Brain farts or something else? Telltale signs of inflammation in the brain, and 4 foods to fight it

Inflammation is known to play a role in the development of a lot of ailments and long-term health conditions — and the brain is not immune to it. Inflammation in the brain, whether acute or chronic, can cause serious health problems. Because brain inflammation is a silent killer, you must be aware of its telltale signs. You may have inflammation in the brain if you experience one or more of the following:

  • Slow mental processing or a foggy feeling in the brain;
  • Over fatigue or constantly needing caffeine to feel awake;
  • Inability to focus or a short attention span; or
  • Strong reactions to environmental allergens or toxins, such as artificial perfume, secondhand smoke, pollution, or other chemical smells.

Furthermore, chronic inflammation in the brain is also associated with one or more other health conditions. These include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes
  • Mood disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Schizophrenia

Meanwhile, the exact cause of brain inflammation or encephalitis remains unknown. However, it is most commonly associated with a viral infection. The common viruses that can cause brain inflammation include herpes simplex virus, enteroviruses, mosquito-borne viruses, tick-borne viruses, rabies virus, and childhood infections. In addition, bacterial infections and noninfectious inflammatory conditions can also cause brain inflammation. This condition can occur in anyone, but an increased risk can be seen in young children and older adults and people with HIV/AIDS or those with a weakened immune system. The possibility of developing the condition also depend on geographical regions and season of the year.

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Four foods to fight brain inflammation

Fortunately, inflammation in the brain can be prevented with four foods by nourishing the brain and reducing inflammation. (Related: Pomegranates reduce brain inflammation, helping protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and neurological disease.)

  1. Grass-fed butter – Grass-fed butter is a type of butter that is rich in fats and butyric acid — a nutrient that can help to decrease glucose and reverse inflammatory damage from high levels. However, you must be careful when selecting butter. Make sure that it is grass-fed and of high quality because conventional butter does not have the same fatty acid contents.
  2. AvocadoAvocado is a known superfood because it is not only rich in healthy fats, but also in various vitamins and minerals. It has monounsaturated fats that can help restrain and balance oxidized cholesterol, which is an inflammatory marker that can be linked with brain inflammation and other health risks such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Coconut oil Coconut oil is another superfood that contains medium chain fatty acid that can be transformed by the liver into ketones for fuel. Consuming coconut oil can be beneficial to the brain as it can lessen inflammation. Moreover, it can help lower insulin and reduce body fat as well as aid in weight loss.
  4. SalmonSalmon has the greatest levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to other fish varieties. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, the consumption of high quality salmon and other fatty fish can slow down cognitive decline and decrease the signs of aging. In turn, these can make or keep the brain healthy.

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A Tale of Two Brains: How Your Second Brain Is Key To Understanding Many Chronic Illnesses

A Tale of Two Brains: How Your Second Brain Is Key To Understanding Many Chronic Illnesses

Not many people realize they have two brains. Yes, you read that right. And your second brain may have more to do with your health that you ever imagined.

We tend to think of our brain as the command center from which all physiological functions stem. But there is another intelligence in your body that you may not realize… and its importance to your health may be the key you’re looking for when searching for the cause of chronic illness and even mental health issues. (more…)

Gluten attacks the brain and damages the nervous system

Some people are literally stumbling through life thinking they are a klutz when really gluten is to blame. Before gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomach appear, neurological damage may already be done, according to the Center for Peripheral Neuropathy. The Gluten Free Society calls gluten a “potential neurotoxin.” Gluten damage may cause everything from unexplained dizziness to numbness in the hands and feet. (more…)

Magnesium improves brain plasticity to ease anxiety and boost cognition

Magnesium is an essential mineral required to perform more than 300 critical biochemical enzymatic reactions within the human body. Optimal circulating magnesium levels are well known to promote cardiovascular health. Emerging evidence published in The Journal of Neuroscience explains the importance of this mineral to promote proper electrical and neurotransmitter function in the brain. (more…)

Choline on your mind

Some nutrients, like vitamin D, always seem to be making headlines — while others, you just never hear about.

Take choline, for example.

When was the last time you heard about that one? Possibly never — but you might want to add it to your vocabulary, because this B vitamin found in egg yolks, liver, and chicken may have the power to protect your brain and keep dementia at bay. (more…)

New evidence chemotherapy for breast cancer causes brain damage

Primary breast cancer (meaning a breast malignancy that hasn’t spread to other parts of the body) isn’t usually thought of as causing neurological problems. After all, if cancer hasn’t spread to the brain, why would it? Researchers have been forced to wonder about the answer to that question because a growing body of evidence over the past several years strongly suggests that women with breast cancer are at increased risk for not only problems with brain function but with actual alterations in their brain structure, too. (more…)

Milk thistle provides a protective shield to the liver, heart and brain

The liver is one of the most critical organs essential to human health. It serves more than 300 functions in the body to detoxify against chemical and environmental intrusions, and it promotes metabolic function as well. Silymarin is commonly known as milk thistle, and new science is emerging to validate the healing potential of this powerful plant. Publishing in the journal Hepatitis Monthly, researchers provide solid evidence that natural milk thistle extracts can halt and even reverse the effects of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an affliction affecting as much as a third of the adult population. Supplementation with milk thistle will dramatically lower the risks associated with fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis and cognitive dysfunction. (more…)

Beets boost brain blood

Beets boost brain bloodAn article published online on October 15, 2010 in the Nitric Oxide Society journal Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry reveals that foods that contain nitrates, such as beets and leafy green vegetables, improve blood flow to the brain, which could help maintain cognitive function. Nitrates convert to nitrite in the body, which helps dilate blood vessels, thereby increasing the flow of blood and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. (more…)

How to Recover from a Concussion – Athletes Take Note

New, advanced brain imaging shows that the thalamus region of the brain is significantly disturbed by a concussion, potentially resulting in excessive formation of abnormal circuits in the thalamus. Subsequently, this may alter perception, memory, mood, sleep, and coordination. In this article, I offer my theory that these alterations are driven by excitotoxic damage caused by excessive substance P and can be prevented by both reducing substance P and boosting BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). Both of these results can be achieved with good nutrition and exercise, offering the first science-based strategy, of which I am aware, to actually fix the adverse effects of concussion. (more…)