As many of you will note, I have blogged quite a few times about the health virtues of kale. This is truly one on the healthiest food choices you can bring to your table.
Kale, a member of the cabbage family, is power packed with vitamins A, K, C, with meaningful amounts of B vitamins as well as trace minerals. It’s low in carbs and calories.
But there another attribute that I think is important to share in our discussion of kale. Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and cauliflower, kale is a cruciferous vegetable. That means that the flowers of these vegetables take the form of a cross. More importantly, it means that like other cruciferous vegetables, kale is rich in a chemical called sulforaphane, and this may be one of kale’s most important health attributes.
While we can use food to nurture and protect our bodies and our brains, supplements play an important role in preventing inflammation and helping us achieve total health. In both Grain Brain and Brain Maker, in addition to laying out the lifestyle plan you should follow to avoid brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, I mention some of the most important supplements you can take for your health.
However, I’m often asked what my own daily routine is. Well, today I’m here to tell you.
While I don’t have the exact statistic, it probably isn’t far off-base to state that many, if not most, Americans start their day with a cup of coffee in their hand. For many years, the science on coffee has moved in competing directions, from studies that call it dangerous for long-term health, to those that endorse daily mass consumption.
In Grain Brain, I briefly explored the health benefits of coffee, notably as an activator of our Nrf2 pathway, and it’s a topic I return to in Brain Maker. Now, learn how coffee plays a roll in influencing the composition of our gut bacteria, and how that daily cup of joe might be fighting a leaky gut. Drink up!
I’ve presented several videos indicating that lifestyle factors are obviously very important in determining whether your brain is going to be healthy or you are going to be at risk for a degenerative condition of the brain, an example being Alzheimer’s disease. It turns out that the reason that the high carbohydrate, the lack of physical exercise, gluten and other things that lead to inflammation are so important is because they tend to increase, as mentioned, inflammation. The process of inflammation is tied in intimately with increasing free radicals. These are the two pillars. Inflammation and the action of free radicals ultimately damage brain cells and lead to death of brain cells. In this video we will dive deeper into this process and what you can do to prevent it.
As many of my readers are aware, for the past several years I have been deeply involved in studying a fascinating area of biochemistry that plays a pivotal role in all degenerative conditions that we as humans want to avoid.
The Nrf2 pathway has been referred to as the “master regulator of antioxidant, detoxification and cell defense gene expression…” and It is for these reasons that so much research has been carried out trying to explore how activating this life-sustaining pathway may have critically important applications for our health and longevity.
The Nrf2 pathway has been especially studied in various brain degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, as well as autism, to name a few. Indeed, as I recently described, the research from Harvard demonstrated significant improvement in autistic children treated with sulforaphane, an extract of broccoli, which is known to activate the Nrf2 pathway.
As researchers from the University of Colorado publishing in the journal Clinical Pharmacology: Advances and Applications have described, activation of the Nrf2 pathway may find clinical application in a variety of other conditions including atherosclerosis, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, and even cancer. The authors concluded: Continue reading
Exciting research from the University of Texas Health Science Center has identified what has now been termed the “master regulator of the aging process.” The process of aging seems to be quite directly correlated with the damaging affects upon our tissues of the actions of chemicals called free radicals. We are all familiar with the notion of taking antioxidants to quench free radicals and this has been a focus of scientific research for decades. And rightfully so. Free radicals are clearly involved in the damage that occurs to our fat, protein, and even our DNA. Ultimately, although our DNA, our code of life, has repair mechanisms, as we age, the ability of DNA to repair itself, finally fails.
Until quite recently, the main focus of antioxidant therapy has been to supply molecules that inactivate free radicals. That means, for example, that one molecule of vitamin C, could quench one free radical. But now leading edge research, like that mentioned above, is focusing on the vast amplification of the body’s own antioxidant systems whereby stimulating DNA can cause the body to actually manufacture vast numbers of protective antioxidant molecules, far more than anything you could take in a standard antioxidant supplement.