January 07, 2022 4 min read

As first responders, our brains and our nerves are under an incredible amount of stress. That stress is causing problems. 

Our brains and nerves are wearing out too fast. They’re not performing as well as they could be. And they’re not performing for as long. 

But the truth is, it’s not really the job causing the problem. The job just makes the problem worse. 

Deaths Up 200-300%

In fact, Americans in general are seeing an unsettling rise in the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's between 1990 and 2010. Parkinson’s deaths have doubled while Alzheimer’s and other dementia deaths tripled. 

That’s not what we want for you or those you love. 

Fortunately, there’s now solid proof that we have more control over these nasty diseases than we once thought. 

Learning From the “Mindspan Elite”

Dr. Preston Estep of Harvard Medical School recently coined the phrase “Mindspan Elite” to talk about how we can not only live longer but live better. In a recent interview he said:

“Lifespan refers only to longevity, while “mindspan” refers to the mind’s length of life plus it’s breadth and height of performance. The pinnacle of living isn’t just a long lifespan, it is a maximum mindspan.”

Dr Estep has identified a group of people he calls “Mindspan Elite.” These people live very long lives and remain alert, active and as independent as people decades younger. 

And while genes are a factor, they are not nearly as influential as we once thought. Science now tells us that up to 75% (or more) of longevity is controlled by our environment and not by our genes. 

If you’re wondering what all is included in your environment, you’re not alone. In short, it’s virtually everything that’s not your genes. For a more thorough explanation than we have time for  check out this article on Forbes

This is good news! Because this means if we change our environment, we can increase our mindspan and quality of life. 

After all, living a long life actually sucks if it’s not a healthy life. So how do you make sure there’s more life in your years? 

The first thing you want to do is protect and take care of your brain. 

10 Secrets for a Healthier Brain

These 10 tips may sound familiar. It would be easy to dismiss them since you’ve heard them before. Or, maybe it’s time to start taking these into consideration and actually start trying a few out... 

  1. Eat less red meat and added sugar. Look, we all love a good steak. We’re not saying don’t eat burgers and steaks. We’re saying cut back. Same with Sugar. If all you did was stop drinking sugar (soda, fruit juices, energy drinks), it would drastically change your health over a year. 
  2. Less liquid milk.  Milk ain’t what it used to be. It’s now full of hormones and chemicals. Even if you get organic, as you age, it can cause inflammation. Especially at night. Those aching joints might not be the job, it could be the milk. Skip it for a week or two and find out. 
  3. More beans and other legumes. Next time you swing by Taco Bell, skip the beef or chicken and go for the veggie or bean burrito. Baby steps. 
  4. Cut down on alcohol. And if you must have it, have it with full meals.  
  5. More fruits and vegetables.Your mother and grandmother were right. Eat your veggies. You need the fiber. The greener the veggies the better. You can do better than potatoes and corn for every side. 
  6. More fermented and pickled foods. Kiefer, yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, cider, and kimchi are good examples. 
  7. More leafy greens. Yes, you do need to have a salad once in a while. But try adding spinach and kale instead of just iceberg lettuce.
  8. Supplement with a  quality Omega 3 to give your brain more of what it needs. 
  9. Exercise.You knew that one was coming, right? Park further away. Take the stairs. Take a moderate paced 20 minute walk when you get home. It can be a great way to transition your mind from work to home and you’ll get the exercise and oxygen your brain craves. 
  10. Supplement with a full host of vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This combo helps offset any missed spots in your diet. We, of course, recommend Reload.Reload is our 6-in-1 supplement pack formulated for first responders that acts like an insurance policy for your brain as well as the rest of your body when it’s simply impossible to eat right and get in your exercise. 

Just pick a Couple

It would be tough for anyone to implement all 10 of these suggestions. So keep the list handy and try adding 1-3 per month over the next few months. 

When you do you’ll find yourself feeling better, thinking more clearly, and creating a lifestyle that will support you for years to come. 

And that, Hero, is what we want for you and those you love.

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