Healthy Beginnings

10 steps for healthy brain function (part 11 – final installment)

If you smoke, you’re increasing the risk of heart disease. Photo: Getty Images

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a final installment in a series of articles by William Clearfield, D.O., breaking down his 10 steps for healthy brain function. This article, part 11 in the series, is the second part of Dr. Bill’s 2-part finale that breaks down the final five steps as a reminder to readers. The first part (part 10 in the series) published in the October edition of Healthy Beginnings. Visit to read parts 1-10.

Our Ten Steps to a Healthy Brain are complete! In summary, they are:

  1. Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
  2. Eat Healthy Fats
  3. Get Adequate and Restful Sleep
  4. Enough (but not too much) Vitamin D3 is Essential for the Brain to Function Properly
  5. Get Your Gut In Order
  6. Maintain Adequate Methylation
  7. Balance Your Hormones
  8. Healthy Heart; Healthy Brain
  9. Get Off the Couch! (Groan) Healthy Body=Healthy Brain
  10. Lifelong Learning.

It takes work to keep our brain healthy and vibrant. Like a well-oiled machine, the result is worth the effort. Today, we present the skinny on implementing the final five steps.

Step 6: Maintain Adequate Methylation.

Action Steps with your diet:

  • Wholemeal grains (unless you are on a gluten-free diet): Brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread and oats
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Organic poultry and grass-fed beef
  • Organic dairy products, if tolerated, such as yogurt, cheese, and milk
  • Pulses such as lentils and all types of beans
  • Nuts and seeds

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Engage in regular physical exercise
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid excessive coffee consumption

Step 7: Balance Your Hormones

Action Steps:

Find a practitioner in your area thoroughly educated in diagnosing and treating hormone insufficiencies as well as deficiencies.

Step 8: Healthy Heart; Healthy Brain

Action Steps:

  • Do not smoke
  • Exercise 2.5 hours each week
  • Limit TV watching to less than 7 hours a week
  • Consume a high antioxidant diet (Step 5 above)
  • Maintain BP <120/<80; Total Cholesterol <200
  • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink daily
  • Maintain a Body Mass Index less than 25.


  • L-Carnitine-1-2 gram/day
  • Magnesium glycinate-500-1000 mg/d
  • Coenzyme Q 10-100-400 mg/d
  • D Ribose-5 grams 2-3 times/d

Step 9: Healthy Body=Healthy Brain

Action Steps:

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most beneficial form of exercise. HIIT consists of brief, all-out efforts, followed by slightly longer rest periods. HIIT includes both aerobic and cardiovascular training:
  • Stretch 2-5 minutes
  • Warm up for 3-5 minutes with a moderately paced walk or jog.
  • Then 30 seconds hit the ground running, or walking if there are orthopedic issues, at maximum speed.
  • After 30 seconds, slow to a walk for 30 seconds. Then resume your sprint.
  • Increase the time of the High-Intensity portion of the workout, eventually performing 3 minutes of High Intensity to 1 minute of “resting.”

Step 10: Lifelong Learning

Action Steps:

  • Find, describe and plany your “White-Hot Imperative”

WHI Sources:

  • Schools, colleges, social clubs, senior centers and VA outreach programs are good places to start. Also, you have to love the senior discounts most of these organizations offer.
  • The Internet is an endless virtual encyclopedia of activities and information:
  1. YouTube EDU, online videos dealing with education, business, medicine, sports, and “how tos…”
  2. EdX, a nonprofit online learning center offers more than 500 courses taught by top-notch professors from dozens of major universities.
  3. houses over 1,000 free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on topics from archaeology to zoology. It offers free ebooks, language lessons, lectures, movies, recordings, and textbooks.
  4. Coursera.orgaccesses free courses from major universities and other organizations. There is even a smartphone app.

With that, our summary and program on developing and maintaining healthy brain function is now complete!

Reno physician William Clearfield, D.O., of the Clearfield Medical Group provides patients with treatment plans that boost their overall quality of life. For more information concerning traumatic brain injuries and safe hormone optimization, or information about his “Ten Steps to A Healthy Brain” program, visit, or contact Dr. Bill at or 775-359-1222.