Tuesday, 12 February 2019

How to Stop Suffering from Chemo Brain

Even years after chemotherapy is over, many people report suffering from memory issues, cognitive impairment and other effects often called “chemo brain.” It is well known that chemotherapy can cause brain effects for those who have undergone treatment with the chemicals used in this cancer treatment.
Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine in California published research in the medical journal Cell and found that the commonly-used chemotherapy drug known as methotrexate affects cells in the brain’s white matter. While it may be hard to completely undo all of the damaging effects of chemotherapy, it is possible to maximize your brain health protection and improve memory using foods, herbs and lifestyle interventions, which include:


These delicious miniature fruits are brain-healing powerhouses that work to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain. They contain a group of plant nutrients called flavonoids that protect the brain against free radical damage, making them ideal to help restore brain health after chemotherapy. 


Walnuts offer numerous brain health benefits. They are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that help protect the fatty portion of the brain and quell brain inflammation, too. Additionally, research in The Journal of Nutrition found that walnuts are high in antioxidants that destroy free radicals that damage the brain. Omega 3s also reduce brain inflammation, improve signals between brain cells, and increase the generation of brain and nerve cells. Choose raw, unsalted walnuts found in the refrigerator section of their health food store.


According to researchers at the University of California, people who walk more than 4000 steps daily had thicker hippocampi than those who walked less, as well as better attention, speedier information processing and better working memory to help make spontaneous decisions. Their research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,showcases the brain- and memory-boosting effects of pounding the pavement, going for a long hike or hitting the treadmill on a daily basis.


Research shows that excessive sodium consumption can be damaging to your brain and memory. A study published in Nature Neuroscience found excessive salt consumption affects healthy blood flow to the brain and causes an increased risk of cognitive impairment, dementia and cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke.​ Season your food with herbs, lemon juice and other sodium-free seasonings.


The yellow-colored compound found in the curry ingredient turmeric, known as curcumin, offers more than delicious taste. It is a well-established brain-healer and memory booster. In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology researchers found that in just one hour after taking curcumin supplements, study participants showed significant performance improvement on memory and attention tasks compared to the placebo group. Ideally choose a standardized extract of curcumin. I usually recommend 400 mg of curcumin three times daily for people suffering from brain disorders. Consult your physician prior to taking any supplements if you’re suffering from any health condition or undergoing chemotherapy.


Eating more fiber can actually slow the rate at which the brain ages, reduce the risk of brain disease, and therefore help protect your memory. A study published in the medical journal Frontiers in Immunology found that eating more fiber can alleviate brain inflammation. Inflammation in the brain has been linked with memory impairment, aging and brain diseases. Beans are excellent sources of fiber. They vary in exact amounts but 1 cup of cooked chickpeas has about 12 grams, black beans have 15 grams, kidney beans and lentils have 16 grams, adzuki beans have 17 grams, and navy beans come out on top with a whopping 19 grams of fiber per cup of cooked beans. Strive for 35 grams of fiber daily. You may need to build up to that amount to avoid abdominal discomfort or gas.

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