Our Diets And Our Brains
Our diets can have an impact on brain health. And while we know this to be true, we rarely think about it when deciding what to eat.
While we’ve all heard that “you are what you eat,” it’s equally true to say that “we think what we eat.” The food we consume and the calories we take in fuel the thoughts and ideas we have throughout the day. The brain is an amazing organ—it can take sugar directly from the bloodstream without the need for insulin. Consequently, too much or too little sugar can have a negative impact on mental function.
Sugar Consumption and Brain Health
While a student, I once remember a friend remarking to me about how giving up sugar and moving towards a whole foods diet had had a remarkable impact on her ability to retain what she was learning. As she ate better, her brain function improved so dramatically that she was able to remember and retain much larger amounts of information that she had ever had before. And she became a much better student as she improved her diet.
In addition to ditching the sugar, I often prescribe PGX by Natural Factors. PGX is a soluble fiber made from Konjac root, that has been researched for its many health benefits. Konjac root stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and also helps with brain health. I usually advise people to take 2-3 PGX capsules with a large glass of water around 10 to 20 minutes before eating.
But it is not just sugar dysregulation that can negatively impact the brain. A brain without adequate amounts of the right amino acids can also struggle to function properly. Amino acids are the building blocks of substances known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters act as messengers in the brain—effecting mood and behavior. Consequently, amino acids are sometimes prescribed to help improve mood. this is one reason why I advise people to start the morning off with a good nutrient dense smoothie. I usually suggest a plant-based protein low in sugar, like Vega-lite by Thorne Research, because it only contains 1 gram of sugar.
The Importance of Antioxidants
A diet rich in plants is also important because it is rich in antioxidants; the substances found in plants that can slow down the aging process. This is why I advise people to consume around 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Don’t Forget Omega-3 Oils
Our brains require omega-3 oil for proper function. Omega-3 is needed to help maintain healthy grey matter. Omega-3 oils can be found in salmon, sardines and anchovies, as well as ground flax seeds, chia and hemp seeds.
A diet that is mostly plant-based, around 90% of daily calories. A diet rich in whole nutrient-rich foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, can protect your brain well into old age.
To find out more about you can stay healthy, and maintain a healthy brain well into your senior years. Please visit my website at DoctorWhimsy.com
I look forward to working with you.