November 1, 2020
How does nutrition and diet affect the brain? The brain is only 2% of our body weight but it requires 20% of energy we consume. When our mental function declines, it can be an initial indicator of nutritional deficiency. Nutrition plays a huge role in determining brain health, mood, sleep, weight, attention, and development.
It’s important to understand the different components that make up the brain. It’s mostly made up of fat followed by proteins, amino acids, glucose, and micronutrients.
Omega 3 and 6 are derived from nuts, seeds, and fatty fish which helps create and maintain cell membrane. Trans-fat and saturated fat, on the other hand, damages our brain. The protein and amino acids are essential for brain growth and development. It uses neurotransmitters to regulate mood, sleep, weight, and attentiveness. This is why we need a diverse range of food that balances these combinations to include micronutrients. Micronutrients have antioxidants that fight against free radicals which destroys brain cells. Things like B6, B12, folic acid, iron, copper, zinc, sodium all attribute to a healthy brain.
The brain also needs carbs since it requires so much energy. Carbs consists of starch, sugar, and fiber. The perfect combination like oats, grains, and legumes help keep our attention steady. The opposite is true if we eat high glycemic foods such as white bread. We see a spike in our blood sugar and then a crash leading to drastic change in mood and attention.
Food is medicine for the brain and our whole body. What would you miss out on in life if you didn’t eat healthy? What would you gain if you made lifestyle changes? I’d love to hear it. Let me know.
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For more articles, read https://happyfoodhealth.com/blog
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA