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How to Detox Your Brain

In today’s post I want to talk to you about your brain and toxicity. This is a really important topic. 

It’s a huge epidemic out there, with people having issues with cognition, short term memory loss, brain fog, migraines/headaches and just feeling off. 

Our brain is an incredible machine, just an unbelievable instrument, if you have gotten a chance to study it, like I have. It is unreal. And we only know about 1% about what the brain really does, but I can tell you this much: the toxins that you accumulate just from being human can really impact brain health.

So how do you detox from toxins? 

The detoxification process of the brain is unlike other organs, it’s going to be more specialized and take a little bit more effort. I’ll give you one example, the liver- it goes through many different steps of detoxification. Let’s say for example, protein, your liver will actually conjugate toxins using protein, amino acids, and get rid of them out of your body. It does that every day, every minute, while we’re alive. You could also consume something like lemon water with a little pinch of salt, first thing in the morning, that helps cleanse your liver. That’s an example of how simple we can make liver detoxification. In the brain, it’s not so easy. 

The brain is not a metabolic organ, what does that mean? The more you use a muscle, for example, or something like the liver, when you use it, it’s going to increase blood flow to that, and we’re going to be able to do more metabolic work inside an organ or that piece of muscle tissue. The brain isn’t like that. The more you use the brain, it just actually gets more depleted of oxygen and glucose and things it needs. That’s one reason that scientists think we need to sleep actually, our brain needs recovery and it has to just completely shut off. That’s what a lot of our sleep actually is, our brain recovering, because throughout the day, it does not get a break. 

So how do we detox the brain? Well, the best way to detox the brain is actually to detox the body. Why? Because where does the blood supply to the brain come from? The rest of the body. Whatever toxins you have floating around in your body, they’re not being filtered by a healthy liver, kidneys, guess where they go? A lot of them go to the brain. You do have something called the blood brain barrier to help protect us from a lot of different elements but still the brain has to get blood at some point and the stuff in our blood will eventually make it in there and certain organisms are really good at getting into the brain.

Another thing that gets in the brain quite easily, I would say, is heavy metals. So a lot of what you’re dealing with around brain fog and those types of things are heavy metals. That’s an entirely different blog post, but basically you have to work with someone on how to cleanse and detox heavy metals, that will tremendously help your brain. 

One of the easiest things you can do right now is increase fiber, fiber doesn’t go to your brain. But what it helps you do is as your body circulates your blood, it will go through our bowel down there and fiber will help, slowly over time, it can take months, but it will start to actually bind some of the heavy metals and remove them from your body, literature is pretty clear on that. Just increasing fiber reduces heavy metal load even if they are very toxic heavy metals. 

Okay, so that’s one big thing you can do. You can also stay hydrated, making sure we have sufficient levels of water in our blood helps our brain work better. It helps it get rid of toxins a little bit faster. Another big one is breathing. In order to get oxygen to the brain, it actually has to take it from muscles, it has to steal it from muscles especially while we sleep. So when you exercise, you increase your respiration rate, your breathing rate, and you end up storing extra oxygen in your muscles and then at night that extra oxygen is actually used to re-establish brain health.  It really helps recover the brain from all it did all day. 

Another important one is the omega-3 fatty acids, huge for brain health. There is this little guy called lipopolysaccharide that increases with a low omega-3 diet. So I encourage you to consume a lot of omega-3 foods like grass fed meats, venison and wild game. Eggs if you’re not a big meat eater. I think that’s really important. If not you will need to supplement and we need to be careful about supplementation. I will speak to that in another blog post, look for that. 

There are also some other targeted supplements you can take. I’m not going to name those. I don’t like doing that. You’re a unique person. You need to work with the practitioner to find out what you need. But again brain detoxification goes as whole body detoxification goes, so I encourage you to work with someone to work on kidney detox, liver detox, you know if you have problems with heavy metals, parasites, if you’re having issues like that or deficiencies of nutrients. Magnesium is a big one. You really need to identify those specifically in your individual case and find out what you can do to improve those. 

Hopefully that’s been helpful for you as far as detoxing your brain, take care!

Dr. Jason

Naturopathic doctor in Lansing, MI

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