Nutrition and Your Brain
A single micronutrient deficiency can contribute to any number of disorders of the nervous system, including migraines, insomnia, and even Alzheimer’s. Following holistic ideology involves understanding the body as a synergistic system that must have all parts functioning well together versus isolating specific areas of focus. At a functional and biological level, our bodies are the byproducts of the nutrients we provide through our diets. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids together perform over 300 life-sustaining processes in the body. Deficiency of one nutrient can lead to a cascade of events that impair our body’s ability to function at its optimal level. Nutritional deficiencies have been shown to suppress the immune system which can contribute to conditions such as mental illness, brain fog, dementia, fatigue, headaches, and anxiety.
Having a healthy diet allows for our bodies to function at an optimal state as we are providing the tools necessary for biological function. Our brains are the direct result of what we put into our body, so providing it with the best and most nutrient dense foods is a key for the mental focus, stamina, and endurance. Beyond the biological purposes of a healthy diet for cognitive function, eating nutritious food also gives us a sense of well-being and is a great mood enhancer all on its own.
Dietary fat makes up half of our cell membranes and gives them the necessary stiffness and integrity needed to prevent breakdown and damage that leads to chronic disease. Some fatty acids, such as those found in olives and macadamia nuts, can even have an antidepressant effect and aid in increased integrity of neurotransmitters. Fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins have neuroprotective properties and have been shown to protect against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
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