If you thought brain fog is an inevitable aspect of ageing, think again. In his mental rejuvenation guide, The Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory, and Joy In Just 3 Weeks, Los Angeles psychotherapist Dr Mike Dow explains how to shape up – reclaim your powers of concentration, click into your circadian rhythm with the aid of some simple behavioral strategies, spices and foods that fight inflammation.
In line, you can reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease, according to Dow, who highlights the health benefits of turmeric which contrasts sharply with another powdered substance that can derail your locus of control: sugar.
“Sugar is a major culprit in the up-and-down mood roller coaster many of us experience,” he writes, noting that it may also be culpable for the age-related sickness that afflicts over 5 million Americans.
Swap sugar for spices such as turmeric, which Dow frames as magic. In fact, turmeric is the most miraculous “brain-restoring” ingredient on the menu, according to Dow, a big believer in “neurogenesis”—brain cells’ ability to regrow. The impact of the miracle stimulant is most remarkable in rural India, where fewer than 1% of seniors suffer from Alzheimer’s, compared to 13% in the United States, Dow states.
Another common curry ingredient, saffron, can also inhibit Alzheimer’s – or the plaques that cause it. So try adding a dash of the pungent plant to organic chicken, Dow suggests, also stressing the power of herbs including rosemary, which apparently works wonders on the back of an antioxidant acid inside it. Yet another ingredient to toss in the pot, Spanish sage, has been shown to counter that common senior-moment complaint, poor word recall, according to Dow.
So eliminate salt, and flavor your food with any alternative herb or spice, he writes, adding, “Your brain and your taste buds will both thank you.”
Your brain will thank you even more, it seems, if you eat blueberries, which could help trump any genetic tendency you have toward Alzheimer’s. Caffeine and beans also boost your cause, according to Dow, who additionally accents the value of balanced behavior. Meditation, social connection, and sleep, which restores serotonin, all help.
So does exercise, which need not be intense. Brain scans have shown that walking just a mile a day boosts the volume of vital cerebral areas including that learning hub, the hippocampus, and the brain’s most advanced part, the prefrontal cortex. Conversely, if you walk less than a quarter mile a day, you are almost twice as likely [1.8 times] to develop dementia than a keen walker, according to research cited by Dow, whose bio shows just how switched-on he is.
The psychology doctorate holder co-hosts several television shows, including TLC’s Freaky Eaters, which examines weird diets. Plus, he appears on The Dr Oz Show as a “miracle worker” and contributes to the Huffington Post. Meantime, the relationship expert finds time to participate in charitable causes including the bereavement support organization, Comfort Zone Camp.
One grumble with his snappily titled, engaging brain guide is that it over eggs the worth of “n-back” memory tests. While tough, the tests may just boost your ability to do them, going on research presented in Scientific American in December last year. Similarly, fish oil may sharpen the brain less than Dr Dow and other omega-3 enthusiasts claim—a study published in August this year found no evidence that the supplement kept participants in better mental fettle over time.
Mind you, as the eclectic Dr Dow states, his approach is holistic. Combine his mental betterment methods and, as he promises, you should be less prone to senior moments that can snowball into cognitive decline – the long goodbye called Alzheimer’s.
In a bonus, Dr Dow’s advice on reversing age is easy to follow, even appealing. Who would baulk at the prospect of sleeping more and increasing their intake of blueberries?