Food and the Brain

What we eat and how much we eat has a profound effect on our brain function and health.  Our brain is made up of approximately 60% fat, and the modern industrialized diet has veered drastically off course from a diet that supports optimal brain health.

The brain relies on healthy fats to support its structure, function and connectivity (how it shares information with other parts of the brain and body).  Not just any fats will do, Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids are required in our diet for our brain. These healthy fats need to be in an optimal balance; but unfortunately, the vast majority of us have toxic loads of Omega 6 and are drastically deficient in Omega 3.  Food choices and modern day agriculture have led to this imbalance. This deficiency has been implicated as a factor in learning disorders, depression, weight gain, heart disease, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and arthritis.

Food sensitivities and allergies have increased; gluten (from certain grains) and casein (from milk) are some of the main culprits. While some people are allergic to these proteins many more are sensitive, meaning their immune system reacts to having these foods in their diet. These sensitivities when not addressed can result in toxic load in the brain.  Interestingly brain hemisphere imbalance or what has been called hemisphericity or functional disconnection syndrome also can lead to food sensitivities as well.  Simply put, brain imbalances can impact food sensitivities and food sensitivities can impact brain imbalance. It’s a two way street.

Our food choices can have a positive or negative impact on our brain and its vitality, resulting in an improved or diminished state of wellness. Here are some options to help keep your brain and body healthy and balanced:

  • Avoid processed, genetically modified foods.
  • For non-vegetarians/vegans, choose grass fed, free range meats.
  • Eat foods that have a short shelf life.
  • Increase your fruit and vegetable intake (organic if possible).
  • Choose healthy fats and supplement with omega 3 Fatty Acids to tip the scale in the healthy fat range.

Remember that it’s the little changes over time that make the biggest impact. Reducing sugary refined foods and increasing healthy fats in your diet goes a long way.

 

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