learn their knowledge before you're sick". Then she said, "In the US people don't pay their doctors until they are already sick".
She finished by saying "of all the doctors I've ever seen in the US, you're philosophy is the closest to the doctors in Japan. They have great knowledge of healing, wellness, neurology, biomechanics, nutrition, supplements and human structure. Plus you have a real interest in your patients."
Her words will always stick with me. She is right, that is who I am. I teach people everything I know and everything new I learn that could drastically improve your life. The hard part is in the US many people don't listen (we're conditioned to wait until we're sick or hurting) or far worse, don't care (don't value their health).
Just because we live in the US doesn't mean you have to buy into the current healthcare philosophy. You can be very proactive with your health and adopt a more Japanese style philosophy to your health.
For the patients that have been with me for a long time, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I cherish your trust, and love being a part of your healthcare team.
For the new(er) patients, I look forward to gaining your trust and building a relationship centered around health and wellness.
If you missed last week's newsletter, (a lot of people loved that one) you can find it here. Click here.
P.S. Check the list below, Japan ranks in the top 5 every year.
P.S.S. Say it Ain't So! The US ranks 69th on this list.
Celebrating 19 years! VOL. 3
Welcome to our pretty awesome newsletter. Why do we send most newsletters on Friday? Ahhh... because who doesn't love Friday?
Maybe you've been a patient for a few months or like many of our patients, maybe even a few years. Or maybe you're not a patient yet and you're just checking us out. Either way thank you for (reading) being part of our tribe! We are happy you're here.
I could go on and on about how great we are, how we invest tons of money into the practice and money into improving our knowledge or that we have state-of-the-art digital x-ray and 3D scanning technology.
But this isn't about me (us). It's about YOU. It's about serving you and making your life better. As your doctor, giving sound advice is imperative to trust and improving your life.
These emails are filled with real world, practical advice. You'll get the TRUTH about life, healing, struggle and pain.
This year we celebrated 19 years in practice! It literally feels like we just opened our practice. If you didn't know our oldest daughter is graduating high school this year too. (yeah I know) times flies...
Some fun facts after 19 years in practice...
Did you know?
Dr. Mike and Dr. Kallie (husband and wife) moved to Petoskey and didn't know a soul.
Did you know?
They started this practice from scratch, so if you were baking bread that would be flour, yeast, and a pinch of salt.
Well for a brand-new practice (office) the ingredients were a vision, a lot of hard work and a pinch of luck. We had TWO (yes 2) patients our first month!
Today we serve hundreds of patients every week. We do this in two unique ways, fabulous patient results and killer education.
Feeling great and being healthy is one of the GREATEST things in the world, but learning how to do that can be overwhelming. Our job is to help you through the ups and downs, motivate you and walk with you. So, with that...
I (we) want to hear what is truly important to you. What areas of health and wellness are our patients interested in?
Is it weight loss, exercise, supplements, blood pressure, spine health, bone health, scoliosis, stress management, or personal growth? Please take 3.1 seconds and let us know. Click here.
P.S. Read our most LOVED blog article last month. Check it out here.
how much dirt? VOL. 2
Ok, so one time at a seminar I told this story I'm about to tell you and man were people "digging" it. (the pun is coming)
This next story is one of my favorites. It illustrates how incredible life really is.
Did you know...if you wanted to build a human being from scratch you could easily find all the physical elements (oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, calcium, and phosphorus to name a few) in about a $20 load of dirt. I know, crazy to think about.
The two other “priceless” parts would be much harder to come by, they are force (life) and intelligence (innate). Think about it, they are the things that animate matter.
We're talking about the energy that creates life. So... if I lay down next to a corpse, what animates my body that is not in the corpse? That's it! That is what we're talking about, life, energy!
“The Triune of Life” describes the living human as the union of 3 things: matter (dirt) with force (life) all controlled by inborn intelligence (innate).
Consider this, your body is going to build 100 billion red blood cells TODAY and you don't have to tell it how to do that. This is incredible.
So to achieve balanced health, we have to do more than just treat the (matter) but rather there must be an effort to preserve the dance which occurs uniquely between your dirt, your life, and your innate.
Chiropractic is primarily concerned with preserving the connection between the brain and matter. The brain communicates with matter via the nervous system. And all of this communication is protected by the spine.
Now here is the $1 million dollar question, how much do you think the value on one person is? This should be interesting, leave a comment here.
This blog post is dedicated to our patients that are having babies! Parenthood is an exhilarating and transformative experience. However, it also presents its own set of difficulties. Here are some of the most common obstacles faced by new parents, along with some strategies for overcoming them:
1. Lack of sleep is one of the greatest challenges faced by new parents. This can have a substantial impact on physical and mental health. To overcome this difficulty, it is essential to prioritize sleep whenever possible. Consider establishing a sleep schedule and taking turns caring for the baby with your partner. Consider hiring a babysitter or nanny to assist with nighttime feedings, in addition to accepting assistance from family and friends.
2. Often, becoming a parent necessitates the adoption of a new routine. This can involve alterations in sleep, meal, and daily activity schedules. To overcome this obstacle, you must establish a routine that works for you and your baby. Determine your daily priorities and plan accordingly. Be adaptable and willing to adjust your routine as necessary.
3. Postpartum depression is a common and serious condition that affects a large number of new parents. Depression can result in feelings of sadness, anxiety, and a lack of interest in daily activities. To overcome this difficulty, it is essential to seek professional assistance. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor or a mental health professional and develop an effective treatment plan.
4. Adapting to changes in relationships: Becoming a parent can also affect relationships with partners, family members, and friends. To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to communicate openly and truthfully with those around you. Communicate your needs and concerns and be willing to listen to those of others. Consider seeking assistance from a couples therapist or a new parent support group if problems arise.
5. Financial stress is a potential consequence of becoming a parent. This can include costs associated with child care, medical bills, and income loss. To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to develop a budget and financial plan and savings account to mitigate and offset the new expenses.
Overall, becoming a parent requires patience, resiliency, and the ability to adapt to change. You can successfully navigate the challenges of parenthood and create a happy and healthy family by employing the aforementioned strategies.
This blog post is a continuation of 5 Elements of a Gorgeous Life. This is element #1 Relationships: and how they can enhance your health.
As a doctor I have talked with many experts in the field of health and wellness, and the importance of relationships is something on which they all seem to agree. Having strong and healthy relationships, whether with friends, family, or romantic partners, is essential for our mental and physical health.
Grace is essential to a relationship because it enables both parties to extend kindness, forgiveness, and understanding. When we exhibit grace, we are willing to overlook our partner's flaws and shortcomings and to extend mercy and compassion in trying circumstances.
Grace in a relationship can foster a sense of safety and trust. When we know that our partner will extend us grace, we are more likely to be vulnerable and open with them. This can then lead to a deeper emotional connection and intimacy.
Grace can also help reduce relationship conflict. When we extend grace to our partner, we are more likely to approach disagreements with empathy and tolerance, as opposed to hostility and defensiveness. This can contribute to a more harmonious and positive relationship dynamic.
Grace is important in relationships because it enables us to treat our partner with kindness and compassion, even in challenging or difficult circumstances. It contributes to the creation of a more positive, loving, and supportive relationship atmosphere.
There are numerous positive effects of relationships on health. Studies indicate that people with strong relationships are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. In addition, they experience less stress and are better able to handle difficult situations. Having a support system can also boost our immune system and speed our recovery from illness or injury.
However, why are relationships so vital to our health? They provide us with a sense of belonging and social connection, which is one reason. Humans are by nature social beings, and we thrive when we have meaningful relationships with others. Isolation and loneliness can have detrimental effects on our mental and physical health.
Additionally, relationships provide us with emotional support, which can assist us in managing stress and difficult emotions. Knowing we have someone to talk to and who will listen to us without passing judgment is incredibly reassuring. It can also help us gain perspective and find solutions to our problems.
Relationships can also provide us with practical assistance in addition to emotional support. For instance, a spouse or family member can assist us with tasks when we are ill or injured. In addition, they can provide financial support and help us navigate difficult situations.
Obviously, not every relationship is healthy. Indeed, toxic relationships can be detrimental to our health. It is essential to surround ourselves with supportive, respectful, and uplifting individuals. If we are in a toxic relationship, we must seek assistance and support to leave it.
Relationships are an essential component of our overall health and well-being. Having strong and healthy relationships, whether with a friend, family member, or romantic partner, can improve our mental and physical health. Therefore, make the effort to cultivate your relationships and prioritize your social ties. Your health will appreciate it. And always remember to approach your relationships with an abundance of GRACE.
The Three T's
Chiropractic is a holistic healthcare discipline that focuses on the innate recuperative healing ability of the body, especially those involving the spine and nervous system. Chiropractors understand that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself (innate) and that by addressing three key factors - thoughts, trauma, and toxins - they can assist patients in achieving optimal health and wellness. This blog post will examine the relationship between the three T's in Chiropractic and health.
Thoughts are the first T talked about in chiropractic. Chiropractors know that the mind and body are interconnected, and that one's thoughts can have a substantial effect on their physical health. Negative thoughts and emotions, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, can cause physical tension in the body, which can result in pain and discomfort. Chiropractors seek to address these mental and emotional issues in order to assist patients in achieving mental and physical equilibrium.
One of the techniques Chiropractors use to address the impact of thoughts on the body is mindfulness meditation. This technique involves focusing one's attention on the present moment and observing one's thoughts without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, patients can learn to control their levels of stress and anxiety, which can alleviate physical symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, and back pain.
Trauma is the second T in Chiropractic. Trauma refers to any physical injury or damage to the body, such as those caused by accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Misalignments of the spine and other parts of the body can be caused by trauma, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Spinal adjusting is a technique used by Chiropractors to treat the effects of trauma on the body. This procedure entails applying controlled force to the spine and other joints in order to realign them and improve their function. By realigning the spine, chiropractors can alleviate nerve pressure, reduce pain and inflammation, and restore the body's natural healing ability.
Toxins are the third T in chiropractic. Toxins are any substances that can enter the body through food, air, or water. Over time, these toxins can accumulate in the body and cause a variety of health issues, such as headaches, fatigue, and joint pain.
By addressing the root causes of toxins in the body, and cleansing the body of toxinx Chiropractors can help patients achieve optimal health. One way they do this is by recommending dietary modifications that reduce the consumption of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol, or liver cleanses to assist the body's detoxification processes, Chiropractors may also recommend supplements and other natural remedies.
In conclusion, the three T's in chiropractic—thoughts, trauma, and toxins—are interrelated and play an important role in a patient's overall health and wellness. By addressing these factors, Chiropractors are uniquely positioned guide patients in attaining optimal physical, mental, and emotional equilibrium. Consider consulting a Chiropractor if you are serious about optimizing your health and wellness.
A herniated disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc, occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes through a tear or crack in the outer layer. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the affected area by putting pressure on the spinal nerves. Most frequently, herniated discs occur in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine).
Among the most frequent causes of herniated discs are:
Trauma or injury
It is important to note that a herniated disc can occur without any apparent cause, and sometimes the cause is unknown. Not all symptoms are caused by a herniated disc, and not all symptoms are caused by a herniated disc.
Chiropractic Treatment For Bulging Discs
Our Chiropractors at Discover Chiropractic treat herniated discs with a variety of techniques, including spinal adjusting and spinal traction. Spinal adjustments, also known as manual manipulation, involve the application of precise, controlled force to realign the spinal vertebrae and relieve nerve pressure. This can help reduce pain and enhance mobility.
Spinal traction is a non-surgical treatment that stretches the spine and creates negative pressure within the disc using a special device known as a Y-axis traction strap. This can help to reduce disc protrusion and relieve pressure on the nerves. Spinal traction may also facilitate the reabsorption of the herniated material into the disc.
Spinal adjustments and traction are both safe and effective treatment options for herniated discs, and they can be combined with other therapies such as physical therapy and exercise.
If you or a loved one suffer from a herniated disc, please contact us immediately at (231) 348-5980 to schedule an exam and consultation.
In the 1980s, an organization called The Partnership for a Drug-Free America aired a TV commercial that intended to deliver a message; with maximum shock value (relative to the era) that drugs are bad. ”This is your brain on drugs” was so well-known, it eventually became a favorite parody for comedians and others in Hollywood, poking fun at its over-the-top message.
Nearly forty years later, the importance of brain health is centered more around how to take care of your brain, to improve brain health, rather than attempting to scare you into holding onto your brain cells by refusing to take drugs. When it comes to what you should feed your brain, are there foods that are considered “bad” for the brain? Yes. What about foods that are considered brain health foods? Well, yes to that too. Foods that are considered harmful to the brain, can create an unhealthy inflammatory response and can be responsible for other detrimental health effects. But there are also foods that provide the brain with particular nutrients that help it function optimally. When it comes to brain health, eating for a healthy brain is crucial, especially as we begin to age.
Let’s look at how to eat for your brain along with other, proven, brain-health tips such as engaging in regular exercise, how brain games can help keep your brain sharp, and the critical role supplements can play in keeping our internal computers operating without a glitch.
Brain Food: The Good and the Bad
Quite a few foods make the list of not-so-good for brain health. Here are some to avoid:
Foods containing trans fats. Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat. During a process called hydrogenation, a trans fat is created. Hydrogenation changes a liquid vegetable oil into an (almost), solid-at-room-temperature oil, a state known as “partially hydrogenated.” This is an artificial process (though hydrogenation can also occur naturally in meat and dairy products.)
Trans fats can make their way into brain cell membranes, which can disrupt the ability of neurons in the brain to communicate, interfering with mental abilities. Consuming trans-fat in the diet has been associated with a risk of depression and has also been shown to negatively affect heart and blood vessel function.
Foods containing trans-fat include:
The Impact of Trans-Fat
Not all studies have found an undesirable connection between trans-fat intake and brain health. It’s critical that you avoid trans fats due to their negative impact on heart health and ability to increase inflammation in the body. It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that alcohol is not a brain-healthy choice. While a glass of wine here and there is not likely to have a detrimental effect on your health, alcohol affects specific areas in the brain that are responsible for motor control and mental function. With regular alcohol use, these areas of the brain operate more slowly. Alcohol interferes with judgment, affects memory and coordination, and disrupts sleep. Used in excess over a long period of time, alcohol can even cause permanent brain damage.
A prominent Nutritionist once said, “you can eat any food in moderation but there are two foods you should never eat; trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)”. Sugary drinks, sodas, and many processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a specific type of sugar. HFCS may cause brain inflammation and can impair memory and learning. Drinking lots of sugary drinks can increase the risk of dementia as well. This artificial, chemical concoction is also associated with obesity, diabetes and mental decline and it may be responsible for damaging memory capability in the brain.
HFCS is made by breaking down corn starch into molecules of glucose. Glucose is a basic sugar. Then half of those glucose molecules are chemically altered to become fructose. Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar contained in fruit. However, without the added glucose and chemical alteration, pure fructose is entirely different from high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has also been shown to be damaging to the liver, contributing to non-alcohol fatty liver disease.
It’s a good idea to check your labels. Foods containing high fructose corn syrup can be hidden and may include:
The Dangers of Processed Foods
Most people realize that eating a lot of fried and processed foods is bad for their health. But did you know that eating a lot of fried, processed food can cause you to score lower on tests that measure cognitive or “thinking” ability? Fried and fatty foods could be the culprits here as these foods are pro-inflammatory. Meaning they can damage the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood and nutrients.
Processed foods may negatively impact the brain by reducing the production of something called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.) Found in different parts of the brain, BDNF is an important molecule that’s involved in processes like learning and memory. BDNF plays a role in a process called neural plasticity, where it supports the brain’s ability to change and adapt based on experience. It is important for long-term memory, learning and the development of new neurons. Therefore, any reduction can potentially damage these functions.
There are many fried and processed foods available to tempt us. Here are some of the collective American favorites:
Brain Health and Fish
Fish are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. But the kind of fish, matters. Salmon and other fish that contain a healthy fat called omega-3 fatty acids are best. Swordfish, ahi tuna, and other big fish tend to be high in mercury and that’s a concern. When someone ingests mercury, it spreads throughout their body, collecting in the brain, liver, and kidneys. Mercury is considered a heavy metal and a neurotoxin. A neurotoxin is a substance that is toxic to your brain. It can accumulate in body tissues creating long-term damage. Mercury poisoning interferes with the central nervous system, damages neurons, and fuels neurotoxins. All of which have a damaging effect on the brain. In pregnant women, it also concentrates on the growing fetus and the placenta. Mercury can disrupt brain development in fetuses and young children. This can lead to developmental delays and even to diseases like cerebral palsy.
High-mercury fish may include:
Foods Linked to Brainpower
Now let’s focus on the good foods and end on a good note. Some of the healthiest foods to feed your brain are fresh, delicious, and easy to incorporate into your diet every day.
Coffee. It’s been praised and it’s been vilified. Fortunately, there is more scientific research supporting the benefits of drinking coffee than reasons why it might be detrimental to your health (which mostly revolve around just drinking too much). Coffee is one of the richest sources of antioxidants you can find. This is great news for the brain, especially since most coffee drinkers have at least one to two cups of coffee a day. Again, when consumed in moderation, the benefits outweigh the risks with our favorite beverage. Researchers have identified over one thousand antioxidants in coffee including compounds that activate antioxidants, that also protect blood vessels in the brain.
Caffeine can boost alertness and may also improve your mood by increasing “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine. It can help sharpen concentration as demonstrated in one study that revealed participants completing a brain-function test, experienced improvements in alertness and attention, short-term. Long-term coffee consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (perhaps due to the caffeine and antioxidants). It is obvious, however, that many of coffee’s benefits can be canceled out by what you add to your daily Cup O’ Joe. You might want to consider trading sugars and high fat creamers for stevia and non-dairy coconut creamer.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory. Add them to smoothies, oatmeal, salads or just have them around to snack on.
Fatty fish have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, a major contributor to brain health. Omega-3s play a role in improving memory and enhancing mood, as well as protecting the brain against decline. Omega-3s are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Nuts can improve heart health. Researchers have found that having a healthy heart has been strongly associated with having a healthy brain. So, the regular consumption of nuts is another good choice.
Nuts have been linked to a lower risk of mental decline in older adults. Nuts contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, all nutrients that have beneficial effects on the brain. Vitamin E, for example, fights free-radical damage that can contribute to mental decline. Walnuts are particularly beneficial as they contain antioxidants and also, omega-3 fatty acids which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
As with coffee, the caffeine in green tea can improve alertness, performance, memory, and focus in the brain -though with equal amounts of both beverages, green tea will have about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Green tea also contains good amounts of L-theanine, higher levels in fact, than other types of tea. L-theanine is an amino acid that can improve the body’s ability to use GABA, a compound that helps to reduce anxiety and improve relaxation.
Strategies to Improve Brain Health
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, can be debilitating conditions. All involve brain function. Science is finding that the risk of contracting one of these devastating neurological conditions may be lowered with regular exercise, lowered about thirty percent -a significant number. Aerobic exercise in particular, has been shown to provide neurological protection though all types of exercise provide some benefit. The popularity of word games like Wordle and number games like Sudoku, show that Americans like a challenge. But what many people don’t know is that while they’re innocently struggling to find the right letter or, crunching numbers to complete a puzzle, they are training their brain. Brain games improve brain function by boosting short-term memory, through what is called the brain’s working memory. This part of the brain deals with understanding concepts and languages at a faster rate.
About the Author
Jini Cicero is a Los Angeles-based Strength and Conditioning Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. With over 20 years of experience as a health, fitness, and nutraceutical professional, Jini is passionate about advancing natural medicine and optimal health. Whether she’s working with Hollywood celebrities or cancer patients, Jini uniquely combines exercise science, sports nutrition, and corrective exercise. As a speaker, presenter, and writer, her work has been featured in numerous publications, such as Shape, MindBodyGreen, and The L.A. Daily News.
Dr. MJ Wegmann,