Stress Management for Your Memory

Welcome to installment 4/6 in my brain health series! This series is inspired by 'The Alzheimer's Solution' by Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherazi. In my first post, I explained that lifestyle choices can prevent up to 90% of Alzheimer's cases.  For the 10% of cases that can't be prevented due to very strong genetic risk (such as in those that carry the APOE4 gene), lifestyle changes can delay presentation or progression of the disease by up to 15 years. There are 5 main lifestyle tenets for optimizing brain health that I am covering over the course of this blog series.  They include nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep and regularly engaging in complex cognitive activities. The focus of this post is stress management and its impact on brain health.

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Cerebral Cardio (Exercise and Brain Health)

One of the most pertinent relationships between exercise and brain health has to do with blood flow.  Anything that reduces blood flow throughout the body (such as reduced pliability of arteries, arterial plaques, high cholesterol, and long periods of inactivity) also reduces cognitive function because, well, less blood flow to your brain.  Reduced blood flow especially impacts the medial temporal lobe of the brain, which governs short-term memory.  It’s no coincidence then that this is often the first noticeable symptom of cognitive decline.

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Superfood Spotlight: Amla Powder

Recently though, I've made an exception to my own rule and started enthusiastically recommending Amla Powder.  Never heard of it? Neither had I until about a year ago. Amla is powdered dried Indian Gooseberry fruit which has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and now there are lots of evidence-based Western medical studies supporting its use. 

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You've Got the (Healing) Power

Just like healthy eating, meditating, shifting mindsets, journaling and retraining stress responses are also preventative practices.  Someone could easily be in tip-top marathon shape and eat all the broccoli in the world, but still succumb to illness if plagued by chronic, poorly managed stress. 

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Guarding Your Gallbladder

I'm super excited for this post because it was written by my first ever guest blogger Amanda Maclean!  Amanda is a recent college graduate and avid writer. While her primary concentration in college was Psychology, she also focused on English Lit. and Public Health. She draws on her knowledge of these subjects to create online content that addresses human needs in a simple way. In her down time, she enjoys traveling, rock climbing, poetry and hanging out with her puppy.  Read on to learn for some evidence-based advice about preventing pesky gallstones.  Thanks for your contribution, Amanda!

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Shave Off The Fluff and Get to the Root of the Problem: Men's Health

It's November: the time of the year where men of all ages sport that inexplicably creepy handle bar mustache in the name of a very good cause: men's health awareness. Men have a set of unique health problems including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and a significantly higher rate of suicide compared to women.  On average, men die 6 years earlier than women and 3 out of 4 suicides are men. Now I'm all for raising awareness and money for research and educating people about appropriate screening methods and I'll never tell a man what to do with his facial hair, but perhaps a more effective method for not only raising awareness but also affecting change (in real time!), would be to educate people about the underlying issues (already proven by research!) that contribute to many of the health problems unique to men. Let me get to the root of them here.

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Wabi Sabi: Tale of a Recovering Perfectionist

There's a period in my life that I don't talk about much.  Only those that have known me most of my life or that know me very, very well are privy to it.  I bury it in the trash with the journals that helped me through it.  Not because I'm ashamed, but because I don't want it to define me.

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