The Prefrontal Cortex in the human brain is that portion of the brain that makes us, us. It’s what separates us from other animals. It’s what allows us to contemplate the meaning of life. It allows us to weigh the benefits and risks of our choices, and even consider our own mortality.
Through poor diet, lack of physical exercise, and/or excessive television watching and video game playing, our Prefrontal Cortex starts to degenerate. When this happens, this area of our brain that allows us to keep the things we think inside and not actually say them out loud no longer works. It prevents us from being impulsive and aggressive, if it’s healthy that is.
Case in point: I was parking my car at a restaurant in Traverse City last weekend over the 4th of July . Because my daughter, Ireland, has Cerebral Palsy, we have a handicapped parking sticker that we use whenever she is with us. I got out of my car to run in and ask about the wait time. As I was walking back out to leave (since it was a 2-hr wait), a women who appeared to be in her late 50s or early 60s walked by me and snarked, “you’re not handicapped!” This is classic Prefrontal decay. She did not take a moment to consider that I might not be the one in my vehicle who needed it. Instead, her “filter” as many people call it, is decaying.
After admittedly giving her some choice words in a busy parking lot, I went on my way steaming. However, it later occurred to me that this problem is happening way too often to people of all ages, not just seniors.
Kids are eating food-like products, not food. Most people don’t exercise. Kids and adults both are living on video games, whether on a gaming console or on their phones.
We have to take back our Prefrontal cortices people! Get your kids on real food; not food dye, not high fructose corn syrup, not preservatives, not MSG, and limit the carbs! Maybe throw in a real vegetable once or twice a day, not a Gummi vitamin in the shape of one.
Teachers wonder why kids are so impulsive and aggressive. You can find the answer on the child’s breakfast tray: cow’s milk, cereal bar, and some blue dye yogurt. Their Prefrontal cortices are not decaying, rather they’re not even allowed to develop! They need appropriate nutrition to develop, like omega 3 fatty acids or phospholipids like krill oil and phosphatidyl serine.
In rereading this post, I think the point is threefold: 1) Stop and think about what you’re going to say aloud, 2) take the steps necessary to prevent you from losing you. You don’t want your children or grandchildren someday to say, “what happened to grandma, she just got mean?,” and 3) shove a celery stick in your child’s mouth once in a while instead of a dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget.