Longevity : Brain and Liver Health

The human body is an amazing machine. It’s made of 78 organs that are all interconnected and interplay with each other like a beautiful symphony. When we treat our body like a prized horse or car, we hope to add years to our lifespan. 

Two vital organs we need to take care of to promote longevity include the brain and liver.  What would life look like without a healthy brain and liver? Not so great! The brain plays a vital role in many aspects of our ordinary life including the way we think, our awareness and judgement, memory, taste, smell and touch, our mood and emotions, use of motor skills and so much more. The lovely liver also has hundreds of important jobs to do including removing toxins from the body, fighting infections, digesting nutrients, maintaining our blood sugar levels, breaking down fat and so much more.

Wellness advocates recommend a ‘food as medicine’ type approach to health. Currently, the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet seems to be the most effective diet for modern-day issues. Add some potent herbs and supplements alongside daily exercise to boost oxygen levels and hopefully we’ll live a long and healthful life!

Brain Boosters

With mental-decline diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia increasingly common, it’s probably worth us putting a preventative plan in place now before we forget (LOL). Natural remedies and supplements believed to help improve our memory and brain performance include Lion’s Mane mushroom extract and Acetyl-L-carnitine plus a range of vitamin B’s. However, keep in mind that these have not been scientifically proven (yet) as it can take years to achieve efficacy. Recently, there’s been many studies on the relationship between inflammation and dementia as well as Amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s disease. Foods and remedies thought to help reduce plaque in the brain include flavonoid-rich berries, oily fish, coconut and olive oil, dark leafy greens and other vegetables, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds. Functional doctors and naturopaths also recommend coffee, green tea, nuts, dark chocolate, turmeric and broccoli for brain food. Gingko Biloba has long been used in some countries for treating Alzheimer’s disease.  Native to China, Gingko is one of the oldest living trees on earth and perhaps this in itself provides a clue to why it is prescribed for brain longevity.

Love Your Liver

Our liver is our second largest organ and plays a vital role in our lifestyle including digesting nutrients, removing toxins and fighting infections. Unfortunately, fatty liver (fat building up in the liver) is common in these modern times (often showing up as a contributor to obesity, type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure) as well in those folk whose diets are high in carbs, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods. Fatty liver can be the pathway to chronic inflammation and disease. In a nutshell, if you have belly fat or are carrying excess weight, start exercising and adjust your diet today.

Experts recommend considering the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet for protecting and supporting the liver.  Dose up on berries, apples, leafy greens, organic olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Many wellness advocates start their day with warm water and squeezed lemon to kickstart the liver.  It goes without saying drinking too much booze is not the best course of action.  Herb-wise, milk thistle, green tea, turmeric and dandelion root tea are also recommended.  Regular cleanses for the liver can be amazing. Even a three-week sabbatical from alcohol, coffee, processed food, dairy and sugar will boost your energy levels, mental and emotional wellbeing, skin health and glow.  

As with all medications, it’s not ideal to take vitamins and supplements without investigating the side effects. For example, some don’t work alongside blood thinners. While ancient medicine systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda have conducted thousands of studies about herbs and plants for centuries, not all of these are proven by modern science yet.  Make sure you consult a health professional with credentials before investing your well-earned dollars into vitamins and supplements. 

Ultimately, we are all our own best doctors in that we are the first to observe or feel when things don’t feel quite right. Do, eat and drink more of what makes you feel positive and balanced in mind, body and energy, and you are probably on the right track. #staywell

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