Indian dishes are loaded with spices. There are so many spices in the Garam Masala that will enhance and boost all of your brain chemicals, and they will also effectively boost/rev your metabolism. The chicken is an excellent source of protein that will also enhance all of your brain chemicals. The yogurt is high in both calcium and protein, which together are known to raise metabolic rate and improve digestion and bowel health. It also supports your immune system, reduces overall inflammation, and lowers your LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. That's why I consider this dish to be a Younger (Thinner) You superfood.
Study after study shows the benefits of spices. For example, the cinnamon (one ingredient of the garam masala), has tremendous blood sugar benefits.
Ginger can help to improve blood circulation and digestion, as well as lowering blood pressure.
Coriander alleviates indigestion, lowers serum cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol levels, lowers LDL cholesterol levels, and facilitates the removal of aluminum, lead, and mercury from the body.
Cumin can lower elevated blood sugar, lower cholesterol and elevated triglycerides, and alleviate intestinal cramps.
Cloves may suppress some forms of bacteria, improve digestion, and alleviate pain.
Fennel can alleviate diarrhea and indigestion, improve kidney function, improve liver function, and improve brain metabolism.
Mustard seed may increase metabolism, alleviate bronchitis, and alleviate the common cold.
All of the spices in this recipe have potential health benefits and are brain chemical augmenters. Keep leftover Garam Masala in a container with a tight-fitting lid and use it to spice up any poultry, fish, or meat dish.
Part 2 of the Series: Aging and the "Pauses of Life"
Thyropause - Aging and Weakening of the Thyroid System
Why is the thyroid important?
Your thyroid gland controls the rate that your body burns the fuel necessary to keep you and your mood going. It does this by synthesizing the hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3). These thyroid hormones are necessary in adults for normal function of the other organs and systems. Thyroid hormones also affect tissue growth and maturation, help regulate fat digestion, and increase intestinal absorption of carbohydrates.
Signs of thyropause:
Thyropause marks the beginning of a metabolic disorder, which can begin as early as birth but typically begins between the ages of 30 and 50. If you know that you have a dopamine deficiency, you are a likely candidate for experiencing thyropause sooner than you think. Changes can be subtle, but many of the following symptoms could indicate the possibility that you're experiencing thyropause (the aging and weakening of your thyroid):
Thyroid Problems Can Be Reversed:
Any form of thyroid disease can be managed with medication. To treat an aging thyroid, you start with natural thyroid treatment. If it is picked up soon enough, the disease is stopped in its tracks. Taking natural thyroid supplements when you need them works like taking other bioidentical hormones. It's not a crutch. It doesn't make the thyroid weaker but actually makes it less likely to decline by getting its adequate support. Your thyroid health may require bioidentical hormone supplementations of the hormones T3 and T4.
Because there's a distinct relationship between your thyroid and a dopamine deficiency, you can augment your dopamine with foods and nutrients. But with thyroid problems, it may best to stay away from foods that are known as goitrogens (cruciferous vegetables, soybeans, peaches, strawberries, peanuts, radishes, spinach, and millet). Instead, choose Thyropause-reversing meals such as:
*omelets made with low-fat cheddar cheese
*black bean soup
*organic turkey with lentil sauce
*4 oz. lean steak, broiled with fresh garlic and basil and a green bean salad
*japanese seaweed salad
During these pauses, the failing organ, or part, becomes older than the rest of your body. At the same time, its associated hormone levels drop, sending a signal or code to the rest of the body whose purpose is to broadcast that the system is failing. This signal also begins the process whereby the whole body will begin to shut down. In essence, when diminished, the hormones of life and the electrical signals of the brain send a wrong or "anti"-signal to the rest of the life.
Aging occurs throughout the entire body through the following codes:
Our body parts will not pause at the same time. For example, a patient whose chronological age (real age) is 40 years old could have a heart that has aged to that of a 50 year old; or they could have bones that have aged to that of a 60 year old. You can find out your AgePrint by completing my AgePrint quiz and through testing and blood work. My AgePrint quiz can help you determine not only which pause(s) might be affecting your health, but what stage they have reached. The results from the quiz assign an approximate age for every organ and system of the body. Blood work and testing can easily confirm your findings.
Every aging code currently known is reversible in its early stages. I know of no aging signal that has not been reversed. The keys then to a Younger YOU are the tests that detect symptoms before a health problem hits you, instead of waiting for medical and surgical intervention. The most successful way to achieve total health and extend life is to prevent internal again from occurring.
This is Part 1 of a continuing series on the "Pauses." I'll discuss each pause in more depth which will include dietary, supplemental, and hormonal strategies.
Along with spices, herbs, teas, water, yogurt, balanced foods, fiber-filled foods, colorful fruits and vegetables, it's important to include carefully chosen proteins on my Younger (Thinner) You Diet. Although chicken can be eaten every day, it can get boring looking at the same boneless, skinless chicken breast every night.
Wild-caught fish, on the other hand, offers a low-fat, healthy variety of choices that can be consumed on a regular basis. Fish oils can reduce your risk of heart disease, help prevent osteoporosis, and is considered the number one anti-inflammatory protein. On this diet, you can choose one fish meal per day.
This complete Younger (Thinner) You powerhouse meal supports all of your brain chemistry. Mackerel not only increases acetylcholine and serotonin, it can also help you beat a blue mood. Peas are dopamine and GABA precursors, and lemon supports GABA and dopamine. Each serving has 290 calories.
Other ways to prepare fish is to simply bake, broil, or steam it with a touch of olive oil and three of your favorite spices to create your own recipes. Fish (especially cold-water fish such as bluefish, cod, haddock, halibut, mackerel, salmon, sardines, snapper, and trout) are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two omega-3 fats that have been singled out for their powerful heart- and brain-protective properties.
Be sure to avoid all fried, salted and pickled fish, or fish packed in oil. Eat bass, tuna, swordfish, and shellfish infrequently as they contain high concentrations of pollutants such as heavy metals (particularly mercury) and PCBs.
But I have found that when we have excessive stress, we tend to either get caught in a rut or return to some old pattern that we had created earlier in life to self-sooth (food, shopping, crying, etc.) When the brain is too heavily focused on staying on task, it loses its ability to grow and stretch to allow for new memories that come from new learning and experiences. When you have "too much on your mind," the stress you may be feeling is your brain chemicals fighting for the chance to grow and remember.
As we age, our hormone levels decrease. But when our hormone levels get too low (which stress contributes to), aging accelerates, and our bodies can function as though they're far older than our chronological age. I refer to these hormonal changes as PAUSES - the concept being based on the idea of menopause. Because hormones regulate all of the systems in the body, this experience can be related to all organs and systems of both men and women. Pauses include Thyropause, Cardiopause, Adrenopause, Gastropause, Andropause, Osteopause, Dermopause, etc. (We'll discuss more on these Pauses in upcoming weeks.)
A person whose "PAUSES" begin sooner than they should is probably under great STRESS. When brain stress is high, hormonal imbalances start very early on.
What are some ways in which we can reduce our stress? It doesn't have to be a radical change. A one-hour nap, for example, is perfect for giving your brain a chance to restore its neurotransmitters naturally. And of course there's no lack of evidence about the efficacy of regular physical exertion in improving health. Meditation, chanting, and prayer have calming effects that allow the brain to slow down and resynchronize. Nurturing relationships also allows your brain to relax; but relationships fraught with stress and antagonism will eventually deplete your supply of neurotransmitters.
Call for an appointment to assess your brain chemistry and hormonal health. We can determine which part of you is aging quicker than others and help you to become balanced and return to health. You're only as Young as your Oldest Part.
circulation, and prevent and fight colds and viruses. Garlic reduces heart attack risk, improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, eliminates intestinal parasites, stimulates the immune system, and so much more.
Some herbs, such as basil, lemon balm, sage, and mint can help improve your brain speed as they stimulate acetylcholine receptors. So, go ahead and boost your brain speed and overall health. It's as simple as sprinkling herbs on every meal of the day.
Whatever your deficiencies may be, there’s one supplement that I highly recommend to become smarter. It’s the antioxidant resveratrol. This compound is naturally found in red wine and grape skins. Alcohol in general increases GABA levels, which make you feel more relaxed; and the consumption of red wine is linked to decreased heart disease.
Red wines also contain many polyphenols, which are the most abundant antioxidants in our food chain. They’re the ones responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors – specifically quercetin and catechins, which are linked to the prevention of heart attacks, cancer, and strokes.
Red wine is also a great source of the polyphenal resveratrol, which is considered to be in a class of polyphenols called sirtuin gene activators. These have been found to help directly repair genes and make them more resistant to change, thereby increasing human longevity by decreasing cellular death. These “super repair genes” are thought to slow down the aging process because they trick the body into a natural response similar to what occurs during calorie restriction.
When you restrict your calories, the body learns to modify its processes and becomes more efficient because it doesn’t have any resources to waste. A new chemical pathway called the sirtuin pathway is activated, which instructs the body to use less energy in all its functions. The result is that on the cellular level, the body produces less toxicity, and individual cells actually live longer.
Resveratrol is able to turn on the sirtuin pathway without calorie restriction, so that the brain and body can continue to operate at a rate that is best suited for optimal brain health (a vibrant brain needs more energy – not less). Better still, because they literally slow down aging, they reduce obesity and increase muscle mass; help protect the body from infection, inflammation, and cancer; and protect the heart and brain.
However, the amount of resveratrol found in red wine is relatively small. Because I can’t recommend more than two glasses, I would recommend a high quality resveratrol supplement (100 – 500 milligrams per day range) so that you have the benefits of red wine without the alcohol, or the calories.
Are you overweight? One way you can determine whether you need to lose weight is by identifying your leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone secreted by the body’s fat cells. Its receptor is found in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls your hunger and body weight. The discovery of this hormone has led to a greater understanding of how fat cells are formed and how we respond to hunger. These fat cells are no longer viewed as a part of tissue that merely stores excess calories. Instead, we now know that they are dynamic cells that work with the endocrine system to produce hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.
Each fat cell has an internal sensor that demands food. As more fat enters the fat cell, that cell secretes leptin in response. The secretion of the leptin hormone signals your brain, “telling” you that you’ve achieved satiety: the feeling you get when you’ve eaten enough. The more leptin that’s present, the stronger the signal to your brain, and the less hungry you feel. However, if there is leptin overload, which often occurs when you are overweight, or if the signal doesn’t get received, your brain won’t transmit the message to stop eating. Unfortunately, the consequence is that you will continue to eat past the point of satiety, which leads to the accumulation of body fat. It becomes a vicious cycle then as, subsequently, more fat cells also accumulate and their food requirements need to be met.
As we age, our bodies can become resistant to the leptin message. This happens because the heavier you get, the more resistant you become to the leptin you produce, resulting in a weaker signal to your brain. A low leptin signal then sets off a cascade of brain chemical reactions, particularly in relation to metabolism. For example, when leptin is released, dopamine (a main brain chemical) production also increases, that enables you to be able to burn off the foods you eat instead of storing them as fat cells. However, without the leptin message, metabolism falls as well.
High leptin levels are correlated with obesity, while moderate to low leptin levels are associated with better fitness. However, extremely low leptin levels may be associated with other hormonal loss. For example, increased levels of the hormone cortisol also lead to increased leptin resistance, which contributes to even more weight gain. Also, low leptin levels lead to lower levels of estrogen and progesterone for women, which signal menopause; and for men, testosterone, which signal male menopause.
Your leptin level can be determined by a simple blood test. Call to make an appointment today to have a full body check-up and to learn more about nutrients and diet that positively affect leptin and other hormonal imbalances. You’re Only as Young as Your Oldest Part.
We look at your brain set, because the brain, as the head of the body is the major factor in every major illness.
We then look at your ENTIRE body because everything is connected in the body. Treating a symptom in one organ or one area the body is like trying to bail our water from your boat without plugging the hole that is causing the leak. We treat the systems, the cause, and the entire body.
We start with the brain, as the head of the body. We give all out patients a detailed questionnaire to understand all aspects of their life. Some people don't realize that our addressing one area you may think has NOTHING to do what why you come to visit us, may actually resolve you issue. We are all connected, inside our bodies.
Yes, there is a role for nutrition, hormones, diet, and conventional medicine at PATH Medical.
We want to help you break the aging code and E-X-T-E-ND your life. You can live longer and have a high quality of life!
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Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.