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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Healthy Mitochondria, Healthy Brain

Feb 28, 2020 06:44AM ● By Jean Read
In 2007, Dr. Terry Wahls reversed her symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) by incorporating diet and lifestyle changes. She went from a tilt-recline wheelchair to standing, walking, and after nine months, riding her bicycle again. Today she teaches others how to use food and lifestyle changes to reverse their own symptoms of neurological and autoimmune diseases (seen in her TEDx talk, “Minding Your Mitochondria”).
While Wahls had been a vegetarian for 20 years, she found that incorporating some meat into her diet helped her. However, her protocol recommends up to nine cups of vegetables and a little fruit every day. These nine cups of vegetables are chosen because of their ability to nourish and fortify the brain cells and the mitochondria.
For those having some brain symptoms like brain fog, reduced recall, forgetfulness and just not being as sharp as in the past, eating foods that nourish the brain may help reduce some symptoms. Two key foods to eliminate would be all wheat and dairy. We know that anyone who eats wheat will have a reduction in blood flow to the frontal lobes of the brain by one third. This will last a few hours to a few days for some people. Dairy causes inflammation to the nervous system. With inflammation comes altered function of the cells, resulting in a decline in health.
What are mitochondria? Mitochondria are the part of the cell that generates energy for the cell to carry out its normal function. Every brain cell and heart cell contains at least 1,000 mitochondria each. The rest of the cells in the body contain less than that per cell. Therefore, if we are lacking energy or get fatigued quickly, we may want to eat foods that can help fortify and nourish the mitochondria every day. Check out The Wahls Protocol book and cookbook for details of the foods recommended by Wahl. Her new book with updated information will be released at the end of March. 
Wahls is currently performing her 16th study on MS and how diet and lifestyle changes can improve the health of those with MS specifically. However, in her practice, she sees benefits for many others with neurological and autoimmune diseases with this same protocol. So, anyone with a brain and mitochondria who would like to improve the health of those tissues, may want to consider checking out this new book.
The body is always looking to heal, repair and restore itself. Giving it the right fuel and more allows it to do just that.

Jean Read, PT is the only Wahls Protocol certified medical practitioner in the state of Arizona. She coaches others with neurological and autoimmune issues, chronic pain, weight loss and more with the functional nutrition principles. Connect at 956-566-5443. See ad, page 19.