Maintaining memory during ageing

Ageing is a natural part of life, and as just as your body ages, so does your brain. Maintaining memory during ageing is an important factor in being able to maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle.
Your nervous system
Your brain is like a ‘master control panel’, controlling all your conscious and unconscious bodily functions through your central and peripheral nervous systems. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves that lead out of the spinal cord and into the rest of the body. Neurons or nerve cells carry signals or nerve cell impulses rapidly around the body to control these activities.
Energy for your brain
The brain is one of the most ‘energy hungry’ organs in your body and is energised by glucose and oxygen, delivered by blood cells through your circulatory system. Unlike muscles, your brain cannot store glucose as glycogen, so it needs a constant supply of glucose to work effectively. Brain cells also need an uninterrupted flow of oxygen to allow the brain to function properly.
The ageing brain
The weight of your brain decreases with age due to the loss of neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Nerve cell impulses begin to slow, leading to decreased cellular communication and circulation may be compromised, decreasing the amount of glucose and oxygen delivered to the brain.

4 herbs and nutrients to help maintain memory during ageing:
1. Ginkgo biloba – helps maintain blood flow to the brain, so assists in the maintenance of cognitive function, memory, focus and concentration for study and during ageing, providing antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity.
2. Brahmi – is a brain and nervine tonic of Ayurvedic medicine, traditionally used to improve memory, concentration and learning, supporting cognitive function and memory during ageing. Brahmi contains an active ingredient known as bacoside A, which assists in the release of nitric oxide, allowing the relaxation of blood vessels to enable smooth blood flow throughout the body. This offers a positive effect on learning and memory recall. Brahmi also improves stress adaptation, so is beneficial during periods of stress.
3. Alpha Lipoic acid(ALA) – is a potent water and fat soluble antioxidant and free radical scavenger that’s able to cross the blood-brain barrier. ALA helps maintain nerve health, assists glucose metabolism and is involved in the uptake of glucose into cells.
4. Lecithin – or phosphatidylserine, is the major phospholipid in the brain and is important for cellular communication, which helps improve the transfer of signals between brain cells.

4 Foods to help maintain a healthy brain
1. Blueberries. help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may help to reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
2. Wild salmon. rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances.
3. Nuts and seeds. are good sources of vitamin E – higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older.
4. Avocados improve blood supply and oxygenation to your brain, they contain high quantities of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which help keep your brain cell membranes flexible.
Avocado oil has been shown to help lower blood pressure, and as hypertension is a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities, a lower blood pressure should promote brain health.

Nutrients during pregnancy – Vitamins for Women

Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life as she watches the way her body changes and grows to accommodate her unborn baby.

Pregnancy fitness and health

How exciting – you’re pregnant! There’s never been a better time to look after yourself, so you can really sit back and enjoy your pregnancy while making plans to welcome your new baby.

Physical activity

Keeping physically fit and active during pregnancy offers many health benefits, such as improving physical and mental wellbeing while helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Nutritional support

During pregnancy your dietary requirements increase to support your health, and that of your developing baby. Eating a wide variety of unprocessed foods is a good place to start and taking a specialised pregnancy multivitamin provides a broad-spectrum of important nutrients. In theory, a healthy nutritious diet should provide you with all the nutrients you need while pregnant, but there are some vitamins and minerals that are especially important during pregnancy:

Folic acid & vitamin B12

Folic acid, if taken daily for one month before conception and during pregnancy, may reduce the risk of women having a child with birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for DNA replication, cell division and growth, and are necessary to produce red blood cells and to maintain normal blood in healthy individuals.

Iodine

Dietary iodine deficiency is re-emerging as a significant problem and recent research has identified Australian pregnant women to be at risk. Iodine requirements are increased during pregnancy and adequate maternal iodine levels are important for healthy brain development. To meet the increased demands of pregnancy, it is recommended that iodine supplementation be taken prior to trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Choline

Choline plays a key role in foetal development and is required for the healthy development of the brain and nervous system during pregnancy.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish oil provides a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy may be beneficial to both mother and development of the baby. DHA in particular is important during pregnancy for healthy brain, eye and vision development.

Birth preparation with Raspberry leaf

Raspberry leaf has been traditionally used as a women’s tonic and is taken during the third trimester of pregnancy to prepare the uterus for labour and to facilitate childbirth.

Eating Well For Busy Mums

Are you feeling tired, stressed and lacking in energy?

If you are a working mum, we know that combining this with raising a family can be challenging; cleaning the house, making lunches, dinner and snacks, driving kids to school and after school commitments, doing the laundry, shopping for the household and then trying to deliver on all your work commitments can leave you feeling pretty exhausted and drained! If this sounds like you then try these tips for hardworking mums:
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