How do you fix a broken brain?
To listen to Part 1 of this episode with 10-timeNew York Timesbestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman, please clickhere.Many of you know that I was labeled the boy with the broken brain as a child. That’s why I was so thrilled to be one of 50+ brain experts in his FREE docuseries,Broken Brain. Discover how to optimize your brain function and reclaim your health, energy, and mental clarity with me and 50+ other experts for FREEhere.Subtraction can be powerful. Whether it’s people or projects, subtracting can multiply your life.In this episode, Dr. Mark Hyman reveals what you should remove from or reduce in your life to optimize brain health.Disclaimer: The content of this episode is for informational purposes only. For medical questions, please seek advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner.
What to Remove to Fix Your Brain.
Remove the wrong foods.
- Sugar and flour (gluten) are well-documented to drive brain dysfunction.
- Be careful of refined vegetable oils because we're consuming them in quantities we never have before. Large amounts of vegetable oil can be inflammatory, especially without enough omega-3s.
- Avoid trans fats and hydrogenated fats.
- Avoid food-like substances, such as additives and colorings. In one study, children who drank a dyed drink vs a naturally fruit-colored drink had ADD, hyperactivity, and violence.
- Beware of excitotoxins such as MSG and aspartame. MSG has many names, including healthy-sounding ones like "hydrolyzed vegetable protein."
- Alcohol is one of the biggest brain-damaging substances out there. A little bit is OK, but a little bit more is not.
- Depending on your genetics, you can dramatically impact your health by minimizing alcohol consumption.
- All environmental toxins affect the brain.
- Mercury is a particularly powerful brain toxin in our food supply and our fillings. Watch how much sushi you are eating.
- Use resources like the Environmental Working Group to avoid toxins in your food, household products, and beauty products. Many lipsticks have lead.
- Detoxify yourself.
- Eat foods that upregulate detoxification like broccoli and garlic.
- Use saunas.
Remove harmful medications.
- Many drugs affect the brain.
- Taking a statin drug, which is one of the most widely prescribed drugs, increases amyloid production in the brain.
- Amyloid is the substance in an Alzheimer's brain that creates the damage.
Stop depriving yourself of sleep.
- The glymphatic system of the brain clears out all the debris at night, which is why you wake up feeling refreshed.
- Sleep deprivation affects your brain function just as much as alcohol does.
- In a study of military soldiers, sharpshooters who slept over 7 hours shot with 98% accuracy. If they slept about 6 - 7 hours, they shot with 50% accuracy. If they slept 5 hours, they shot with 23% accuracy. If they slept less than 5 hours, they shot with 13% accuracy.
- Over a third of us sleep less than 7 hours a night.
- Stress shrinks the hippocampus, which is the brain's memory center.
- Stress impacts the blood-brain barrier and leads to inflammatory processes in the brain.
- Cortisol (the stress hormone) can literally shrink your brain.
Get enough exercise.
- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a compound that helps stimulate brain growth.
- When you don't exercise, BDNF doesn't work.
What did you learn from this episode? Share your takewways on social media with me (@jimkwik) and Dr. Hyman (@markhymanmd)!Want more from Dr. Mark Hyman?Watch his FREE docuseries on how to optimize your brain function and reclaim your health, energy, and mental clarity.