If you come to think of it, your brain is always active, always on. It is responsible for your everyday thoughts, body movements, breathing, and your senses. It is constantly working even when you’re asleep. With that said, we know that our brains should be supplied by fuel to keep it going. The fuel is important, but what’s more vital is the kind of fuel you feed it with. This means that how effective your brain works depends on the food that you eat. Its function varies with the type of foods that you consume.
Lisa Dorfman, LMHC, says, “For someone with a generally healthy diet, adding an ounce of trail mix with seeds and almonds and a peanut butter sandwich every day can provide the boost they need. For others, adding a leafy salad with a mix of vegetables and some green tea as a between-meal snack will do the trick. Fruits are another convenient choice–apples, oranges, cherries, berries, and cantaloupe are all packed with antioxidants.”
Like a luxury car, the brain will do its job more effectively when it is fueled with premium gasoline. Food that consists of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are among the best choices. So if you’re a fan of sugar, you should know well enough to quit as this damages the body and leads to injuries, depression, and mood disorders. Further, high amounts of sugar may cause inflammation and oxidative stress.
These days, luckily, growing knowledge about the brain is discovering that there are a lot of outcomes and associations between the food we eat, our emotions and behaviors, and the kinds of microorganisms that thrive in our gut.
Food And Mood
A common neurotransmitter called serotonin aids in regulating sleep, mood, and appetite. About 95% of this neurotransmitter is produced in the gut, which is why the GI tract is covered with millions of neurons. This structure of the gut explains why it doesn’t only aid in digestion but also in regulating emotions.
“YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. We’ve all heard this saying before… but what would you say if I told you that what you eat affects how you feel? The fuel we give our body is the same fuel we give our brains. So it’s not a surprise that if you eat overly processed foods or too many sugars, you have an increased tendency towards anxiety, depression, attention/focus problems and many more.” – Renee Chillcott, LMHC
Additionally, these neurotransmitters have a connection with the good bacteria that stays in the gut. The more serotonin present, the more good bacteria; thus, the stronger the GI system becomes. When this is the case, there is better absorption of nutrients into the gut as well as in the brain.
Trying A Healthy Diet
“When recipe browsing, meal preparation, food shopping, and thinking about eating become an obsession and/or a part-time (unpaid!) job, it might be time to ask yourself if your healthy eating is really healthy. When a slice of pizza with friends or an occasional piece of birthday cake are unthinkable, it might be time to take a closer look at your patterns with food. When taking a day off from exercise feels terrifying or unacceptable, it might be time to examine your so-called “healthy lifestyle.” – Andrea Wachter, LMFT
Considering the discussion above, you can start to be aware of how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally when you try eating various kinds of food. Perhaps you can eat a clean diet comprising of greens, lean protein like grilled fish, and brown rice. Listen to your body on that day as well as the day after. Then you can also do a combination of some dry food and some saucy ones, such as pickles, kimchi, or organic pasta. How do you feel? Do you feel heavy, light, cranky, or relaxed? You can also do a dairy-free diet, as most health-conscious people claim to reap outstanding results with no milk, cheese, and other dairies in their daily diets. Monitor your progress, and after a week, you can choose the diet that best suits you, the one that made you feel excellent overall.
It has been a known fact that going clean inside and out produces the best outcomes mentally and physically. It goes to show that what you feed your body must be healthy so that you will have a healthy and sound mind. Do give it a try and let us know if you have seen positive changes in yourself!