Can Ikigai Diet Help Dementia? Part 6 The Gut-Brain Connection and Positive Thinking

Although diet seems to be the most significant factor to prevent dementia, other factors such as physical exercises, mental exercises, living environment, and social life all contribute to keeping your cognitive function healthy.

Today, let me talk about the gut-brain connection and how positive thinking can serve as part of your mental exercises.

When you talk about mental exercises, your mental state also becomes relevant. This is more so for dementia since depression is one of its symptoms. You want to train yourself to be able to control your mental state, to be able to shift your focus on the state which is constructive and beneficial for you.

Personally, the definition of intelligence is not how much knowledge you have or how quickly you can circulate, but the ability to always be in a state which gives you uplifted feeling and therefore can come up with fresh ideas.

Intellectual people have a tendency to concentrate on their argument to the point they get carried away, and sometimes forget what mental state they are in. When you become over critical, for instance, you feel angry or frustrated, which can be okay if it is temporal, but if you let yourself be immersed in that state all day, it can affect your gut microbiota, hence your health.

More and more researches are done on the connection between your brain and the gut microbiota, and many of them seem to suggest that the condition of your gut microbiota influences how your brain functions.

You will find a lot of information on it if you search under the gut-brain connection.

It supports the concept of Ikigai Diet and how we prioritize fostering a balanced gut microbiota over anything else. The gut microbiota not only helps diseases such as cancer and diabetes but also it seems to affect dementia. ,

According to these researches on the gut-brain connection, the brain can also influence the gut as well as the gut affecting the brain.

Which is surprising because I didn’t know about all these researches when I made this video and came up with the idea of Ima Iwai and how a positive thought can affect your gut microbiota.

How did I come up with it then?

All I can say is I had the gut feeling about it-haha.

Also recently I came across an experiment conducted in Japan which seems to prove this point. They studied two groups of people: The First group was people on a healthy diet( vegetarian, organic food, etc) but were rather serious and didn’t laugh so much. The second group was people on a regular diet but spent a lot of their time laughing.

They checked the gut microbiota of the two groups and guess what, they found that the second group had a healthier gut microbiota.

Laughing sends out a positive vibration, and along with positive thinking, it is helpful for your health.

So, I encourage you to practice positive thinking. Always think positive. Look at the bright side of things. There are usually two sides in things, and if you look for negative elements you can always find them, but if you pay attention to positive elements, you can see them, too. It is a question of which elements you want to focus on.

Do you know people like that? When they lived in the city they were always unhappy and complaining. They were complaining about the bad air, noisy neighborhood, small apartment, and unfriendly people. So they decided to move to the countryside expecting life would be much better. And yet, when they moved to the countryside, they started complaining again: They complained about the inconvenience, how quiet everything was, how bored they were, and how conservative the people were.

How about people like that? When they lived in the city, they were always happy and grateful. They were grateful for the convenient life, interesting and stimulating people, and the diverse opportunity. Although they were happy living there they decided to move to the countryside because they wanted to experience a different lifestyle. When they moved to the countryside, they were happy again: They were grateful for the clean air, the bigger house, and friendly people.

I have a policy. I try to enjoy things while I can because once I change the environment, I may not able to have them. When I am in the city I focus on things I can only do in the city, and when I am in the countryside I focus on things I can only do in the countryside.

Look at the bright sides of where you live, people you associate with, and the situations you encounter. You will be physically and mentally healthy. You will also be a fun person to hang around with which will improve your social life.

Which brings to the last element to prevent dementia: the social life.

I will talk about it in the next post.