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
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.
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.
Traumatic Brain Injury Linked to Premature Death
An important study has identified that a proportion of TBI patients will have a premature death, primarily associated with injuries, assaults, and suicide.JAMA Psychiatry, January 2014
Head Trauma Extends to the Soccer Field and Contact Sports
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head, is more commonly found in young former soccer players, the strongest indication yet that the condition is not limited to athletes who played sports known for violent collisions, like football and boxing. New York Times, Boston University School of Medicine, February 2014
Physical Therapy is Beneficial in Knee Osteoarthritis
Several randomized studies have suggested that thrice-weekly exercise focused on quadriceps strengthening is a useful adjunct for osteoarthritis patients. NEJM Journal Watch, April 2014
Randomized controlled studies have shown that calcium supplementation significantly reduced the risk of hip fracture and breast cancer, with no significant associations observed in the risk of cardiovascular events. Family Practice News, April 2014
Coffee Can Reduce Weight
Studies have shown that caffeine, with the release of excitatory neurotransmitters and the increase of energy expenditure, has been associated with reduced body mass index. Family Practice News, Mayo Clinic, April 2014
Diet Drinks Linked to Cardiovascular Events in Women
Drinking two or more diet drinks a day was associated with a 29% increased risk of an incidental cardiovascular event and a 26% increased risk of all causes of death in an observational study of over 60,000 postmenopausal American women. Medscape, March 2014
Linked to Low Testosterone: Heart Disease, Diabetes Type II, & Metabolic Syndrome
Recent studies suggest that low testosterone levels have been associated with increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome, and increased mortality.The American Society of Anti-Aging Medicine
More on the Danger of a Low Testosterone Level
Low testosterone in men is associated with excess abdominal fat, loss of insulin sensitivity, atherosclerosis and increased incidence of cardiovascular disease; this study found that men treated with testosterone showed across the broad improvements as indicated by reduced blood pressure, LDL, triglycerides, glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and C-reactive protein, reduced measures of liver damage, and increased HDL. Life Extension, May 2014
Non-Pharmacologic Therapies Can Improve Functioning for Chronic Pain Patients
The non-pharmacological therapies used for chronic pain include psychotherapies as cognitive-behavioral therapy; hypnosis; biofeedback; relaxation techniques; family and group psychotherapy; physical therapy, such as exercise therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; occupational therapy; and acupuncture. Consultant 360, April
Lower Vitamin D Levels Linked with Depression
Besides its classical function of bone metabolism regulation, randomized control trials have shown hypovitaminosis D is associated with depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, November 20013
Spironolactone for Heart Failure Does Not Improve Clinical Outcome
In patients with heart failure and a preserved ejection fraction, treatment with spironolactone did not significantly reduce the incidence of the primary composite outcome of death from cardiovascular causes, aborted cardiac arrest, or hospitalization.The New England Journal of Medicine, April 2014
Beneficial Actions of Pregnenolone in Cognitive Functions, Depression and Anxiety
Pregnenolone, considered neuro-protective, enhances cognitive functions; low levels have been correlated to depression and anxiety, as well as fatigue and decreased energy. The Original Internist, March 2014
Higher Vitamin C Levels Linked to Lower Risk of Hemorrhagic Stroke
Vitamin C depletion (<38micromoles/l) is associated with cardiovascular diseases and could increase intra-cerebral hemorrhage risk, according to American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting. Life Extension, May 2014
Ultrasound Point-of-Care in Medical Education
Clinical studies have shown that ultrasound can be superior to physical exam as a diagnostic tool.The New England Journal of Medicine, March 2014
Cinnamon Helps Liver Disease
Cinnamon improves liver enzymes and other factors in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It also reduces glucose, total cholesterol, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein, according to Nutrition Research journal. Life Extension, May 2014
Phospholipids Associated with Memory Decline
Study analyses have shown that plasma phospholipids identify antecedent memory impairment, or preclinical Alzheimer disease in older adults.Nature Medicine, 2014
There is no better time than the holiday season to start work on a better you, and there is no better way to start that than the way most of us came into the world: head first.
When you start losing your edge…when fatigue or addiction sets in…when memory starts to slip…when anxiety takes over…when sleep becomes elusive, brain chemistry is the issue. When you cannot get started on a program of healthy eating, or you cannot stick to a weight-loss diet, or you cannot start or maintain an exercise program, the explanation usually is your brain wasn’t enlisted to help. If you want to live longer and live better, use your head.
Over four decades of research and clinical practice, Eric R. Braverman, M.D. has associated deficiencies in four primary neurotransmitters (brain chemicals)—Dopamine, Acetylcholine, GABA, Serotonin—to specific diseases and the general slowing down related to aging. The good news from Dr. Braverman is you can avoid, slow, reverse, or even cure medical conditions with natural approaches—diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements—as shown in the table below*:
The difference between a healthy, full-functioning brain and one afflicted by cognitive loss and dementia is only one-tenth of one second.
You read that right—if your brain loses the processing speed equivalent to an eye blink, it will no longer be able to access its memory banks. Furthermore, brain science tells us the average person loses a tenth of that tenth—or one-hundredth of a second—every decade starting at around thirty years of age. This is why we are seeubg more and more Alzheimer’s victims, and why we will have an epidemic on our hands when the entire longer-living Baby Boomer generation hits old age.
The good news is you can do something about it no matter how old you are. There are interventions ranging from lifestyle and supplements, to CES (Cranial Electrical Stimulation), and to hormone therapies and prescription medications, which depend upon age and the degree of brain speed loss.
The even better news is there is a simple twenty-minute test—P300 brainwave assessment—that can tell you what your brain speed is and what you have to do right now to halt or reverse its decline.
The best news of all is that PATH Medical is offering a P300 test special for the entire month of November. The clock is ticking; use your head and schedule the test that can ensure you have all your faculties when you get to a ripe old age.
Appointment dates and times for this timely special are restricted, so call Susan for available slots and information about fees and insurance reimbursements: 888.304.PATH (7284)
Insomnia isn’t just a matter of being tired and catching up on sleep somewhere down the road. It’s a critical health issue that impacts health globally because without proper sleep, the brain and body do not have adequate opportunity for restoration/rejuvenation. And reversing insomnia and getting 7-8 hours of proper sleep every night isn’t just a matter of a warm glass of milk before bedtime or swallowing an over-the-counter sleep aid.
Every case of sleeplessness has to be carefully evaluated, and treatments must be tailored using multiple modalities:
Total dark room; 68° temperature; soft sheets; pillow that supports both neck and head;
Regular exercise (preferably in the morning); regular stretching (both sitting and standing); meditation; chamomile tea; hot baths prior to bedtime; brainwave modulation using the Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES) device;
Melatonin; Inositol; Valerian Root; Tryptophan;
Adenosine; Aldosterone; Leptin; Pregnenelone.
The comprehensive four-to-five-hour initial visit at PATH Medical will get to the bottom of any sleep problem and identify the most effective combination of treatments.
Call 888.304.7284 to schedule the checkup that will get you on the path to total health.
It’s your life. Extend it.
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.