How to Optimize Brain Blood Flow for Life
How to Optimize Brain Blood Flow for Life
How to Optimize
Brain Blood Flow
The best way to optimize brain blood flow, throughout life, is to make sure your brain has enough energy. The human brain has a high energy requirement because humans use both sides of their brain. When the brain has enough energy supply, blood flows to the whole brain. When the whole brain has blood flow, people can be their best self. Energy supply refers to all the processes that provide energy to the brain. Energy demand refers to all of the processes that require energy from the brain. Energy supply is determined by what we eat, and also by our body health. Energy demand is determined by what we do with our brain, and also by our external environment. Thus, choosing the right foods can give our brains the energy they need. Choosing the right actions, in the right environments, can help us expend energy efficiently.
What Happens When We Don’t Get Enough Brain Energy Supply?
On a short-term basis, when the brain doesn’t have enough energy, it protects itself by decreasing brain blood flow in certain regions. This enables the brain to preserve brain blood flow in other regions. For example, if a human suddenly encounters a lion, adrenaline travels to the brain. The effect of adrenaline in the brain is to shift brain blood flow to lower level brain regions that enable the fight or flight response. In our modern environment, we don’t encounter lions. However, psychosocial stress can cause changes to brain connectivity in the same way. For example, when someone is behind on an important task, or financially insecure, or not feeling safe at home, brain blood flow shifts. When people are under psychosocial stress, this change in blood flow can change the way they act.
On a longer-term basis, if a person does not have enough energy supply, the connections between brain regions will start to break down. This is similar to potholes appearing along a road over time, which makes it harder for the cars to travel. When connections between brain regions start to break down, the brain regions themselves become more disconnected from other regions. Having enough brain energy determines our chances for healthy aging without dementia.
How Does Brain Blood Flow Impact Quality of Life?
Ultimately, brain blood flow determines quality of life because brain blood flow determines how we think, feel and act. For example, when brain blood flow is not balanced, emotionally, we may be too nice, or too selfish. Socially, we may be too introverted, or too extroverted. Cognitively, we may be too analytical, or not analytical enough. Even worse, some people get headaches when their brain doesn’t have enough energy. Other people get brain fog, cloudy thinking, apathy, or depression when their brain doesn’t have enough energy. Having these symptoms coming and going causes off-days during which we aren’t as productive as we want to be. Thus, making the lifestyle changes mentioned below can significantly improve one’s quality of life.
How to Improve Brain Blood Flow by Increasing Brain Energy Supply
Consuming Essential Brain Nutrients--Getting enough essential brain nutrients is a proven way to improve brain energy efficiency. Essential brain nutrients come in the form of color pigments, Omega fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Essential brain nutrients are so critical because they work in two ways. Not only do nutrients feed the brain with energy supply, but they also protect the body systems that nourish the brain. Most of us need to consume more essential brain nutrients in our daily diet. Eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and Omega-3 fats with herbs, spices, fermented foods, and pure sweeteners from nature is a guaranteed way to get enough nutrients. (You can learn more at https://www.honeybrains.com/news-item/hb-five-good-groups/ )
Checking Brain Health Biomarkers--Checking “brain health biomarkers” can identify opportunities to improve energy supply. Brain health biomarkers are routine laboratory tests that provide an indication of the health of the three key body systems that protect the brain: the digestive, circulatory and metabolic systems. Healthy bodies provide more energy supply because nutrients must 1) cross the digestive tract, 2) travel through the circulatory system and 3) be metabolized in the brain. Anybody can ask their doctor to check their vitamin B12, RBC magnesium, Omega 3, ApoB:ApoA, homocysteine, MTHFR, HOMA-IR, adiponectin, celiac, and food allergy biomarkers. (You can learn more at www.honeybrains.com/learn/brainhealthbiomarkers ).
Exercise--Exercise is also a proven way to increase energy supply because exercise improves blood flow to the brain. All types of exercise are good for us. Walking can increase mental clarity by increasing blood flow to the brain. Aerobic exercise can improve the brain’s ability to extract oxygen. Yoga/pilates exercises can lower stress. Muscle building can increase levels of a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which leads to the growth of new capillaries (small blood vessels) in the brain.
How to Improve Brain Blood Flow by Reducing Energy Demand:
Getting Enough Rest--Getting enough rest reduces energy demand because when we rest, our levels of stimulation are lowered. Ways to rest include not only sleeping, but also taking breaks. For example, managing ambient noise levels is important because silence reduces brain energy demand. Managing ambient light levels is important because getting natural light during the day, as well as getting enough darkness during the night, reduces energy demand. Managing the amount of “screen time”, especially social media, is important because reading, watching videos, while also socializing uses a lot of brain energy.
Practicing Spirituality--Meditation and prayer can reduce brain energy demand. When we meditate or pray, we are turning our “fight or flight” system off while turning our “rest and digest” system on. Practicing spirituality is especially powerful because it provides more energy supply (rest and digest) at the same time as reduced energy demand (fight or flight).
Learning New Skills--Learning new skills can also reduce brain energy demand because when we learn new skills, we strengthen the connections between different parts of the brain. When the brain is well connected, it’s like a smooth highway without potholes, which makes for more effortless travel.
Getting enough brain energy allows us to use both sides of our brain. When blood flows to both sides of the brain, we have the highest chances for self-actualization. Because our character traits are enabled by functional brain networks that cross both sides of the brain, we have to be able to use our whole brain in order to be our best selves.