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You’ve Got A Powerful Tool Inside Your Head - Nurture It And Use It!
It may be just a lump of fat. But that lump of fat sitting inside your skull is the most powerful tool you have to create the life of your dreams.
People do amazing things with brain power . . .
We’ve sent men to the moon . . . we’ve crossed cultural divides and created connections where none existed before.
We’ve run marathons . . . we’ve raised children to become capable adults . . .
Some of us have used the power of the mind to survive experiences most of us couldn’t fathom getting through . . .
Viktor Frankl who survived the horrors of concentration camps attributed the power of his mind to helping him survive. In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Frankl describes how he used his love for his wife, his imagination and his sense of self to carve out a way to live despite the dehumanizing world of the camp.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing- the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Frankl is not alone. People throughout history, around the world have used their mind to overcome tremendous obstacles, to survive as well as to create opportunities and thrive.
By extension, we can also use this powerful tool under comparatively normal circumstances to build the life we want.
Whether it’s health . . . good relationships . . . financial security . . . or self-realization . . . Your brain can help you bring these treasures into your life.
Unfortunately, too often we overlook the power of our mind in shaping our reality. We accept that our lives are out of our control. We concede that our environment has more power than we do.
Even worse, we accept that our mind cannot change, grow and strengthen.
Particularly as we age, we assume our brains will deteriorate, or at the very least, stay static- locked in place for the rest of our lives. The father of neuroscience, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, once stated that adult brains are fixed and immutable. He and much of the scientific community held that after a certain point, our body no longer made new neurons.1
But the truth is your mind can still grow and change.
Each of us has potentially more brain power than we think.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden demonstrated that the average adult hippocampus (the region of the brain responsible for emotions, memory and the autonomic nervous system) generates about 700 new neurons each day!2
Adult brains have remarkable ability to shift and change to meet new challenges. But we also can do specific things to help our brain do this.
Two landmark studies show that not only can your brain grow . . . Your brain may actually change its structure depending on how you use it!
New Brain Growth in Taxi Drivers
The first study involving London taxi drivers demonstrated how your brain can change physically . . .
To become a cab driver in London, you have to memorize the location of 25,000 streets and thousands of points of interest. Mastering this information can take as much as 4 years.
Researchers took images of the cab drivers’ brains before they started learning the streets and over time as they mastered this knowledge.
Interestingly enough, their brains grew in the posterior hippocampus where we process information. And their brains shrunk in the anterior hippocampus. The anterior hippocampus is harder to describe in function, but seems to be more connected to imagination, emotions and stress.3
Functionally speaking, these cab drivers scored above the general population when it came to recalling London geography. But they actually scored lower than average when it came to other visual perception tests. As this study demonstrated, the brain shifts resources among parts of the brain based on the demands we put on it.
A Fundamental Change In Brain Activity With Adult Literacy Students
The second study showed how the adult brain can change its activities fundamentally as we learn . . .
In India, researchers looked at the brains of illiterate women who were learning to read. As the students learned to read, coordination between certain parts of the brain increased significantly. Specifically, areas within the most primal parts of the brain –the brain stem and thalamus– shifted their activity to coordinate better with the visual cortex. This change seemed to help the brain filter visual information more effectively.
And the better these students became at reading, the more these parts of the brain synchronized their activity.4
As these groundbreaking studies clearly demonstrate, the adult brain can change in dramatic ways in response to new challenges in the environment.
In other words, your brain doesn’t stop developing at age 18. Science confirms that you can dramatically grow and shift your brain’s activities throughout life so you can do new things.
We “old dogs” can learn new tricks.
So now that we know you can do this. How do you do this?
Grow Your Brain By Learning
Taking a cue from the London cabbies and women in India–it’s simple: Learn something.
And to make it more effective – learn something difficult!
As adults, we learn what we need to learn to get through our regular day but then, we stop challenging ourselves. And no wonder! With the stress of work, family and everything else, the last thing we want to do is take on a new challenge.
But when we get too stuck in the “status quo” our brain sits back and stops growing too. It’s the old adage, use it or lose it.
Researchers at the University of Texas in Dallas have shown that by learning something new, older adults can maintain significantly more brain power.5
The study involved 200 seniors. The control group didn’t learn a new hobby. Instead they had fun doing familiar activities like crosswords, watching movies, or listening to the radio. Two additional groups learned a new hobby – either quilting or digital photography.
The researchers found that two groups who learned a new skill maintained significantly more brain power than the seniors who enjoyed more familiar past times.
Better yet, the seniors who took on a new hobby maintained the mental advantage for at least a year after learning the new skill. Researchers also discovered that the harder the new skill – like digital photography – the better the results when it came to brain power.
Neuroscientist, Dr. Denise Park, explains learning something new engages the entire brain as if the brain is a sports team or orchestra and everyone’s playing. When you learn something new, she points out, every player on the brain’s “team” or “orchestra” has to be involved and communicating.
In other words, every team member or musician gets to practice and hone their skill. So the whole brain becomes even more proficient as a result.
But if you think learning is one of the most powerful things you can do to engage and wake up your brain, you can take it to another level with a new physical skill . . .
Learning A New Sport Or How To Dance Keeps Your Brain Agile
While learning helps our brains, physical learning engages our brain at a whole other level. Learning to juggle, ski, dance, balance on a slack line . . . your brain has to respond in a multidimensional way that doesn’t necessarily get tapped into by other forms of learning.
Learning something that’s physically challenging seems to increase the myelination of our neurons in the motor cortex of the brain. The myelin sheath of nerve cells is a sheath of fat that coats the neuron. By insulating the neuron, these myelin sheaths protect them and also make them more efficient in communication.
Scientists used to think this process stopped with adulthood. But now it seems this may not be the case.6
When you combine learning a new physical skill with the advantages exercise in general brings to the brain – actually increasing brain volume – it’s easy to see why hang gliding might not be such a bad activity to try out!
Along with learning, nutrition also counts.
The Right Nutrition May Make You More Intelligent
Your brain is a hungry beast. Even though it’s only about 3% of your body weight, it eats up close to 20% of your total caloric intake and all the nutrients that come with this. But specific nutrients seem to have particular impact on your brain power.
Most recently scientists have looked to the special monounsaturated fats or MUFAs found in nuts, olive oil and avocados. These MUFAs can actually make you more intelligent. When volunteers in this study took a standardized intelligence test, the ones who had the highest levels of these oils in their bloodstream and diet did the best.
Now here’s the interesting part . . .
These oils didn’t necessarily make the brain bigger. They helped it work better . . .
General intelligence seems to be linked to how well a part of your brain called the dorsal attention network is organized. The dorsal attention network is responsible for attention-demanding tasks and everyday problem-solving. When it’s well-connected to different functional regions of the brain as well as the overall general brain structure, intelligence seems to go up.
It seems that people who have more of these special fats in their bloodstream have a dorsal attention network that is better connected and better organized.7 As a result, their intelligence went up!
So eat your avocados, nuts and olive oil and revel in the intelligence they nurture. Better yet, include your chlorella in the mix. It also has these special fats, omega-3 and omega-6, along with other brain nurturing nutrients like B12 and magnesium.
Now you know how to build your brain power – even as you get older – so you can continue to build the life you want.
But there’s one more thing . . . One thing you should stop doing to give your brain an edge . . .
Put Your Smartphone Away
It’s ironic that something with the word “smart” in it may be undermining our brain power. But dozens of studies are showing this may be the case.
From making us lazy when it comes to remembering things8 . . . to even developing addictions9 . . . our smartphones seem to be causing problems.10
And one recent study shows your phone may be sabotaging your mental performance even when you can’t see it!
In this study, volunteers were asked to leave their smartphone in another room. Or simply stow it nearby in a handbag or drawer.
Then the volunteers took various tests that assessed their ability to focus and remember information.
Without fail, the volunteers who had their smartphones nearby – even though they couldn’t see them – did worse on the tests than the volunteers who left their phones in the next room.
Concludes Dr. Adrian Ward, the lead author of the study, "Even when people are successful at maintaining sustained attention - as when avoiding the temptation to check their phones - the mere presence of these devices reduces available cognitive capability."
So don’t take your smartphone everywhere. Avoid the distraction!
Then, have a chlorella avocado smoothie, go outside and work on your hula hooping.
If you’re real quiet, you may even hear the crackling as your brain activates new communication channels, gets stronger and grows, so you can chart out the beautiful future you’ve been dreaming of.
How Eleuthero May Help Save Your Brain From Stress
Stress literally eats away at your brain
In an eye-opening study conducted at Yale University in 2012, researchers found that ordinarily healthy people lost grey matter, the portion of the brain consisting of neuronal cell bodies and unmyelinated axons, after going through a stressful event. More specifically, the loss occurred in parts of the medial prefrontal cortex which processes cognitive, emotional and behavioral functions1.
The frontal cortex, or lobe, is also involved in regulating blood pressure and glucose levels. Emily Ansell, Ph.D., assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University and a lead author in the study, points out that this development may make it harder for people to deal with future stressful events effectively. It may even put people at greater risk for heart disease or diabetes.2
Yet, while this revelation may make you feel somewhat hopeless if you’ve dealt with a stressful event like divorce, losing your home or getting fired, all is not lost . . .
The researchers also noted that it may depend on how people manage the stressful event that makes the difference.
One tool that may help is Eleuthero. Eleuthero has long been considered a powerful nutritional support for mental performance.
Thirty-five studies conducted in the 1960’s demonstrated consistently that this herb seems to help people perform better physically and mentally when under stress3.
• In one study, radiotelegraphers who used eleuthero increased their speed and accuracy in placing transmissions4.
• In another study on proofreaders, eleuthero seemed to help them concentrate better for longer periods of time. And again, accuracy was improved with eleuthero5.
Since then, eleuthero has consistently been shown to help strengthen mental performance.
But it doesn’t just stop there. Eleuthero also seems to help protect and preserveour brains particularly when we’re stressed.6
Researchers speculate that eleuthero’s anti-inflammatory properties may help stop neurons from dying when impacted by stress chemicals.
Researchers are still trying to figure out the mechanism by which eleuthero seems to protect our brains. But the results observed are exciting. One long-term study even found eleuthero can help recovery after direct injury to the brain.
In this study, when patients recovering from brain trauma were regularly supplemented with eleuthero, they seemed to recover more of their mental capacity and recover it faster7.
We’re still waiting for more answers on exactly how this exciting herb helps your brain. But some things are clear: Eleuthero may support stronger brain performance, particularly when you are stressed. Best of all, with centuries of use and over 60 years of study, eleuthero has a strong track record of safety.
1 Hathaway B. Even in the healthy, stress causes the brain to shrink, Yale study shows. Yale News viewed 9/20/17 at https://news.yale.edu/2012/01/09/even-healthy-stress-causes-brainshrink- yale-study-shows
2 Hathaway B.
3 Farnsworth N et al. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Current status as an adaptogen. In: Wagner H., Hikino H., Farnsworth N.R., editors. Economic and Medicinal Plant Research. Volume 1. Academic Press; London, UK: 1985. pp. 156–209
4 Halstead B. Eleutherococus Senticosus; Siberian Ginseng: An Introduction to the Concept of Adaptogenic Medicine. Oriental Healing Arts Institute, Taiwan: 1984. P. 56
5 Halstead, P. 56
6 Lee D et al. Neuroprotective effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus bark on transient global cerebral ischemia in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 6;139(1):6-11. doi: 10.1016/j. jep.2011.05.024. Epub 2011 May 27.
7 Wynn SG et al. Veterinary Herbal Medicine. 2007
Sun Chlorella Is Invited To Join The Gentle 12
It’s not easy to find products you feel good about and are good for you. You can cruise the Whole Foods aisles . . . you can read reviews online . . .
But when it comes down to it, the best source is someone you trust.
That’s why we’re so honored to be recommended by The Gentle Barn, an organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating animals, as well as helping at-risk children.
For good reason, people trust The Gentle Barn.
Founders Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner pour their hearts into this haven and have created a place where you can feel the love, compassion and determination to do things right.
They are unwavering in trying to live and create a world that cares for animals, people and the environment.
So when Sun Chlorella USA was included in The Gentle 12, a group of 12 corporate sponsors to be showcased at The Gentle Barn, we took that as perhaps one of the best stamps of approval you can get.
Each month a different corporate sponsor is featured at The Gentle Barn. And in April it was our turn. Every weekend that month, Sun Chlorella staff hosted a booth at The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, California. We handed out information and samples to The Gentle Barn visitors.
Teresita Sanchez, from Accounting at Sun Chlorella USA, helped host the Sun Chlorella booth. She loved that Sun Chlorella was part of such a good cause. It was also a learning experience for Teresita. “What was interesting to me is that all the food that was sold by the Gentle Barn was pure vegan” said Teresita. “It was my first time having a vegan hotdog and I must say, it was delicious.”
“It was also fun getting to meet all the farm animals and learn their stories. It was in a beautiful setting, really fresh and lots of trees, people were exceptionally nice as well.”
Aiko Jin from Brand Communications at Sun Chlorella USA, also helped out.
“Not only is it a wonderful experience to connect with the animals there,” reflected Aiko.
“It’s also a great opportunity to get connected with good-for-you, natural, and cruelty-free products that you can trust.”
Aiko reports that hundreds of people came through The Gentle Barn’s gates while she was there, including several celebrities.
Ultimately, Aiko concludes, “This event is a great way to connect with our community because we are always looking for ways to raise awareness about chlorella and health. It has also helped us build a stronger bond within the company, bringing us all together.”
Would you like to visit or support
The Gentle Barn?
There’s now a Gentle Barn in Tennessee and Missouri along with the original California location.
You can find out more at GentleBarn.org
Keep Your Brain Performing At Its Best! Save Up To 30% On Organic Sun Eleuthero!
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1. Eberhard Fuchs and Gabriele Flügge, “Adult Neuroplasticity: More Than 40 Years of Research,” Neural Plasticity, vol. 2014, Article ID 541870, 10 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/541870
2. K. L. Spalding, O. Bergmann, K. Alkass et al., “Dynamics of hippocampal neurogenesis in adult humans,” Cell, vol. 153, pp. 1219–1227, 2013. View at Google Scholar
3. Katherine Woollett, Eleanor A. Maguire. Acquiring “the Knowledge” of London's Layout Drives Structural Brain Changes. Current Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.11.018
4. Skeide, M., Kumar, M., Mishra, R. K., Tripathi, V.N., Guleria, A., Singh, J.P., Eisner, F., & Huettig, F. Learning to read alters cortico-subcortical cross-talk in the visual system of illiterates. Science Advances. Science Advances, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602612
5. Silverman L. Learning A New Skill Works Best To Keep Your Brain Sharp. NPR website. May 5 2014
6. Reynolds G. Learning A New Sport May Be Good For the Brain. New York Times blog. March 2, 2016
7. Marta K. Zamroziewicz, M. Tanveer Talukdar, Chris E. Zwilling, Aron K. Barbey. Nutritional status, brain network organization, and general intelligence. NeuroImage, 2017; 161: 241 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.08.043
8. Fisher A. Is Your Smartphone Wrecking Your Memory. Fortune Magazine. July 21 2015.
9. Archer D. Smartphone Addiction. Psychology Today. July 25, 2013.
10. McGoogan C. Just Looking At Our Smartphones Makes Us Less Intelligent Study Finds. Telegraph. June 27, 2017.