After nearly 30 years of being a psychiatrist, I find myself recommending natural treatments such as exercise, specific diet plans, and nutritional supplements more and more.

Because most Americans do not eat with brain health in mind, and the quality of our food is not what it once was, we (at the Amen Clinics) believe that the addition of brain-directed supplements will support your best physical and mental energy levels, making it easier for you to make great decisions about how to care for your brain and body, every day.

Certain nutrients, like omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish oil, play such an important role in brain and body health that I suggest most people take them every day, regardless of their brain type or age.

EPA and DHA (the omega-3s found in fish oil) are concentrated in the brain and are important structural components of brain cells.  Our bodies do NOT manufacture omega-3s on their own, which is why these fatty acids are called essential.  We must obtain enough omega-3s from foods, yet most people do not get nearly enough.

In fact, the average American adult consumes less than 1 gram of omega-3s per day, when we should get around 3-4 grams!

 

7 Reasons to Nourish Your Brain with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may:

  1. Support a healthy response to inflammation in the brain and body*
  2. Support healthy cognition and overall brain function*
  3. Support a natural sense of well-being and positive mood*
  4. Support focus and attention*
  5. Support learning and memory*
  6. Support your ability to get good-quality sleep*
  7. Promote healthy aging (particularly DHA)*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

If you believe that you or your family may be lacking sufficient omega-3 fatty acids, reach for these foods first.

Related:  19 Best Brain Superfoods

At the Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how to feel better.
Call us today at 1-888-208-2057 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

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A new study found that a single season of football play—even without concussion—can cause mild brain injury. The study, Abnormal white matter integrity related to head impact exposure in a season of high school varsity football, looked at 45 high school football players who had never experienced a concussion.

During the 2012 season, each player wore a sensor in their helmet, which measured the number and severity of head impacts. The risks of cumulative exposure were computed after gathering data from each player’s helmet sensor.

The researchers concluded that based on the findings, a single season of football play can produce MRI-measurable brain changes that are associated with mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI.

Related [Video]:  Even Non-Concussion Head Injuries are Bad News for Brains

Have a look at this fantastic infographic graciously provided by the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.  Then, find my 8 Ways to Recover From Brain Trauma below!

 

8 Ways to Recover From Brain Trauma:

  1. Protect your brain—you do not get another one.
  1. Have brain envy, which is the burning desire to have a better brain.
  1. Avoid things that hurt it, like being overweight and toxic substances like alcohol.
  1. Give your brain a healthy foundation with brain-directed dietary supplements: a great multiple vitamin and mineral to assure a broad spectrum of nutrients, and a higher-serving fish oil (3-4 grams for adults, 1-2 grams for children) to support a healthy response to inflammation, healthy levels of DHA in the brain, and healthy nerve cell fluidity.
  1. Move your body!  Exercise boosts brain blood flow and improves mood, instantly!  If exercise is new for you, start with “walking like you are late” for 45 minutes, 4 days a week.
  1. Eat right so you can think right.  If you need help, consider a brain-type specific consultation with Erica Kasuli, our Director of Nutrition at the Amen Clinics.
  1. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night and get help with sleep problems.
  1. Depending on the severity, consider hyperbaric oxygen treatment, biofeedback or neurofeedback—all great ways to support optimized brain function.

Brain trauma is often reversible but it takes a smart program that incorporates a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual approach—all part of The Amen Clinics Method.

Related:  Reversing Brain Damage in Former NFL Players

At the Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about your brain and how to feel better.  Call us today at 1-888-208-2057 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.

Posted in Brain Health and Wellness, Brain Health Problems, Brain Injuries, Exercise and Physical Fitness | Leave a comment

A new study provides biological confirmation that optimism and pessimism are hardwired into the brain.

“It’s the first time that we’ve been able to find a brain marker that really distinguishes negative thinkers from positive thinkers,” said Jason Moser, lead investigator and assistant professor of psychology.

Moser and his team surveyed the 71 female participants before the study experiment to determine whom among them tended to think positively and who tended to think negatively and/or worry excessively.

The study focused on females because women are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety-related problems.   The researchers also knew that inherent differences in brain structure and function (between men and women) could have obscured the results, had both sexes been involved.

During the experiment, researchers showed graphic images and then asked the women to put a positive spin on the scenarios while their brain activity was recorded.  One such image was of a masked man holding a knife to a woman’s throat; the participants were told that a potential outcome was the woman breaking free and escaping.

True to the researcher’s predictions, the brain readings of the positive thinkers were much less active than the brain readings of the worriers.

Moser went on to say:

“The worriers actually showed a paradoxical backfiring effect in their brains when asked to decrease their negative emotions.  This suggests that they have a really hard time putting a positive spin on difficult situations and actually make their negative emotions worse even when they are asked to think positively

You can’t just tell your friend to think positively or not to worry – that’s probably not going to help them.  So you need to take another tack and perhaps ask them to think about the problem in a different way, to use different strategies.

People who tend to think negatively aren’t able to change by sheer will alone—it takes new strategies… and practice.

Negative thoughts usually “just happen,” which is why I call them Automatic Negative Thoughts, or ANTs for short.  Without questioning your ANTs, they will infest your mind, degrade your quality of life, and keep you chained to unhealthy habits.

Over the last 30 years in practice, I have been teaching my patients how to effectively overcome negative thinking.  I realize that not everyone can make it to a clinic for help, so I have created a fantastic ANT Therapy tool on Brain Fit Life; it will take you by the hand and guide you, step-by-step through the entire process of challenging negative thoughts and developing accurate thinking skills.

Brain Fit Life is your new brain-healthy coach and lifeline to connecting with others just like you.  Watch our intro video to learn more…

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Madelyn didn’t always sleep well.  One late night she happened to catch my special, Use Your Brain to Change Your Age on public television and was fascinated with our brain research.  Soon after seeing the show, she purchased Unleash the Power of the Female Brain on audio and listened to it as she plugged along in her work as a professional organizer.  In an interview she told us,

When I got to the chapter about ADD, I literally stopped dead in my tracks.  I was diagnosed with bipolar when I was in my 20s, and I realized that I’m not just bipolar – I also have ADD!  It was a revelation to me … I realized that this was my brain and these were my behaviors and I KNEW that I could change it!”

Madelyn told us that she wanted a brain scan, but wasn’t able to make it to a clinic right away.  Instead, she went to our website in search of more information.  After learning about her ADD types by taking our free questionnaire, she discovered Brain Fit Life, our new online brain-improvement program, based on The Amen Clinics Method.  She became a member and started working with her personalized program every day.  She went on to tell us how thrilled she is with her progress:

I work the website and my homepage every day … Because the progress has been so quick, I can’t NOT continue to do it.  The time is just too valuable to me on the website …  Checkmarks off my to-do list [in Brain Fit Life] are endorphins to my brain!  I go through the 12 steps, fill in my information, and by the time I’m finished I have a great outlook and I feel good about myself.  I love the ability to visibly see my progress.  … When I first took the ADD questionnaire I think I had every type, and now I’m down to just two types … I’m seeing such drastic results … I have to say, I’m so grateful—I feel normal. “

I am so proud of Madelyn for choosing to love her brain and nourish it into better health!  Her story can be yours too.  Watch the video below to learn how.


 
 

 
 

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The connection between happiness and a healthy diet was further emphasized by a recent study, showing how discussions with a dietary coach—to learn about healthy eating—were as effective as talk therapy in preventing major depression among seniors.

The study evaluated and compared the effectiveness of talk therapy and dietary coaching in a group of 247 seniors experiencing mild depressive symptoms over a 2-year period.  Both forms of therapy held promise for delaying or preventing major depressive episodes in the group.

At the Amen Clinics and on Brain Fit Life, we call this approach eating right to think right.  A healthy diet—tailored to each individual’s brain type—is one of the most powerful brain medicines that could ever be designed!

Health education is a very important part of effective depression treatment due to the high rate of obesity among depressed adults.  Depression dramatically affects both quality of life and life span, so a focus on prevention is key.

Would you like to gain control over your moods and feel happier?  Have better focus and memory?  More energy?

You CAN feel better within a matter of weeks, and Erica can help you do it!  Erica Kasuli, Nutrition Director for the Amen Clinics, is available for consultations and coaching, both in-person and over the phone.  Her expertise and creativity will help you and your family learn how to eat right to think right.  Learn how to use food to heal depression in this video:

Connect with us online or call us at: 1-888-564-2700 today.

 

Learn more about preventing depression using the healing power of foods at the Brain & Body Turnaround!

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