A Healthy Diet Helps A Healthy Brain
We tend to think that when we don't eat healthy the only repercussions will be weight gain and/or Diabetes and heart disease. Black and white. However, our diet also has a huge effect on our brain and its ability to function properly. The most important role a healthy diet plays as it relates to the brain is normalizing the pathways for neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters are the chemical signals that travel through our body and to our brain. Like the foot on the gas in your car, our brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate with our vital organs. They tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. Blocked passageways inhibit communication which can result in an array of complications. And, these complications don't just occur in the organs not receiving the message, but in the brain itself.
What could end up happening to brain? Your mood could change, you won't be able to sleep properly, you will experience memory loss, you will lose quickness in your response time and you could develop a serious mental health disorder.
There are numerous neurotransmitters; some more busy than others. You may be familiar with a few of the most common:
- Dopamine: Dopamine is related to feeling of reward. Drug addicts tend to have high levels of dopamine. Schizophrenics are also known to have high levels. One the flip side, low levels of dopamine have been found in those with Parkinson disease and social anxiety.
- Serotonin: Serotonin is related to mood. Those with low levels of serotonin tend to suffer from depression and similar mood-disorders, problems with anger control, decision-making, social behavior and obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Endorphins: Endorphins reduce our perception to pain and lead to feelings of pleasure; they help us feel less stressed. Naturally, the opposite effect will occur if there is a blockage of endorphins.
Having the right balance in our bodies so that all the neurotransmitters can function properly should be our goal. There are many reasons beyond human control that can lead to these same or similar complications affected by the misfire of neurotransmitters. Our diet is not one of them. Exercise combined with diets full of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables can do wonders for our brain health. Take control of the one thing you can take control of.
To further enhance your brain health battle plan, you can also partner your diet with supplements.
Some of vitamins most crucial to our brain health are:
- Vitamin D and fish oil: Both help regulate proper levels of serotonin. Essentially they help relieve inflammation that can inhibit serotonin release.
- Magnesium: We know magnesium to play a critical role in our brain health as well as our overall health. Low levels of magnesium in our diets can lead to an inability to learn and retain new facts. Magnesium is also responsible for optimal blood circulation, cellular energy production and blood sugar balance, to name a few.
- Vitamin B12: Research has shown a commonality between brain disorders such as Autism and Schizophrenia to be low levels of the B12 vitamin. Elderly folks also have lower levels of B12. These findings shed light on the significance to B12 has and show that proper levels are vital to reducing risk or at the very least, alleviating symptoms.
In conclusion, as afore mentioned, there are uncontrollable situations that affect our brain health. Genetics and growing older among them. However, it is not impossible for us to support our brains with healthy eating, exercise and adding the right supplements. Healthy practices may also slow down the uncontrollable effects, giving you the ability to sustain a more desirable lifestyle. The moral of the story is being healthy can never hurt you, but being unhealthy most likely will.