Your Brain and Your Diet

The human brain is an amazing organ that controls a lot of what your body does – maintains memories, helps you focus, tells you when to breathe, tells your heart to beat, controls your emotions to name just a few of its functions.

It also: supplies some of the cranial nerves to the face and head; is the central organ of the nervous system and in conjunction with the spinal cord makes up the central nervous system; controls the functions of the organs in your body – heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, etc., and controls body movement. So without the brain your body could not function properly.

So it is really important that you keep in mind (no pun intended) that you need to treat your brain with the respect it is due. What do I mean by that? Well, when you eat food make sure you include some healthy fats, because your brain is made up mainly (60%) of fat. Without fat, it cannot function properly. You know how the governments have told us to use the Standard American/Canadian/Australian Diet plan? Well, it turns out that the pyramid they’ve been using is slightly upside down and is the main culprit in the obesity/health epidemic around the world today!!

When in fact, the pyramid should look more like this one:

What does the food pyramid have to do with all of this? If you don’t eat right, and feed your brain(s) [yes there are two] the foods they need to operate properly, then nothing in your body will function the way it should.

OK, what do I mean when I say you have two brains? Well, it turns out that your gut is the other brain in your body. How does that work? What you put in your mouth directly affects how your brains will function. It has been realized that when you eat the proper way, it benefits not only your bodies well being, but your brain’s well being too. There is what is called the Gut-Brain Connection where it has been proven that when you eat the wrong way – you could have some serious health issues with things like ADD, ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, etc., that might appear. Your gut and your brain are in constant communication with each other. When you eat right, your brain appreciates it and communicates that back to the gut. It’s a two way street. Happy gut, happy brain, happy body!

Eating too much processed food (cereals, grains, trans-fats like margarine, baked goods, potato and corn chips, and sugar) are all bad for your brain. But if you eat a better diet consisting of non-GMO fruits and vegetables (avocados, beets, blueberries, broccoli, celery, green leafy vegetables, rosemary, turmeric), nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds) if tolerated, good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil), meats and fish (grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish like salmon), egg yolks, bone broth and even Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) are all great foods for your overall health. I know, that all sounds way too boring, but you only have one body and you need to keep it healthy. I prefer that to the alternative myself!

We watched “The Magic Pill” on Netflix this past week which documented a family with a mother who is severely obese and on insulin injections, a woman with cancer, and an autistic spectrum child (little girl about 4 years old). The child struck me the most,  as she became a fairly normal little human being by just eating the right way. They were able to get her off of almost all of her medications, stopped her crippling convulsions and she actually started to communicate with most people like a regular little girl would! I watched as her incessant flailing of her little body STOPPED after just a few weeks on a corrected diet. (She was eating those little fish crackers and chicken nuggets all the time and it took her a few days before she would even touch the proper foods, but she finally did)! It was absolutely amazing to watch these changes happen and I have been and am now more so convinced that food is the most important thing in our life. Not just to sustain us, but to keep us healthy. It has been shown time and again that eating the right way can correct a lot of our health concerns, including things like Leaky Gut, brain fog, auto-immune diseases, autism, heart issues, breathing issues (asthma/allergies) and the like. So, if you are facing any type of health issue that is brain or gut related, think about how you are or have been eating and consider making some changes. It only takes about a month to actually see results. By the way, the entire family changed their diets and have reaped the benefits as well.

Getting back to the subject at hand – your brain – when you eat right, your gut actually sends all the right information to the brain to make it function properly. Now, if you have “leaky gut”, then that needs to be addressed first, before any other healing in the body can be accomplished. So make sure to start eating a better diet to help facilitate that happening, then the rest should fall in place. By healing your body you get rid of inflammation throughout your  body, your blood work will start to come to a normal reading, as will the rest of your clinical readings. You will start to feel like a “normal” human being – I know I’ve started feeling these effects (it has taken a while, but I am getting better). All kinds of changes will take place in your body and whether or not you notice them will depend on how bad things were when you started.

What can you eat/drink to help in the gut healing process? Dr. Josh Axe recommends – Bone broth (organic or make your own), fermented vegetables (you could make your own – it’s not too difficult – think sauerkraut, pickled beets, pickles), coconut products (oil, milk, raw), sprouted seeds (alfalfa, broccoli, etc.), healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, salmon), Omega-3’s (mackeral, salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies), fruit (preferably berries – or low glycemic index fruits). Also include probiotics, digestive enzymes, quercetin, Licorice root, and L-Glutamine are supplements that help heal the gut lining. These are all important elements to get your gut in the shape it needs to be in to help with your brain health.

How do you know if you have any issues? Sit down and take a look at your everyday life. Are you someone who gets angry even a little, have emotional issues, have been diagnosed with anxiety, have depression? Do you have trouble concentrating, or focusing even for short periods of time? Do you get confused easily, forget things regularly? Do you get headaches? How is your sleep – too much or too little? Do you have a bloated stomach? Are you overweight? Do you have allergies, itchy skin, rashes, itchy eyes, runny nose, ear aches? Do you have joint pain? Are you tired a lot? Do you have stomach issues – IBS, Crones, Colitis? Do you suffer from heart issues/high blood pressure? Are you diabetic or pre-diabetic? Are you on a lot of medication(s)? Also, check out your family members to see if anyone has issues that are easily identified. If so, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your diet and make a few changes for the better.

I have found that the Paleo diet – which basically is meat/fish/poultry, fruit and vegetables, good fats, some natural sweets, nuts and seeds is a good place to look and perhaps start to change. My diet is a bit more restrictive as I cannot do the nuts and seeds, there is NO gluten or grains (including corn), I can have some fruits and most vegetables (no nightshades), no dairy (not even butter or ghee), no preservatives and no processed sugar. But as diets/lifestyles go, Paleo would be my choice. If you have some other issues, the Ketogenic Diet is another one to look at – it is mainly high fat, low simple carbs but is not recommended to be continued for more than a month or two. As a bonus, these lifestyles will produce a weight reduction as you will be cutting out foods that are harmful to your body.

Some of you know me very well and know how passionate I am about my diet and how it has helped me over the past few years. It has helped me get over the pain from my Rheumatoid Arthritis, has changed the condition of my skin, my hair, my nails, and my overall health. I’m not all the way there yet, but feel so much better than I did when I came off the operating table four years ago after my hip surgery. I never thought I would get to this place, but am surely glad I am so far.

Most medical doctors are not on this page as of yet, but they will be. It is becoming more and more evident that diet is the most important thing for your health and it will take a little while yet for them to come on board. They have been trained to treat you with medicine, not food, “to help make you better”. Hippocrates said let food be thy medicine. We should all take a page from that man’s book as he was right about 2000 years ago and we should have been listening to that advice all along – and that man was a doctor! However saying that, you should always have a discussion with your medical team first before making any changes. Mine started with my allergist four plus years ago and I wouldn’t even think of doing things differently now, as I know when I make the slightest change back, I pay for it! That by no stretch, means that you couldn’t.

Have a fantastic day and week ahead.

Blessings,

Louise

Author: Louise Gagne

I'm a retired senior who has found out that my diet was causing a number of health issues. Since becoming aware of this, I have decided to create this blog to help others in similar circumstances,

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