We are in the midst of a great paradigm shift. Our understanding of health and the root cause of disease is expanding. While health concerns, issues and illnesses are extremely difficult for the individual and the community, they also offer us a particular leverage point for looking more closely at the human body.
Our diets have a significant effect on the health of our brains, which will potentially affect all areas of functioning. Alzheimer’s and dementia are only two examples of how compromised brain health can manifest. Depression and anxiety are other manifestations that are even more common and can be just as debilitating.
Eat to Beat Alzheimer’s is a discussion on nutritional science and provides recipes to put knowledge into action.
The brain needs quality fat and cholesterol. Fats provide efficient fuel for the brain, support methylation, and hormone health. Eating quality fats enhance brain functioning in all areas: improved mood, memory and cognition, balance and coordination, resiliency to stress, sleep and restoration, and overall hormone health. Increasing our intake of fats like extra virgin olive oil, unrefined cold-pressed coconut oil, avocados, fish, grass-fed organic lard, butter or ghee and pasture-raised eggs will provide optimal fuel and nourishment for the brain. This is in many ways a direct contradiction to past nutrition advice. However, the diets of the past (i.e., low fat diets, zero carbohydrate diets, and “diet” foods & drinks) have actually coincided with an increase in chronic health conditions.
Returning to a whole foods diet that is rich in healthy fats, high in vegetable content and quality protein, all the while reducing and eliminating refined, processed, high sugar foods will support overall brain health and functioning.
Additionally, adding in anti-inflammatory agents, such as turmeric and ginger, will help to reduce overall inflammation and toxicity that has accrued from highly processed diets and stressful lifestyles. Healthy brains (and bodies) also require reducing inflammatory lifestyles. Shifting stressful lifestyles and negative mindsets by increasing creative pursuits, quality connections, and resolving intrapersonal stressors and trauma all work together with diet to create a lasting, sustainable health and wellness. Long-term health is possible, rewarding, and delicious.
This article originally appeared on Bring on Lemons.
Francie Healey is the author of "Eat To Beat Alzheimer's and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is both a Certified Health Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.practitioner.