Why brain health is important


Speaker 1: What a pretty view outside. In order to be healthy, we need to exercise our body and our mind. But how exactly do you improve brain health? Dr. Erica Steele from Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beach is here to explain. Hey, Dr. Still good to see you again. Likewise. Definitely. All right, so brain health, we don’t focus on that a lot.

Speaker 2: No, we don’t. Fascinating because our brain controls everything. It really does.

Speaker 1: The brain gut connection. Exactly. And the rest of the body. Exactly.

Speaker 2: Our emotions, our reactivity, everything. Yeah, I definitely think that we overlook it and I think it’s one of the most important things to utilize. It’s interesting because we often operate out of this very reactive, primitive mind. Oh yeah. And a lot of times people don’t realize as a naturopath, we work a lot with anthropology and how, the body and the. The human beings have developed, et cetera. So we have this primitive mind. We wake up in the morning, am I gonna be eaten or am I going to eat? Kind of thing. And then we react based off of that. Our brains grew. Now we have our subconscious mind. We have experiences, perceptions of those experiences, beliefs, core beliefs. And now what the trick is really getting that prefrontal cortex working. So we have logic, voice, reason, decision making, executive function.

Speaker 1: So how do you know if your brain is quote unquote,

Speaker 2: I would say how your emotions are and how you deal with difficult situations.

Speaker 1: Okay. Obviously right now it’s timely with coronavirus. Exactly. There’s a lot of fear. There’s a lot of panic going on, of course. And not just about getting sick, but also people are worried about their finances as well.

Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. Because we can’t control it, right? So there’s something outside of ourselves that we can’t control, and then it triggers that primitive mind. We go into fight or flight. So we totally miss that prefrontal cortex and a lot of times people’s prefrontal cortex isn’t even working, functioning as efficiently.

Speaker 1: Okay. So explain that a little more maybe in layman’s terms. So what does that mean to the,

Speaker 2: so our logic, our voice, our decision making? So something happens outside of my control. What’s the first thing I do? Do I react? Do I go, oh my gosh, I gotta go. And usually it’s the people do. Yeah. I gotta go stuck up on hands. Oh my. I get hoard products. Yeah, exactly. And everybody’s gonna die, and I’m gonna lose all my money. And it’s, gosh. And then we send ourselves into the spiral. So then you have your adrenal glands, their pumping cortisol. You have epinephrine. No epinephrine. It’s very hard on the body. Not to mention it inhibits the immune system. Oh my gosh. So it’s like you’re spinning in circles and

Speaker 1: neurotransmitters. Your brain are going crazy and

Speaker 2: you can’t do anything. You can’t function. Let’s say, you get into a fight with your significant other, right? And it’s oh my gosh, now I’m gonna obsess over and I’m gonna ruminate over and I’m gonna get upset about it. I’m gonna think about it. I can’t let it go. And then, your work suffers. You know your kids, they’re on their own.

Speaker 1: So that’s affecting your health ultimately. Exactly. And what can you do to combat that? Exactly. Are there specific supplements we should be taking or other types of exercises?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I would say, the first thing, the most effective. Pub reviewed research is mindfulness and meditation. Prefrontal cortex, when you can get into meditation every single day for at least 15 minutes, that’s really important. Of course there’s meditation, right? But then there’s also other things. There’s yoga, there’s various different things that you can do to be able to help you stay well and get. both on a cognitive level as well as an emotional level.

Speaker 1: That’s so true because yoga puts everything at ease. Yeah. And when you meditate, you’re supposed to tune everything else out, and I would assume it would relax your body and help your adrenals.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Those alpha ways raise, but also to your present in the moment, right? it’s true what they say. If you’re living, if you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future. But all we really can do is work on. And so that’s what we wanna stay in. So yoga, meditation, but then also too, getting your body back into balance. So essential fatty acids are really good with that. A nice balance of epa, D H E A, those sorts of thing. Dha, excuse me, acry oil. Those things are really good, healthy fats in your diet are really healthy. And of course, avoiding sugar. Reducing your bread, your pasta, your rice, your dairy, all, all the things that are yummy that everybody eats.

Speaker 1: But when you say healthy fats, I think avocado of course. Love of avocado. So it’s, it eats,

Speaker 2: yes, exactly. But then not too much. Cuz it’s all about balance. Moderation’s. Yeah. So if you more than 20% fat, then you’re gonna gain weight. Yeah.

Speaker 1: Oh my gosh. Know there’s all these little things. It’s so much good information. You have classes? We do. So let’s talk about that. And we’re trying to learn more.

Speaker 2: So we have, I have two sets of classes. So my first set is in our practice, those are more educational classes. We talk about brain health. I go into like neurotransmitter testing. Yay. And what we do with that organic acid testing, what we do with that. And then more practical things for people. To do, right? Because that’s like really important for people to get education information. We also have meditation classes. I teach yoga as well to really help people, work that prefrontal cortex.

Speaker 1: All right, and there’s your website as well at the bottom of the screen there and all your information. Dr. Steele, thank you so much. Here’s all about just.

Speaker 2: Taking deep breaths and relaxing and just staying in the moment. Yes, and using hand sanitizer.

Speaker 1: Okay. Thank you. Really appreciate it.

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