Are you having difficulty concentrating? Is your memory just not the same as it used to be? It could be your diet!
Foods we eat affect every part of the body, including the brain. The food we eat provides the building blocks for our body which are then used to repair structures as well as being used up for energy. This means you need to be eating the right food for optimum brain performance. Here are three food categories that you can focus on to help you make better brain related food choices:
The brain is picky about the type of food it requires. While the rest of your body can also burn fats and proteins for energy, the brain only uses sugar. Throughout the day, your blood sugar will fluctuate up and down; this means the food supply for the brain also fluctuates. When your blood sugar drops too low, the brain can’t function at peak performance. Symptoms of low blood sugar are brain fog, fatigue, and headaches. Eating something high in sugar will combat this in the short term, but will only last a few minutes because they contain simple sugars that are digested very quickly by the body. Eating more whole grains is the long-term answer. These more complex sugars take longer to digest and are gradually introduced into the blood stream. The blood sugar level is more sustainable and the brain will have plenty of food over time.
Every neuron in your brain is coated in a type of fatty insulation called myelin. There is so much of this myelin in fact that 60% of the brain is actually made of fat. The insulation is a very important component of these cells because it allows signals to be sent and received faster. As neurons are produced, they use Omega-3 fatty acids to build the myelin. If there isn’t an abundance supplied through your diet, your neurons may have a harder time sending and receiving signals. The best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fish proteins like tuna and salmon. However, you could also add walnuts, flaxseeds, or pumpkin seeds to your daily snacks for some extra Omega-3s in your diet.
Did you know that the brain has its own immune system? Special cells called microglia are responsible for cleaning up your brain and central nervous system. While they are normally only working to clean up damaged or older neurons, systemic inflammation can over activate the microglia; this causes them to damage healthy cells in the brain. Eating foods with a lot of anti-oxidants is a great way to mitigate this process. Anti-oxidants will reduce systemic inflammation and help clear out the toxic by-products that have been made in the brain by the over worked microglia. Many fruits are good sources of anti-oxidants. These include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, and red grapes.
Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your favorite Rochester chiropractor, we have a nutritionist on staff that can help you with improving your concentration by making small changes to your diet!
Inflammation and brain function: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390758/