One day earlier this week, I snarfed down a piece of Little Caesar’s pizza that I’d brought home for my son.
Ugh. I felt terrible.
Today, in contrast, I ate a spinach, kale, and broccoli salad with some beef tossed in. I felt great all afternoon, both mentally and physically.
Bottom line: What we eat affects our mental health!
I’m convinced that one of the best gifts you can give yourself for personal growth development is great nutrition. Your body is a BMW! Would you pour mud water into your BMW gas tank? I think not!
Invest in your body by feeding it fresh, whole food, and you won’t regret the results. The individual in the film mentioned above reversed several chronic illnesses through his whole food experiment over 60 days!
The article below is written by Tom Corson-Knowles, founder of Authentic Health Coaching. Tom blogs regularly about healthy eating, natural nutrition tips for a healthier life, and growing your own fruits and vegetables with aeroponics.
Two Crucial Nutrition Tips For Better Brain Function
When it comes to brain health, I’ve found that there are two simple dietary changes that can make a world of difference for your brain. In fact, just these two changes are what helped my mom dramatically improve her memory and have helped many of our customers and clients improve their brain function as well.
These two steps may sound simple – but I’ve found it’s often the simple things in life that make the biggest difference in the long run.
1. Eat More Omega-3 Fats
One of the biggest problems we have with brain function is that we’re missing the basic building blogs of healthy neurons and brain cells! Every single cell in your body has a cell wall. This cell wall MUST be made of fat – there’s nothing else that your body can make a cell wall out of. That’s why it’s called by scientists a lipid bilayer – a double layer of fat which makes up the cell wall membrane.
Now how this cell wall functions determines the health of the cell, what enters (and doesn’t enter) the cell, and all cellular communication as well. Cells communicate through the cell wall – with little vibrations. Different types of fats vibrate differently. So, for example a trans fat is a fat molecule that’s straight – meaning it vibrates VERY differently from an Omega-3 fat which is a wavy fat, in the shape of a sine curve.
The difference in vibrations between a cell wall made of Omega-3 fats and a cell wall made of trans fats could be likened to the difference between talking to someone face to face and talking to someone on a cell phone with very poor reception – the message can get mixed up!
This is just one of the reasons why it’s so important for a healthy brain to eat enough Omega-3 fats – and to limit trans fats in your diet. Omega-3 fats are also crucial for protecting your body from inflammation. Omega-3s are naturally anti-inflammatory, whereas Omega-6 fats and trans fats are inflammatory. The problem is that we’re so out of balance today – the average American has a Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio of 1:45 – when scientists recommend a ratio as close to 1:1 as possible!
So we’re way out of balance. The key is to increase your Omega-3 fat intake. You can do this by eating foods rich in Omega-3 fats like flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and wild salmon (it must be wild though – not farm raised!). However, I don’t advise attempting to get all your Omega-3 fats from seafood because of the high levels of mercury and other chemicals in fish.
You can also supplement your diet with a natural oil like flax seed oil or fish oil – but make sure you don’t cook the oil because high temperatures can damage the fragile Omega-3 fats, turning them into dangerous trans fats!
Omega-3 fats aren’t just important for cellular communication in your brain – they’re also crucial for protecting your brain from degenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s! Both dementia and Alzheimer’s are linked to inflammation and oxidative stress and eating Omega-3 fats has been shown to reduce both inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
2. Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is also a huge key to a healthier brain. Why?Because oxidative stress has been linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s stroke, brain cancer and other brain disorders. And the most powerful antidote to oxidative stress is to eat more fruits and vegetables because they are loaded with antioxidants which help your body naturally protect itself from free radicals.
Free radicals are basically unstable molecules that are missing an electron. They’re formed as part of the body’s natural metabolic process of burning food for fuel at the cellular level. The problem is that when these free radicals build up in the body, they can lead to chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, diabetes, heart disease and many more.
Remember before when I talked about how Omega-3 fats are fragile and can be damaged by high heat, turning them into harmful trans fats? Well, Omega-3 fats can also be damaged inside your own body by free radicals! This is why it’s crucial to eat fruits and vegetables along with increasing your Omega-3 fat intake. You don’t necessarily have to eat both at the same time, as long as you’re getting a good amount of both every day.
Not only can fruits and veggies protect you from oxidative stress and help keep your healthy fats protected as well, but eating more fruits and veggies is also linked to protection from cognitive decline, especially in the elderly.
So if you want to keep your brain healthy today and as you age, aim to meet the USDA recommendations of eating 7-13 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day and do your best to increase your Omega-3 fat intake. Your brain will thank you!
photo credit: Lexi Blue