Previously I shared with you The Three Pillars of Brain Health and detailed the three key areas that you need to focus on so you can harness the power of neuroplasticity.
First was your physical brain which encompasses all of the different structures and brain cells and the communication pathways that exist between your brain cells and brain regions. The fancy term for that is what I call neural networks.
The second key pillar of brain health is your chemical brain which refers to the neuro-chemical environment surrounding your brain cells– the soil, so to speak, that your brain cells exist in. So optimizing that is just such an important part of optimizing your overall brain health.
Today I'll be talking about three ways in which you can optimize your chemical brain. It really boils down to this: a compound called BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
You can watch the video, if you prefer, or read on to learn my top recommendations for triggering neuroplasticity by optimizing your chemical brain.
BDNF is a protein that's a major growth factor for your brain. I like to call it Miracle Grow for your Brain.
In order for you to have fluidity with your neural networks and to really optimize neuroplasticity, you absolutely must optimize your levels of BDNF.
Lower levels have been associated with epilepsy and depression. This could also be a really big obstacle in your healing from a concussion.
I'm going to share with you the top three ways that you can optimize BDNF, and in doing so, really nourish your chemical brain so you can take your brain and your life to the next level.
The number one way of optimizing BDNF is simply by taking DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, a fatty acid that's found in fish. Research has shown that when you increase levels of DHA, you actually increase BDNF.
In doing so you create a fertile environment for your brain to deeply process any therapies that you're doing.
If you're seeing a therapist and struggling with a concussion, anxiety, or if you're trying to use mindfulness meditation practices to deal with stress, then having higher levels of BDNF will make all of this much more effective and more powerful.
So the number one way to increase BDNF is to increase your levels of DHA. For those of you out there who are vegans and vegetarians that don't eat fish, then you can also get DHA through seaweed and algae sources.
The second way that you can optimize BDNF is through another oil that we call MCT oil or medium-chain triglycerides.
Medium Chain Triglycerides are found in high amounts in things such as coconut oil. MCT is great because its chemical structure makes it readily absorbable by your digestive system. From there, it can enter your bloodstream, cross your blood-brain barrier and have a powerful impact on your nervous system by increasing BDNF.
In doing so it really helps create a fertile environment for neuroplasticity to occur.
So my second tip is to increase your intake of MCT oil and one way of doing that is by eating more coconut oil.
The third way to optimize your BDNF and really give your chemical brain a boost is through a wonderful polyphenol known as curcumin.
For those of you who love Indian food like myself and other types of Asian cuisine, you are probably already consuming curcumin.
Curcumin is a polyphenol that's found in high amounts in the turmeric root and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. The great thing about curcumin is that not only is it a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, it's also delicious.
It has been shown to raise levels of BDNF in your bloodstream and in doing so, really create a nurturing environment for your brain. This allows the miracle of neuroplasticity to really take hold.
So there you have it– the top 3 ways of boosting BDNF chemically, so you can harness the power of neuroplasticity to live an extraordinary life.
If you are practicing things like meditation and mindfulness or you're a patient in one of my healing Brain Camps, the more BDNF you have, the more effective the healing process will be.
So start today by increasing BDNF to harness the power of your chemical brain!
To Your Total Health,
Dr. Titus Chiu