The first time I saw the trailer for Limitless, I got a rush of adrenalin. Hitting theaters now, this flick is about a man who discovers a drug that lets him use his whole brain. Imagine the possibilities! After all, we've all heard it before; “humans only use 10 percent of their brains.” So it got me thinking, can we really expand our minds, and if so, can we do it naturally sans the shady street drug like in the movie? It turns out we don’t have to. That age-old saying is a myth, my friends. Busted! Here’s why…
According to neurologist Barry Gordon at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, the saying is “laughable.” Gordon explains that we use virtually every part of our brain and that most of our brain is active most of the time. John Henley, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says that evidence shows that over the course of a day you use 100 percent of your brain.
Here is how your brain works: The brain represents only three percent of our body weight but uses 20 percent of the body’s energy. The cerebrum performs all higher cognitive functions, the cerebellum works your motor skills, the brain stem performs involuntary functions like breathing, all while millions of neurons are firing off and communicating with each other. Even in sleep and with unconscious activities, your brain is still pumping.
So while your brain is already working at full capacity, there are some things you can eat to keep it healthy and happy:
- Snack on almonds, walnuts and blueberries which are high in omega-3s and antioxidants.
- Add 100 micrograms of Chinese Club Moss to your daily multivitamin to keep neurotransmitters healthy. This herb is powerful. So ask your doc first.
- Drink two cups of gotu kola tea a day. It regulates dopamine levels to protect from free radicals, increase focus and make you happy.
- Sip on red wine and Tulsi tea which are high in antioxidants.
- Add rolled oats to your breakfast to help remove plaque from brain arteries.
- Eat pork over beef. It’s higher in thiamin which reduces inflammation that damages brain cells.
- Try using walnut oil instead of olive oil; it’s high in omega-3s.
- Use curry and turmeric in your food. They are loaded with antioxidants.
- Avoid farmed fish that are higher in metals, which cause cognitive impairments.
- Skip the salt. A decrease in sodium can improve blood flow to the brain.
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sources: Research Scientific American, Cornell Center for Materials Research, AARP