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

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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.

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