When you drive your car for a long distance, without resting, without refueling, the car gradually stops working.  Car gets overheated and engine burns out.  Also when the batteries go low, the car does not function well and in case the batteries run out completely, car would not start.

Same things can happen to our body.  As long as we live, and our brain thinks, we use energy, and that is the necessary fire.  It keeps the body warm, brain thinking, and legs moving.

Inflammation is a process in which cells all over our body, get swollen and heated.  This is not good for the cell, and eventually leads to premature death of the cell.  This is seen in many chronic degenerative diseases of the brain and the body.  Example are arthritis, colitis, multiple sclerosis, heart disease like hardening of the arteries, and dementia where there is gradual loss of memory and independent function of the brain.

Our brain is made out of cells. But under more than regular stress level, lack of proper nutrition, lack of sleep, our brain cells can get overheated.  Brain gets foggy and mind depressed, anxiuos and confused. If the batteries of brain lose charge, we get memory lapses, become forgetful, get derpessed and anxious, and lose touch with reality. We try to compensate by working harder and stimulating over brain by medications, but it doesn’t work.  As brain cells lose charge, and overheated, they start dying down.

Simply speaking, inflammation means that body and brain are on fire.

So what can we do about this?

Research has shown that there are simple ways to bring the inflammation under control.

Eating well: Nutrition is the most important part of our day.  The father of medicine, Hippocretes, once commented, “let food be thy medicine”.  Ancient scriptures of Hindus give the same message.  Western diets that contain industry processed meats, food with refined sugar, and snacks with saturated fats further aided by stimulating drinks like caffeine beverages increase the inflammation.

What parents eat can become a problem for the next generation.  In an experiment laboratory rats were fed diet rich in saturated fats.  These fats created inflammatory substances like CRP, tumor necrosis factor and cytokines. When the “children” of the rats were tested, they also had high levels of these inflammatory substances.  This is a finding that should scare any parent who is eating inflammatory foods.  Big chain restaurants who fed our parents and us and continue to feed of our children have been selling unhealthy diets like hamburgers, french fries, donuts, and coffee for years.  Donuts, coffee and bacon which is a good morning America diet is killing of her body and brain.

Tips for good food: The healthy foods are, organic fresh green vegetables , fresh fruits rich in color where darker the fruit better the antioxidant value, fish preferably like wild salmon and tuna, nuts, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, papaya, carrots and asparagus included.

Spice in the food like cinnamon, cloves, saffron, and Curcurmin can help a lot with brain health and keeping weight down. Curcurmin, which comes from turmeric, has been used in the eastern countries like India, China, Thailand, and others as a common daily spice.  It protects the brain.

Sleeping well:  Lack of sleep, triggers chemicals in the body like “cytokines”, C-reactive proteins, and tumor necrosis factors called TNF-alpha.  These substances inflamed and destroyed brain cells.  That is why after ongoing lack of sleep, over brain does not function as well the next day.  Large number of Americans do not sleep well.  They find solutions in taking sleeping pills, alcohol, or narcotics.  It is more important to maintain sleep hygiene.  Simple things like going to bed on time, waking up on time, avoiding caffeinated beverages before going to sleep, and keeping excitement at extremely low level except for the sex can be very helpful.

The tips for sleeping well: Sleep on time and more importantly wake up at the same time.  Avoid caffeinated beverages after 6 PM.  If you take naps during the day.  It may interfere with her sleep onset.  If you use “power nap” then try to make it no longer than 30 minutes.  Pray or meditate before going to bed.  Avoid watching television, especially stimulating news or shows before retiring to bed.  Avoid bright lights at night, but exposed herself to bright sunshine in the morning.  This actually helps reset your circadian rhythm..  Avoid taking shower before bed, unless that is your habit for years.  Do not exercise for 2 hours before going to bed.  Do not exercise at the expense of your sleep.  Calming tea like Chammomile is okay.  Even the most durable and highly priced mattresses, may last for 6 or 7 years.  Make sure that pillows uncomfortable.  Keep your bedroom free of allergens.  Do not use alcohol, heavy meals, and cigarettes in the evening.  If you use computers before going to bed, evaluate if the lights from the screens actually interfered with her sleeping habits.  After all of these if you cannot fall asleep, stop trying to fight, go to another room, engage in some calming activities, and try to go back to bed.

Mahesh Dave



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10-29-18 by C