Ask a Naturopath: How do the Foods We Eat Affect Our Brain Health?
When broken down, the nutrient contents of our brain consist of water, fat, protein and amino acids, traces of micronutrients and glucose. Each of these components has a distinct impact on our cognitive functioning, mood and energy.
Fats recommended by a Naturopath for optimal brain health
Of the fats in our brain, omega-3s and 6s are the most prominent essential fatty acids which have an impact on preventing degenerative brain conditions. Therefore, a diet rich in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish is crucial to the maintenance of brain health. In contrast, long term use of trans-fatty acids (the bad fats) may do the opposite and compromise our brain health.
Protein for the mind
Proteins and amino acids are the building blocks of all tissues within our body- including the brain. Amino acids in excessive or deficiency impact how we feel and behave as they are the precursors to many neurotransmitters that carry information between neurons in our brain and affect things like mood, sleep, and attentiveness. They are largely responsible for why you might feel calm after eating a heavy carbohydrate meal like spaghetti or why you may feel alert after consuming protein rich foods.
Our Naturopaths recommend a well balanced diet, rich in a variety of healthy foods is best for maintaining a balance of brain messengers like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine (the mood neurotransmitters)— which in turn leads to overall mood stabilisation.
Don’t forget to eat your vegetables and fruits — as they contain a wide array of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which helps to fight free radicals in the brain and build resilience against brain disease and mental decline.
If you or someone you know is interested in optimising mental health through nutrition or want to learn more about how the foods you’re consuming may contribute to energy/ mood dips, late night restlessness, mood fluctuations and more, book-in with one of our Naturopaths for further assessment.
Book online today with one of our naturopaths and optimise your brain health!
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From the Empower Health Naturopathic Team