Category Archives: Brain health

All About That Fat (song parody)

Before we get humming, a few notes. When talking about the brain, fat and cholesterol are positive things. Your brain is a very fatty organ and 25% of the body’s cholesterol is found in the brain. This is why we are about to celebrate fat in song. But before you reach for the cheese and chocolate “in the name of brain health”, you should know that your brain does not need you to eat cholesterol: it makes its own. So crank up the karaoke  and sing along!

 

Project - Drawing 1710617230All About that (Brain) Fat 

 

Because you know I’m all about that fat

‘Bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat, ‘bout that fat

‘Bout that fat in my brain

 

Yeah it’s pretty clear I’ve got cholesterol

But my brain makes it makes it like its supposed to do

‘Cause it forms myelin sheaths that all the axons need

All the right fat in all the right places

 

I see cholesterol building cell membranes

You know that stuff we need

Come on now hormones too

If you’ve got fatty brain cells just raise ‘em up

‘Cause every neuron cell needs fat from the bottom to the top

 

Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your brain

She says “cells like omega 3 fatty acids to ease their strain”

You know myelin sheaths protect the axons of my nerve cells

So electric transmissions

Can go ahead and move along

 

Because you know I’m all about that fat

‘Bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat, ‘bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat, ‘bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat ‘bout that fat

 

I’m bringing HDL

My brain makes all it needs to keep me well

So I’m just eat to lower LDL

But I’m here to tell you that

Every neuron cell needs fat from the bottom to the top

 

Parody of Meghan Trainor’s All About that Bass

Reference: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/cholesterol-the-mind-and-the-brain

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Thanks-braining

Fennel Apple Salad 2Today’s post will not help you lose weight, but it will be cool. We’re going to talk about the brain, an organ that comprises 2% of the body’s weight but uses 20% of its energy and oxygen. It’s the organ that does all my thinking and yet I rarely think about it. I’m grateful for my brain and I want to take good care of it. Let’s look at the healthy habits of sex, soup, and two fisted eating and see how they affect the brain.

But first, a brain joke: What kind of fish performs brain surgery?

A neurosturgeon

Sex stands for sleep and exercise. Sleep gives your brain time to process all the information it took in while you were awake. It also allows your brain to clear out all the a-beta proteins that have been discarded during the day as the neurons work. If left in the brain, these a-beta proteins tend to clump together and harden forming plaque. This plaque is one of the symptoms found in brains with Alzheimer’s. Scientists are still trying to prove whether plaque is a cause of Alzheimer’s or just a symptom. Either way, sleep is important for your brain.

And now, a joke: What do you call a skull without 86 billion neurons?

A no-brainer

2015 September SS2FE recipes 337Physical exercise gets your blood pumping to every nook and capillary to bring oxygen in and move toxins out. Getting mental exercise, such as learning new things and challenging the mind, has been shown to help ward off dementia.

And now, a joke: What kind of bees eat brains?

Zombees

Soup stands for water and vegetables. Your brain is 73% water and being only 2% dehydrated can affect your attention, memory, and other cognitive skills, so drink up.

And now, a joke: I once had a neuron working for me. I fired him.

There is a “second brain” in your intestines that contains 100 million neurons. Gut bacteria make dozens of neurotransmitters including serotonin. These good gut bacteria need healthy foods to keep your intestinal flora in balance, so feed them vegetables.

And now, a joke: I wasn’t going to have a brain transplant…but then I changed my mind.

Baked Lentils 2Two fisted eating stands for portion control and enjoying our food so we’re satisfied with less. This brain connection is a loose one, so humor me. Stress and depression can shrink your brain (which is bad) so savoring your food–the textures, flavors, aromas–can make you feel happy which is neither stressful nor depressing. If you want to be depressed, you should know that the average IQ has gone down 13 points since the Victorian era. If you don’t want to be depressed, read this joke: what do neurons do on their birthdays?

They cell-ebrate

Was that joke depressingly bad? Try this one.

What kind of photos do neurons take?

Cell-fies

Your brain is amazing. Take care of it so it can take care of you. And don’t break the brain scanner. That would be a CATastrophe.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

References: Worst Jokes Ever, Reddit.com, bebrainfit.com, piedmont.org, sciencefirst.com

Food photos are of: Fennel Apple Salad, Hearty Lentil Soup, Baked Lentils

 

Cerebral Steamer Gets Your Brain Cleaner!

“Cerebral Steamer gets your brain cleaner!”

Your neurons work hard and at the end of a long day, they deserve a break and so do you. Neurons can be messy, building connections with a large protein and leaving bits of leftover A-beta protein lying around. Don’t stress the clutter. Hire Cerebral Steamer today!

Simply leave your A-beta protein bits where they lie and let our crew of professionals do what we do best: scrub your brain sparkling clean.

brain comparisonOur patented cerebrospinal fluid will flood your brain while you sleep, carrying away those pesky sticky A-beta proteins. Pesky proteins can build up over time, hardening into plaque and blocking communication between neurons. When you sleep, the spaces between brain cells widen by 60%, allowing our patented fluid to clean every nook and cranny of your precious cranial organ.

Don’t be among the 1/3 of U.S. adults who are sleep deprived and allow their brain’s neurons to become a plaque infested mess. Plaques in the brain are commonly found in brains with Alzheimer’s and dirty unrested brains have a 68% higher risk of damage leading to dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive problems. Even one night without our brain scrubbing crew can allow protein build up. Don’t delay, call Cerebral Steamer today!

Haven’t had regular cleanings in years? It’s never too late to start. Close your eyes and let our crew clean behind them. Do your brain right: sleep tonight!

*Nightly cleaning is best and highly recommended.

**For maximum results, our crew needs a minimum of 7 hours to completely clean your brain and remove all plaque-forming A-beta proteins. When you call, be sure to set aside a full 7 hours or more for our crew. Interrupted cleanings are not guaranteed.

“Cerebral Steamer gets your brain cleaner!” Call 1-800-My-Brain today!

 

References: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sleep-brain-alzheimers-plaques-protein. Image is from this article.

 

Today’s joke: Why didn’t the brain want to take a bath? It didn’t want to be brainwashed!

 

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

 

Dementia Marionette

My favorite brain joke so far: When exploring the brain, go up the spinal cord, take the first left, dendrite.

We humans like to have control over what happens to us. When there’s a problem, we like to be able to DO something, to take action. It’s why we smother our friends with comfort food during a crisis.

dementia puppetThis desire for control applies to our health as well. There are many things we can do to keep ourselves in good health like sex, soup, and two fisted eating to name a few fun ones. (Click on the link if you’re new to the blog.)  But some diseases make us feel like marionettes with strings attached for genetics and age and the circumstances of life. Those strings pull us in scary directions like heart disease, cancer, and dementia.

Over the years, studies have revealed things we can do to prevent heart disease and cancer to a certain extent, like exercising or not smoking. These actions turn taut strings into bungee cords, allowing us to regain some measure of control. We can’t cut the strings but we can resist their pull. Up until now, Alzheimers and dementia were taut strings with give, no way for us to fight back.

But elastic has finally arrived! A new study has show evidence for one thing we can do to help prevent or delay dementia: control our blood pressure. There IS something you can do. It’s scary to see dementia coming your way. You can’t take flight because of the strings of genetics and age, but you can fight.

heart bp1When you consider what we learned about blood pressure and the heart, it becomes obvious why blood pressure affects the brain. If blood pressure is too high for too long, blood vessels become damaged. Damaged blood vessels don’t deliver oxygen and nutrients so cells suffer and die. If those dead cells are in the brain, it affects the way we think, respond, and remember. The brain is only 2% of the body’s weight, but it receives 20% of the body’s blood. That’s nearly 1 liter per minute.

We may not have ultimate control over our health, but with healthy habits we can give ourselves a fighting chance.

Click on the links to learn how high blood pressure causes damage and how to lower and/or control your blood pressure.

Where are neurons put in jail when they commit a crime? A nerve cell.

He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”  Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:6-8

 

Reference: time.com August 2018

Brain Health: Move it or Lose it

brain33My brain works out several times a week. It seems to enjoy it—especially the surge of endorphins—and man, when it feels stressed, it can’t wait to get moving. I wish I’d taken a before and after picture so you could see how much my brain has bulked up since it started working out.

How does my brain work out? Easy. It tells my limbs to move: my legs to walk or dance, my arms to lift weights or push me up, and sometimes it gets all four limbs flailing in unison in the pool. The limbs get my heart pumping and the extra blood feeds and cleans my brain. My brain is getting more fit every day.

“(The brain) is an adaptable organ that can be molded by input in much the same way as a muscle can be sculpted by lifting barbells. The more you use it, the stronger and more flexible it becomes” (Spark). We usually think about exercise’s benefits to our muscles and lungs, but studies are proving over and over again that our brains benefit greatly from exercise as well.

move-it-or-lose-itLet’s take learning, for example. A few schools in Texas increased recess for their kindergarten and first grade students. With an hour of recess per day, those students’ grades and behavior improved. When Naperville Central High School near Chicago beefed up their physical education classes, their students not only became physically fit, but they finished first in the world on an international science exam.

How does this brain-exercise connection happen? Dr. Ratey explains it well and thoroughly in his book Spark, but I’m going to sum it up in three words: exercise births neurons. Your brain makes new neurons all the time, but when you exercise, your brain puts the neuron factory in overdrive. Your brain is then swimming in neurons looking to make a connection and you are primed to learn, process, and remember. Add to that the extra blood flow bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the brain and what you get is a cocktail of neurological growth serum.

Learning is not limited to school scenarios: exercise helps the brain battle depression and addiction because the brain is primed to learn a new reaction to old situations. Exercise also boosts the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, three neurotransmitters that help regulate thoughts and emotions and keeps us flying level. Studies have shown exercise to be as effective as medication in treating depression and that exercise reduces the risk of depression. I’m not saying “cure” and I’m not telling you to dump your pills if you take them. I’m saying give your brain a workout because your brain is capable of amazing things and regular exercise is proven to help.

sparkWhen my brain works out, it’s even protecting itself against the natural effects of aging. As your brain ages, the production of new neurons slows down and the cells it has die more easily than when you’re young. The brain can actually shrivel and shrink over time. Exercise is one of the few ways to combat this trend because it boosts neuron production and makes your cells harder to kill. It’s like car maintenance: if you drive your car all the time, you’re going to maintain it. The older the car gets, the more prone it is to breaking down, but if you keep it well maintained, the car will last a long time. Exercise equals driving the car: the body is forced to maintain the cells because you’re using them. If you stop using your cells, they rust away and die. “If your brain isn’t actively growing, then it’s dying” (Spark).

Working out makes my brain work better, feel better, learn better and react better. We are ‘use it or lose it’ creatures, so get your body moving so you don’t lose your mind!

 

 

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 (NIV)

 

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061219122200.htm Exercise Appears To Improve Brain Function Among Younger People

 http://www.today.com/parents/want-kids-listen-more-fidget-less-try-more-recess-school-t65536 Want Kids to Listen More and Fidget Less?

Spark, John J. Ratey, MD and Eric Hagerman. Little, Brown and Company, New York 2008

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1aNERoMndU Kim Bevill TED talk

Images courtesy of Dr. Odd (Brain), 

MIND if I Get Healthy?

brain scientist magazineA healthy brain is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of weight loss. Our goal in losing weight is usually to make our body look better and feel better and a healthy brain is pink, plump, and wrinkly, kind of like a naked mole rat. Not exactly the sexy image we’re shooting for.

But let’s face it: our brain is very important and keeping it healthy is a good goal. Ready for the great news? The healthy habits of sex, soup, and two fisted eating are just as good for your brain as they are for your waistline.

captain obvious imgflipI’ve invited Captain Obvious here today to talk explain why.

Captain Obvious, why does our overall health affect our brain?

Are you axon me?

Yes, Captain. Yes, I am.

Don’t mind if I do! The brain is an organ and is connected to your body via blood vessels, nerves and hormones. There’s no filter between the brain and the rest of your body so any healthiness or unhealthiness in your body passes to the brain. I’m glad you had the nerve to ask me that.

Wow, Captain, you’re really into bad puns.

Obviously.

Well, thank you, Captain Obvious. I hope you join us again in the future.

brain connectOver the next few weeks we will study the connection between the brain and sleep, exercise, water, vegetables, and portion control. And tell brain jokes. Lots of brain jokes. And I’ll probably use a losing your marbles metaphor. It’s obviously the best way to proceed.

 

Where are neurons put in jail when they commit a crime?

A nerve cell.

 

At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” Acts 26:24

 

Images courtesy of: brain (scientist magazine), Captain Obvious (imgflip), connected brain (Daily Mail)