Brain health is most likely a topic that doesn’t come to mind often. You may know someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia and prayed that never happens to you, but did you know that there are steps you could start taking right now in order to protect your brain health for the future?
Brain health can affect so many aspects of your life including stress, mood, movement, and overall quality of life. Could happier people actually have better brain health and function? Tibetan monks are known for being some of the happiest people on the planet, could that have anything to do with the amount of hours that they spend meditating?
A neuroscientist named Bin He from Carnegie Mellon University, decided to study the brains of these Tibetan monks just to see if the brain activation in these individuals could show promising positive effects on the brain.
For this study (1) Bin He used electroencephalography which is a series of electrodes placed on the scalp that assessed monks who had experience meditating between 5 – 35 years, on average 15 years of experience. He then compared them to Tibetans who had no experience with meditation at all.
During this study, they found that long term meditative practice decreases activity in the brain networks like the prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex. This essentially means that long term meditation can lower the activity in the part of the brain that tends to mindlessly wander, leading to better self regulation into a relaxed state of being. Bin He states that meditative practice helps optimize how the brain uses its resources leading to a calmer state of being and possibly more overall happiness.
This study (2) indicates that long term meditation can induce long-term changes in overall brain structure which lead to better focus, improved emotional processing, and attentional processing. More studies need to be done to show further evidence that medication can affect cognitive function.
Meditation is promising for brain health, but what if you don’t have time to consistently meditate for hours each week? Luckily there are other natural remedies that may be a good option for you if you are struggling with time or possibly even struggling to meditate in general.
Ashwagandha is a perfect example of an adaptogenic herb that can be extremely powerful for brain health and function, and is why it has been included in Protea Nutrition’s Stress Defy. According to this study (3) that looks at the effects of ashwagandha in brain disorders, discovered that ashwagandha is a powerful neuroprotectant and may have potential in supporting certain brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, depression, addiction, autism, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s, and more.
Another study (4) proves that ashwagandha, safely and effectively improved resistance towards stress in individuals while improving overall quality of life. Whether you suffer from high levels of stress or are looking for options to improve or maintain brain health, Protea Nutrition’s Stress Defy is a great option!