Your child is an amazing creation whose every cell depends on the food you provide. What may be more difficult to imagine is how foods can affect their moods; perhaps their orientation toward particular substances, rewards or risks – even what you assume to be the essential nature of their personality.
Avoid human contact and new ideas. BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) is produced inside brain neurons or nerve cells, particularly in learning centres. While neurotransmitters (NTs) busily deliver instructions, BDNF builds and maintains the motorway structure that supports their journey. If you sprinkle BDNF on neurons in a Petri dish they will grow new branches. You can increase BDNF with mental, physical and social exercise. In animal and human studies this swiftly improved moods; ability to learn, focus, recall, and manage stress. Social and emotional deprivation can physically shrink brains, while positive stimuli produces heavier brains with improved nerve structures that fire signals efficiently.
Your gut tends to be discreet. It may occasionally gain your attention with gurgling or gas, but it usually remains invisible and ignored.
Meanwhile foods are ever temptingly on display. They can trigger programmed visual, salivary and emotional responses. You select, swallow and forget. Though some people have the benefit of chronic discomfort to inspire recall and analysis (see TIPS: Pain).
…while your night depends on your day.
“An uninterpreted dream is like an unopened letter from God”. The Talmud.
Sleep is a pleasure and a necessity. Enjoy seven to eight hours of regularly timed, sustained sleep. If you want dependable function from your body, you must in turn provide it with consistent, supportive rituals. Wake at a similar time, go to bed at a similar time and precede sleep with a period of quiet, calm and dimmed lights.
Sister Bernadette had a fine mind which she enjoyed putting to work with puzzles, debating social issues, and teaching the young. She kept lively until her death at 85. As part of an ongoing study by American epidemiologists, she was one of 600 nuns who donated their brains to science. Soon before her death she continued to score in the ninetieth percentile on cognitive tests. Yet when she was examined post mortem, massive destruction from Alzheimer’s was evident. Her brain was filled with the disease’s characteristic rigid plaques and messy tangles. From the inner hippocampus (the central train station for learning, stress and mood management pathways) to the outer cortex, there was the most extensive degree of damage. So why did she remain so sharp?
Your body is amazing. On average 10,000 of your cells will fit on the head of a pin. Each second about 25 million cellular divisions occur to enable growth, repair and replacement. The executive management of this extraordinary activity has appeared to be under the direction of genes within your cells. But what stimulates disease-causing rather than health-promoting genes into expression when everyone carries both?