Strategies to get even smarter!
A recently identified condition is making millions of women foggy, forgetful and fatigued. Steven Masley, M.D., reveals the simple strategies that outsmart it
When “Where did I leave my keys?” moments become more common, it’s easy to chalk it up to aging. But research has led to a new understanding of why brain function falters: Like diabetes, mental decline is caused by problems with blood sugar and insulin. This link led scientists to coin a new condition: type 3 diabetes. “Blood-sugar control is essential to brain health,” says Steven Masley, M.D., author of The Better Brain Solution. “When brain cells become insulin resistant, they can’t convert glucose into fuel for the brain, causing a cascade of problems like fatigue and fog.” Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent—and even reverse—the problem, assures Dr. Masley. Here’s how.
Boost the love hormone
Oxytocin—aka the “love hormone”— plays a key role in brainpower and helps balance blood sugar. Massage is one way to elevate oxytocin, and it’s so effective that studies show it can lower blood sugar by up to 40 mg/dl— that’s a 20 percent drop in someone with prediabetes. A back rub from a loved one, a DIY foot massage or simply a hug from a friend can deliver the benefits.
Meditate for a minute
Managing stress is a boon to your brain. The reason? Stress produces cortisol, which causes blood sugar to spike. But a single stress-busting mindfulness session can cut cortisol by 24 percent and increase blood flow to the brain to sharpen focus. The daily to-do Dr. Masley advises: Inhale for 5 seconds, then exhale for 5 seconds. With each breath, recall a positive memory. Repeat six times.