For those of you who are thinking, my brain is OK, so this article doesn’t apply it is worth noting that the same nutritional approaches that improve brain function also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Despite the wonders of modern medicine the numbers of Australians suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer and brain deterioration (e.g. dementia, Parkinson’s, ADHD, depression) continues to rise. Sure, we may be better at treating these conditions, however what about preventing them?
The key to prevention is making healthier lifestyle choices. These choices relate to how active we are, what we eat and our attitude.
Our brains are made up of cells called neurons. Neurons communicate with one another by releasing neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are essential for normal brain function.
Different neurotransmitters have different effects, some help with concentration and alertness, others help us to relax and feel happy. In order for the brain to produce neurotransmitters it needs a good supply of amino acids (from protein such as fish, chicken, meat, eggs and yoghurt). In addition to a good supply of protein the brain needs vitamins and minerals including the B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron and copper.
In an ideal world you could get all these nutrients from a healthy balanced eating habit. Unfortunately there is mounting evidence that the nutrient density of the food we purchase is a lot less than it was 50 years ago, and may be inadequate in supporting all the functions of the cells in our body. It is also relevant that our body’s demand for nutrients rises when it is under stress or engaged in the healing process. So the amount of nutrients we need varies depending on our health status.
Certainly it is wise to eat well as a foundation to gaining better health. And when our bodies are under extra load an appropriate high quality supplement may help us to regain our health. Eating well means a minimum of 2 fruits and 5 vegetables a day, combined with protein (eggs, fish, lean meat or legumes) and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa or sourdough bread.
Although your brain accounts for only 3 to 5 percent of your body weight, it uses (on average) 20 to 25 percent of your body’s energy supply. If you want your car to run well, you put quality fuel in it, not soft drink or some other inappropriate liquid. And yet we sometimes put inferior (junk) food into our bodies and expect them to perform well. Clearly this is illogical.
If you have any questions about this information I’ll be happy to answer them. Simply send me an email at the address on our contact us page.
Meanwhile, I wish you a day filled with kindness.
Esyltt Graham B.App.Sc (Chiro) M.Sc Chiropractic (Paeds)