This is a guest post by Kayla Barnes, Certified Brain Health Coach
Biohacking is changing the environment internally and externally to "upgrade your biology." Here are a few biohacks that can improve cognition, decrease brain fog, slow aging in the brain, and more.
Food is the most essential component of a healthy brain. The brain is made from the foods we feed it. It's critical to eat clean, whole foods. Dump the junk and processed foods, and reduce or eliminate sugar, which is a cause of inflammation. I always recommend organic!
Green, leafy vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. Research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline.
Wild-caught fish. Fatty fish are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Try to eat fish at least twice a week.
Organic nuts and seeds. Nuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats, and one type of nut, in particular, might also improve memory. Walnuts are high in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps lower blood pressure and protects arteries. That's good for both the heart and brain.
Organic healthy fats. EVOO is loaded with anti-aging nutrients like omega-3's and vitamin E. Extra-virgin olive oil is also rich in monounsaturated fat, a kind of fat that is good for the heart as well as for the brain.
Cacao. Rich in theobromine, a powerful antioxidant known to support cellular aging and reduce the risk of heart disease and insulin resistance.
Berries. Flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that give berries their brilliant hues, also help improve memory, research shows. In a 2012 study published in Annals of Neurology, researchers at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital found that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed memory decline by up to two and a half years.
Deep Sleep - This is extremely important. Prioritize sleep and ensure you are getting proper deep and REM sleep. Adults need 7-9 hours of quality rest each night. During sleep, your brain's glymphatic system is activated. This is the system that clears waste and cellular garbage from your brain. Lack of sleep decreases blood flow to the brain.
Tips to optimize sleep: Keep your room cool (65-68 degrees F, keep your room pitch black, wear blue light blockers before bed/turn off screens 60 minutes before bed), stop eating 3 hours before bed, ensure your magnesium levels are optimal, if you supplement, I recommend magnesium threonate, this form can pass the blood-brain barrier the easiest.
Meditation: Meditation has been proven to increase gray matter in the brain and allows your brain to rest. Meditation can be more effective than napping in terms of the restfulness that it provides the brain.
Ozone therapy - I love to drink ozonated water weekly. Ozonated water can reduce inflammation. Reducing systemic inflammation in the body and the brain and gut is incredibly beneficial to overall health. Chronic inflammation often leads to chronic diseases, and by managing systemic inflammation, you are reducing your risk. Inflammation in the brain can lead to brain fog, ADD, ADHD, and other cognitive disorders.
I personally prefer drinking ozone water over other ozone therapy treatments, but there are dozens of different types of treatments with ozone. Two systemic ozone treatments that can reduce inflammation are IV ozone (autohemotherapy) and rectal insufflation. Autohemotherapy can only be done in a clinic by a medical practitioner, but rectal ozone can be done at home with the right equipment.
Vagal Nerve Toning & Toning Devices - The vagus nerve is the largest nerve in your body and runs from your brain to your ears, tongue, lungs, and gut. It is the backbone of your parasympathetic nervous system, and its health goes hand and hand with your emotional health. Multiple studies have shown that stimulating the vagus nerve strengthens the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is the barrier that protects your brain from toxins. You can stimulate the vagus nerve through massages, singing, chanting, meditation, and cold showers.
Cold Thermogenesis - Cold therapy is not the most comfortable thing, but it offers many benefits to the body and the brain, and from personal experience, it gets easier with time. Cold therapy can: boost your mood by boosting noradrenaline (noradrenaline is used in many anti-depressants), increase focus by boosting your neurotransmitters, and can also help repair the BBB by boosting nitric oxide in the blood vessels. You can begin incorporating cold therapy into your daily shower routine by turning on the cold for the last minute, going outside in cold temperatures, or you can make an at-home ice bath.
Please consult your doctor before changing your routine. This is not medical advice.