The Brain/Central Nervous System:
Your body’s command center
The human brain/central nervous system allows us to perform complex higher reasoning, is essential to speech, and enables us to learn and store memories for retrieval later.
Your brain and nervous system act very much like a computer. Groups of nerve endings - called sensory receptors - act as the computer’s input device, like a keyboard or mouse. These receptors are found in our fingertips, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and other areas. They receive input of, for instance, the information contained within a photograph - and send it along nerves to the computer’s central processing unit - the brain - for processing and interpretation.
Each section of the brain has its own duties. For instance, one area of the brain, called the brain stem, is responsible for the actions that our bodies perform without conscious effort, like breathing and our heartbeat. Another section of the brain deciphers the visual input which the eyes send. Still another area stores memories. So, you may see a photograph of someone you know, yet not instantly remember why you know the person… because one section of the brain hasn’t processed the information as quickly as another section.
The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves that extend from the spinal cord and brain to other body parts. These nerves link the sensory receptors, brain, and spinal cord in a complex communications network, just like computers use phone lines to connect to the internet.
Your nervous system releases special chemicals called neurotransmitters. These important substances are vital for nervous system function. When your body regulates these substances properly, it works at peak performance. A perfect balance of neurotransmitters supports our sense of well-being and promotes mental altertness.
Keeping your mind clear and reactions quick
The brain and nervous system rely on the lightning-speed movement of data to perform at its peak. By keeping yourself healthy, you can enhance your brain’s performance. The brain and central nervous system control all thought and movement within the body. You can help keep this important system healthy by following these hints:
1. A healthy diet is essential for a healthy brain and central nervous system. Vital nutrients are needed for proper data movement, speedy reactions, quick thought, and to prevent mood swings. Eating a plant-based diet - particularly plenty of whole grains - will help your brain and nervous system work at peak performance.
2. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. Fatigue slows your reflexes, clouds mental function, and can lead to mood swings. When you’re tired, you can’t work to your full potential. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you need eight hours of sleep nightly and most Americans don’t get enough.
3. Like other systems, your brain loves a good workout - but of a different kind. To keep your memory sharp and your mental function quick, give your brain a workout. Do puzzles. Take a class in a subject that interests you. Discuss current events with a friend. This action helps keep your brain at its best.
4. De-stress! Whether you find you relax best through meditations, a hard game of racquetball, or reading poetry, be sure to give your brain a break by consciously removing stressful situations from your mind. Mental stress results in physical - as well as - problems. Removing stress from your life keeps your body and mind healthy.
5. Ask your retailer about supplements to support a healthy brain/central nervous system.
A. Ginkgo biloba, to promote mental alertness.
B. Valerian, to promote relaxation.
C. St. John’s Wort, to maintain a healthy emotional balance.