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This installment of Yoga Living Project is brought to you by first time guest author Areyo Dadar, bringing in-depth information on brain health, CBD and superfoods. Share with your health-enthusiast friends and let us know your thoughts! As always, if you have content that you'd like to share on the blog please drop us a line

 

Eating Power Foods: Improve Your Cognitive Function, Including Memory & Decision-making Ability

The human brain engages billions of neurons to perform everyday tasks like reading the paper, watching the news, remembering to carry an umbrella on a rainy day – and of course, interacting with other people.

When the whole network of neurons functions as it should in theory, absorbing incoming data and properly analyzing it, we tend to have sharper memory, have an easier time identifying repetitive patterns, and are generally more responsive and observant of the type of (and suggested meaning) of stimuli being sent out by people we interact with. 

When you think about it, people have a lot to gain from understanding just what it is that we do that can improve or decrease brain function. 

The interesting thing is that most people are aware of basic nutrient needs such as minerals; electrolytes (think banana, watermelon, coconut water, avocado, etc. So basically foods that boost brain power), but finding time to actually go and buy such items can be a hassle when working around a tight schedule, as many people do. 

…so about the simple stuff you can do every day to promote cognitive function 

The brain, when properly unleashed, could hold tremendous power, maybe to the extent that people have yet to comprehend. Researchers from institutions such as the prestigious John Hopkins University have published tons of material on this issue, however there may be a problem of funding that’s holding back how researchers approach this topic and the scope of areas that can be investigated – so a good example of this is this page from the supposedly, super-woke magazine, NewScientist, which has the freedom to delve into fringe brain studies that go way beyond your usual neuroimaging.

Imagination goes wild when you conjure up one of those fantasy film figures like Deadpool(or Wolverine or whatever…), and it’s really a mind bend when some new research pops out that shows a guy lighting another guy on fire using some extreme form of mental concentration to presumably, move energy from out of themselves (and I’m just crudely playing Sherlock here) and transform it somehow to generate combustion: To the point where you wonder, how much of this X-men stuff could actually be possible in real life? 

But on a more basic level, the brain does appear to perform better when lifestyle is said to be ‘good’, rather than disruptive, stressful, monotonous, or strenuous in a significant extent. There’s also a hormonal impact here that we’ll go into in a bit. 

So an obvious element that facilitates this capacity of the brain to work like a perfectly optimized hard drive is our health; and by this I mean the degree to which we watch our weight, go to the gym,drink water; our sleeping habits, and so on. All these things come together to affect how the brain works and losing your grip on physical health can, to a large extent,determine a person’s ability to be productive and even succeed at what they are doing. But we all know this right? 

It’s only that for some strange reason we don’t pay enough attention to our health as we should; and the downside to this (apart from the memory problems, headaches, challenges with digestion, distracted brain; and so on) is that the number of people experiencing a reduction in quality of life because of things that can be avoided is in the majority. 

 

So what are some of the connections made between naturally-occurring compounds and brain health?

The best description of these natural compounds that seem to alter brain function in a way that is considered positive is cannabidiol, which we’re all familiar with by now.

Research such as this from the NCBI has proved useful for private health organizations that previously held back investment into marijuana, probably for the sake of being seen as playing within existing federal policies, which presumably, it would have been difficult in the past to explain to board members why $15 million was spent on exploring LSD and its effect on the subconscious, or something similarly ‘out there’. 

But what we do know from cannabidiol and other compounds in cannabis (which there are hundreds of), comes not only from conventional medical science, but from millennia of cultural practices, which, by the way, archeological investigation has revealed rather interesting practices for weed. 

Hundreds, possibly thousands of generations before us used these compounds for reasons ranging from normal, medical purposes, to the more experimental and transcendental effects that come from ingesting or smoking hashish. People learned from way back then that we could use natural substances to create states of heightened awareness, as is sometimes observed with creative and dominant types who use psychedelics – and who’s to say we won’t gain something from understanding how lesser compounds like CBD may be introduced into the system to generate healthier conditions internally?

And particularly, with regard to efficiency in processes that involve things like stress hormones, appetite, sleep, stamina, and even memory: all important processes that contribute to create our version of reality. 

 

How does Cannabidiol affect the brain?

This question has been asked by scores of people, from younger adults, teens, and even seniors who see the compound as a kind of fuel to get to that heightened state. Keep in mind that a higher state can be reached by first avoiding pollutants and activities that are known to overwhelm or disrupt the hormones. 

So cannabidiol is one of those natural compounds that restore homeostasis, and is similar in structure, to the endocannabinoids released in your body naturally. It works indirectly by influencing all the organs and hormones linked to the endocrine network, and we’re talking about a broad range of processes here, like the immune system, appetite, inflammation, pain sensitivity, insulin function, sexual desire (that’s right), energy levels, and such and such…you get the idea. 

Some scientists believe that medical science has only begun to scratch the surface on what some of these natural compounds do in our bodies, and the extent to which our bodies can be brought into alignment to create better conditions for work, imagination, creativity, and even our ability to be happy. 

If so, then what many people trust as the authority on medical issues may soon be seriously undermined by compounds such as CBD because of the suspicion and skepticism that large pharmaceutical companies are held with, and the side effects of some conventional medicine. 

The true nature of our bodies – and in particular, disease and healing – must be clearly understood if we’re to evolve into more capable humans. CBD has a profound effect on the endocrine, as plenty of interrelations between the endocannabinoid system and the endocrine system and the fact that both systems control such a broad area of processes in the human body, means that a compound such as CBD can have such a varied range of medical benefits. 

Now to help us get there, let’s look at foods that improve brain performance 

As stated, CBD is good for brain health, but what makes it unique is its ability to weave into different biological processes due to its connection with the endocannabinoid system and the endocrine system. But CBD contains many brain-friendly properties that we need such as;

  • Neuroprotective
  • Neurogenesis
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Antioxidant, etc. 
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Improves sleep, etc. 

It basically covers any area that you can think of that’s vital to your body functioning.So what other foods can we eat to have healthier brains?

Here’s a quick list; you can take time to find out what each one of these individual foods contain that makes them good for boosting brain health. 

  • Coffee [1]
  • Blueberries [2, 3]
  • Turmeric [4]
  • Broccoli [5,6]
  • Pumpkin seeds [7,8,9]
  • Dark chocolate [10,11]
  • Nuts [12,13]
  • Oranges [14,15,16]
  • Green tea [17,18]

And some CBD foods that are excellent for brain health:

  • Coconut Bites
  • BBQ Corn Nuggets
  • Honey Roasted Sunflower Seeds 
  • Pineapple CBD Chews 
  • Watermelon-lemonade CBD Chews
  • CBD orange Carrot Juice
  • Snaac CBD Protein Bars, etc. 

 

Let’s not forget activities that are also known to promote brain health:

  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Book-reading
  • Video games
  • Meditation 
  • Music, etc. 

Because don’t forget, the adult brain is also constantly growing new neurons, so eating foods that assist this process can serve to improve cognitive function and make it less likely to develop common problems as seen with people. Maybe after people have integrated all these foods and practices into their routine, then we can start to see some improvements to what a normal person is really capable of doing – so for instance, remembering a conversation from when you were 3 years old, or something more interesting. 

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