Top Foods and Habits For A Healthy Brain

Most of us know someone with some type of neurological disease. Globally, neurological disease accounts for over 6% of disease burden, and it can be extremely traumatic for both the individual and their family. Diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, and headache disorders all fall into this category.

At the present, conventional medicine lacks effective and long-term treatments for most of these diseases, and most are seen as irreversible. Prevention is by far the best option. To keep our nervous system healthy and functioning optimally, we must keep channels of communication open between the gut and the brain. This is referred to as the gut-brain axis. A healthy intestinal microbiome facilitates efficient communication between the gut and the brain. Therefore, supporting our microbiome with good nutrition is key. Stress, certain medications, inadequate sleep, junk food, and vitamin deficiencies can all impact your microbiome and cause your “good bacteria” to be replaced by “bad bacteria”. Below I will dive into some of my favorite foods and habits to help optimize brain health and function.

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5 Tips to Help Dodge the Cold and Flu this Season

  1. Take elderberry syrup. Studies have demonstrated that elderberry can lessen both the duration and severity of both cold and flu symptoms.  In fact, in a double-blind, placebo controlled study, the participants taking elderberry experienced a reduction in the duration of flu symptoms by 3-4 days! In another study conducted in vitro (aka in a Petri dish), elderberry extract actually prevented the influenza A virus from infecting host cells.                                                                                                                                       In previous years I have purchased elderberry lozenges to take as soon as I felt a cold coming on. However, this year I decided to take the extra step and make my own syrup using this kit! This was not only much cheaper ($20 for 18 oz compared to $19 for 8oz), but it eliminated my intake of any unwanted additives and fillers and tasted awesome! You can also purchase a bag of dried elderberries in bulk to make it even cheaper. I personally take 1 tsp daily for maintenance and will double or triple that during illness. This remedy is also safe for kids, but I recommend talking to a naturopathic doctor or family physician for more personalized recommendations. 
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