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5 Ways to Boost Brain Health

Since June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, Pellegrino Healing Center would like to start a conversation about the different ways that we can all work on nourishing and supporting the health of the most incredible organ in the body: the brain.


1. Meditation and Breathwork

Did you know that consistent meditation and breathwork can physically change and strengthen the neural pathways in the brain? This means that meditation and breathwork can help us break bad habits, better move through emotional and mental barriers, and improve our cognitive functions.

Meditation is a form of self-directed neuroplasticity; in other words you can direct your brain to physically change and adapt with meditation. Studies show that meditation thickens and strengthens areas of the brain associated with attention, interoception, and sensory processing. When we practice meditation and breathwork techniques together, we maximize those brain boosting benefits. While breathing is something our bodies do on their own without any thought, we can consciously control it and utilize it to directly communicate with the autonomic nervous system. We can actually use our breath to help us shift from a stressed fight or flight mode (sympathetic state of the nervous system) to a more relaxed rest and digest mode (parasympathetic state of the nervous system). Meditation and breathwork are major stress reducers, that can help release endorphins and increase other amazing hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. So do your brain a big favor and start practicing meditation and breathwork!




Check out our private, guided meditation and breathwork sessions in our Himalayan salt cave. Learn more here.





2. Games with Friends

I’m sure many of you have heard about how brain teasers and games like Sudoku, crosswords, and word searches are great for brain health. However, playing games with others can maximize those brain boosting benefits as socializing is shown to boost our moods, fulfill the essential need of social connection, and feed our brains with positive mental stimulation. Here are just a few games you can partake in with friends and family members to help your brain:

  • Cards

  • Chess

  • Checkers

  • Scrabble

  • Puzzles

  • Team sports


3. Exercise

  • Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, leading to neurogenesis—or the production of neurons—in certain parts of your brain that control memory and thinking.

  • Exercise helps keep the brain cells and blood vessels in the brain healthy, while creating and protecting new ones.

  • Exercise lowers stress hormones and reduces inflammation which are both foes of brain health.

  • Exercise decreases mental decline.





4. Sleep

It’s no surprise that sleep deprivation makes us feel lousy and leads to things like brain fog, headaches, and feeling emotionally unbalanced. Not getting enough quality sleep can impact our decision making and affect a number of hormones in the body. Even though the brain is pretty active when we are sleeping, it uses this time to reset. When we sleep our brain integrates newly learned material with consolidated memories, so that it can begin anew the next day. So do what you can to get more quality sleep. Here are some of our services that can help improve your sleep:



5. Nutrition

There are so many foods that are shown to improve brain health. One of the key macronutrients that many of us may forget about for brain health is fat! We need fat for so many reasons-it helps us absorb and take in fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, is essential for hormone production and regulation, supports cellular growth, protects our organs, and also supports brain health. Fats in proper proportions are imperative to brain health and cognitive function. However, be sure to avoid trans fat, as well as partially and fully hydrogenated franken fats (which are highly processed, manmade, and cannot be assimilated properly in the body). Opt for whole, unprocessed fats that are not cooked at super high temperatures.

Here are some other foods that support brain health:

  • Fatty fish (try to get sustainably harvested if possible)

  • Pasture-raised & ethically sourced meats (in moderation)

  • Leafy greens

  • Blueberries

  • Broccoli

  • Turmeric (don’t forget black pepper with it to activate benefits)

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Nuts (try sprouted if you have digestive issues)

  • Dark chocolate (opt for above 70% cacao and less sugar)


In honor of Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, we have selected the following supplements that can help support brain health.

  • CogniTropic

  • CereVen

If you have any questions about how our services or our supplements can help support brain health feel free to call/text us at (845) 233-5672! You can also email us at heal@pellegrinohealingcenter.com


Written By Michelle Eggink, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner,

Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher