Tips for better mental health

Exercise is free, pills are not. Neuroscientists, very recently, realized that exercise is medicine. Hallelujah!

Now we need to realize the health agencies, which help create more confusion ( here and then, here ) and do not bet on something that would be much cheaper: exercise. However, it is also normal to create confusion when you are financed by food companies such as Mondalez, Nestlé, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, and Unilever.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, the population died before becoming old due to infectious diseases, such as smallpox, or malnutrition. Thanks to the advances of medicine in vaccines, antibiotics and different improvements in hygiene, it has been achieved that, little by little, those causes of mortality are reduced and life expectancy among the population is increased.

Now, we have problems that the pills are not solving. Overeating and lack of movement are the main reasons that the epidemics of the 21st century are generating.

Already in the past, Mary of Stuart, the queen of the Scots, apparently sent carriages full of shortbread (sugar bombs) to her archenemy and cousin, Elizabeth I of Tudor. At that time, Mary Queen of Scots knew that sugar would weaken the body and brain of her relative, and in this way, could snatch the throne of England and govern, finally, in both nations.

Today, the poor and the rich base their diet on pizzas, hamburgers and soft drinks. In 2014, more than 2,100 million people were overweight, compared to the 850 million who suffered from malnutrition. In this sense, half of humanity is expected to be obese by 2030. In addition, in 2010, malnutrition killed a million people, while obesity killed another three million.

Continuing to confuse citizens with labeling in which olive oil is placed under a Coca Cola Zero is very dangerous, especially for people who do not have a basic nutrition education. In addition, with these practices, society moves away considerably from the supposed objective of this classification: to obtain motivation to develop a healthy diet.

In my opinion, I believe that those in charge of looking after our health should start listening to some neurologists and leaving the economic interests of the industry aside. It’s a utopia, right? By the way, this interesting book by Tomás Moro comes to mind.

Once my vision on this current issue is covered, I will give you 5 tips on how to prevent some neurodegenerative diseases, among which are Alzheimer’s, dementia and depression.

My father, for example, says that he will have Alzheimer’s disease, yes or yes, for the sole reason that my grandmother had this disease. And to see who says no. You already know how our mothers and fathers are with health issues, more and more hypochondriacs as time progresses.

But, what is true in this statement? Is this or other diseases hereditary?

It is true that the data on noncommunicable diseases are anything but optimistic. Diabetes, in 2012, killed 1.5 million people, more than those killed by armed conflicts worldwide.

On the other hand, reviewing these data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which compares the causes of death between 2004 and 2030, we can see how suicides, Alzheimer’s and other dementias rise on the list. By the way, is beginning to know Alzheimer under the curious name of diabetes type 3 ( study ). As Yuval Noah Harari says in his book Homo Deus: “Sugar is now more dangerous than gunpowder.”

Deepening the knowledge of Alzheimer’s

It is the most common cause of dementia in the world and is characterized by a loss or decrease in memory and a cognitive decline. It is true that the appearance of Alzheimer’s at an early age (less than 65 years old) has a strong hereditary character, but this situation is rare. Most cases are of late development (75-85 years) and do not show an obvious pattern of inheritance (my father can rest easy). Although the hereditary transmission of the ApoE gene and one of its forms, ApoE4, can make it appear, with greater probability, cases in late bands of age.

Although Alzheimer’s research and studies on brain-related diseases are complex, new lines are currently being opened about how the disease behaves in different environments and with different feeding patterns. However, when talking about genetics we tend to throw balls out, leaving our destiny in their hands. Genetic risk factors, by themselves, do not determine the appearance of one or another disease.

Therefore, the best way to prevent this and other ailments is by following the following recommendations ».

Tips for dealing with Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases

Controls sugar intakes

We have grown up with false beliefs about food and nutrition. In our brain, neurons (exquisite them), unlike other cells of the body, need glucose to do their functions. The brain accounts for 2% of the total body weight in humans but consumes 25% of the total accumulated glucose.

But do we need to eat cupcakes and their respective sugar friends for the brain to work? Not calm. You will not die if you stop eating this type of food. If you eat them, likewise.

All the foods that we put in our mouths are converted into glucose, although the carbohydrate group has it easier to convert into the aforementioned glucose, including industrialized products that are full of sugar. You can choose between them or opt for healthier carbohydrates, such as tubers, legumes, some dairy products, oats, fruits, and vegetables.

The most complex and incredible organ of the planet knows how to arrange to live without cupcakes and friends. Logically, evolution has taken care that the brain has everything necessary to comply with its operation and its main objective.

Increase your intake of natural fats

The brain needs glucose to do its job effectively. If you give poor glucose through feeding, you will reach your goal in worse conditions. Simple.

But, the main component of the brain is fat and thanks to it, it could develop throughout our history. We have kilometric neuronal wiring and the brain needs speed. In this sense, fat is a good driver of the nervous impulse we need to carry out our actions. Eating polyunsaturated fatty acids, which include salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, mollusks, eggs and nuts, will help you to give the brain a proper functioning.

In addition, lower levels of total cholesterol are associated with lower performance in cognitive tasks (verbal fluency, attention and abstract reasoning, among others), in direct comparison with people who have the highest total cholesterol. Fats and cholesterol, after all, are not the bad guys in the movie.

Decreases inflammation

Reducing or eliminating industrial foods, decreasing the percentage of body fat and controlling the intestinal flora. We will talk about the second brain, the intestine, in future articles, focusing on its relationship with the brain.

Change your environment

We must differentiate between genetics and phenotype. An example, for you to understand me, are the twins. They maintain the same genetics and both may have a predisposition to developing Alzheimer’s, but if one of them takes care of their environment and habits, they will modify their phenotype to reduce the risk of having this disease.

On the contrary, the other brother who has no control over his actions will accelerate the process of the appearance of the disease. Genes + environment = phenotype (do not forget to consult this study and this article ). Tip: The environment can cause you not to have good health habits, but in the end, everything will depend on our decisions. If the chair invites you to sit with a Big Mac, be clear that the fault is not the environment.

Implement the movement

By increasing exercise, changes the anatomy of the brain, thus preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s, among many other diseases. To understand why we prevent with exercise it is necessary to analyze some functions of different parts of the brain, such as:

The frontal lobe or the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is considered ‘The boss’, or what is the same, the chief executive of the brain. Its functions are decision making, concentration, and personality.

Here is the motor cortex of the brain, which is divided into:

  • Primary motor cortex. In charge of organizing our muscular contractions insignificant movements.
  • Secondary motor cortex. Premotor cortex and supplementary motor area that is responsible for planning the movement and postural control.

This area is involved in the ability to recognize the future consequences that result from your current actions. Choose between the best or the worst.

On the other hand, the temporal lobe, which modulates speech, vision, hearing, and behavior. This is where the brain stores a complete map of our visual world.

Within this lobe is an organ that is important for the ability to form and retain information. It’s about the hippocampus, which stores the memory of your first kiss or when they made you the first “Cobra”. It belongs to the limbic system, which is where human instincts, known as impulses, are collected.

Why is it important to know these parts?

Because according to neurologist Wendy Suzuki: ” The prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus are the two areas most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. ”

” As exercise increases, the anatomy of the brain changes, preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s, always following the creation of stronger and larger hippocampi and prefrontal cortices, as well as delaying the onset of these diseases. “

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