Today I had the privilege of sharing some of the exciting new neuroscience with a crowd of wonderful nurses at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. They asked brilliant questions AND gave learned answers. In the brief hour over lunch we explored some of the latest research on Cocoa & Other Brain Foods. I send a special “Thank YOU” to that erudite audience for being excited about Ideal Aging and how you can increase brain power.
Since the latest neuroscience is too exciting to rush through, this will only be the beginning of a series on that topic. My latest eBook on Kindle with this same name addresses Cocoa and Other Brain Foods in greater depth.
Before we proceed, let me explore the issue of bias. First, as a speaker and a writer my requirement is to give you science or give you silence. Second, it has never been possible for anyone to read the entire library; with the ever-increasing explosion of information available online, it’s no longer possible to read the entire database on a niche. Thus, no matter the length of a writing, there’s more that can be said AND I welcome additions/corrections to what is written here.
That being said, let’s make a modest beginning. At the end of this series you will have information on 1) Basic nutritional needs for ideal brain chemistry, architecture and performance; 2) Medical issues that can compromise brain fitness; and 3) Foods that can address these issues.
Basic nutritional needs for ideal brain chemistry, architecture and performance are many and varied. This writing will only address the first of those.
Carbohydrates (CHO) are essential as the major energy source for your brain because they most readily metabolize into the kind of fuel you need to carry on. And your brain accounts for ~20% of your total metabolic activity even at rest. Also, carbohydrates are the cleanest source of fuel. However, the normal metabolic process creates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can cause oxidative damage; it also creates advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Both are associated with unhealthy aging. The greatest damage caused by AGES is cross-linking of proteins which does damage within cells as well as causing apoptosis. The various diseases that AGEs contribute to include chronic inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis, neurodegenerative diseases, retinopathy, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and others. Although AGEs accumulate in tissues through normal metabolism, certain factors increase their accumulation.
Scientists are exploring methods of clearing the AGEs from the human body. Research has not yet found a way to undo the damage of cross-linking which results in less flexible tissues in your body. This is only one of the many reasons for avoiding refined sugars such as fructose.
Stay tuned for additional new neuroscience on CHO, ROS, AGEs and Cocoa & Other Brain Foods. Thank you for your interest in Ideal Aging, enhancing brain power, and vigorous longevity!