By Verdeen Bueckert

Midlife isn’t the beginning of the end. In fact, it can be the time you make your most valuable contribution. “In the past decade, state-of-the-art neuroscience has revealed that, after age 45 or so, our brains are programmed to generate extraordinary new creative skills and intellectual powers that were unavailable to us earlier in life.”(Mark S. Walton)

So how will you keep your brain healthy in order to leave a legacy and finish well? Here’s a secret I discovered in northern Canada.

I met two native elders in Whitehorse General Hospital, 109 and 116 years old. They were still walking and telling stories. They didn’t have multiple chronic conditions. They were wrinkled, but their skin was clear and strong. What was the secret of these centenarians? They ate a traditional diet of boiled salmon several times per day.

Salmon or Fruitloops: Does it really matter?

Salmon contains Omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain health, cell wall growth and repair. Fruitloops does not. Granted, not everyone likes fish. I know someone who avoided Goldfish Crackers until he found out they only looked like fish. That’s okay! You can also get fatty acids from raw nuts and seeds, cold-pressed oils and many other foods. I like a tablespoon of Udo’s oil in my fruit smoothie, raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds on a salad, and virgin olive oil for cooking and baking in place of other fats.

A Few Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Healthy brain function including prevention of many psychiatric disorders
  • Normal growth and development
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, asthma, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduced inflammation, joint stiffness and pain
  • Healthy eyes and prevention of macular degeneration

Essential fatty acids also play an important role in hormone synthesis, which is how your cells communicate with each other and regulate everything going on in your body.

Is Your Brain Fat or Skinny?

“Zero Fat!” many products exclaim proudly, as if that’s a good thing. Although you want to avoid unhealthy fats from processed oils, 60% of the brain’s weight after water is fat – 15-30% of that fat comes from essential fatty acids obtained through diet. Work with God’s amazing design of your body and natural food sources. Get fat in the right places!

Rebuild Your Brain!

Find out more about brain health, and how God brought together Rick Warren, Saddleback Church and Dr. Daniel Amen for a Purpose Driven health initiative.

CREST and your brain

A significant portion of what we do in the CREST Leadership program is help you understand the physical issues that come with midlife. You must deal with these practical things, or they will ‘take you out’ early. We’ll help you with this, and other crucial matters at midlife. We invite you to consider joining us for the two year journey that gives you a deep, ordered reflection of your life in the second half.