Brain Nutrition and Performance

by Deborah Walker of Passport to Change

 

5 things that can change your brain

Twenty percent of the energy that your body creates goes toward enabling your brain to function, this is despite it only representing 2% of your absolute body mass. Any drop in the ability of your body to create that energy via your nutritional intake, hydration or external factors affects your brain, and therefore affects your decision making, memory, concentration, recall, ability to deal with stressor factors, and long term mental health. Energy is essential for neurological processes including the neurotransmitters, cell signalling and gene expression. There is a large amount of data via scientific research showing that your mind has a very powerful influence on the way you look, your moods, stress levels, general health and wellbeing, researchers from the University of Cambridge even found that when people made bad decisions with their brains it took up to fourteen years off the average life span. So it makes absolute sense to focus your nutrition on not only how your body functions but also the effective performance of your brain if for no other reason than to help you make good decisions and increase your lifespan. 
 
The fact is that most people until truly pushed won't do the work to make the body function well and are more interested in working on their bodies from the outside. Their thinking is that they can eat and drink what they like and their body will keep on working, often that functioning is sadly well below what their body is actually capable of, which at times can be significantly below its optimal performance when fed a healthy and nutritionally focused diet. 
 
If you know that your memory, concentration, decision making and recall are being affected, and are not as good as they used to be, it's time to take heed that your body will do everything it can to give your brain 20% of the body's energy. It does everything it can to keep your heart, brain and then your major organs functioning, but it will ration the energy that is available. When you are suffering from poor memory, tiredness, fogginess and concentration issues, consider the fact that what you are doing is affecting your whole body health not just your brain by that point. Many people are walking around knowing that their brain isn't optimally functioning, but they do not really knowing what to do about it. So they accept as the norm that they will regularly lose their keys, can't remember the start of their conversation or what was asked of them, get to the top of the stairs going to get something only to find they can't remember what they went for, they even forget where they have put their todo list!! They know their memory isn't good, but think this is something that they have to live with,  but it doesn't have to be that way in many cases, and mostly it's because their body isn't being fed the right nutrients, or being hydrated correctly. 
 
Well now could be the time to take a moment to reassess the fact that your body and brain, to perform at it's optimum level, needs to be cared for. When you work to improve your overall body functioning through nutrition and lifestyle changes, you inevitably have an impact on your brain.  Look after it, and it will look after you, giving you a long and healthy life. 
 
The main lifestyle impactors that reduce brain functioning are living on processed denatured foods, drinking diet fizzy drinks, alcohol, working long hours, not managing stress effectively, reduced sleeping or broken sleep cycles, taking drugs both legal and illegal, lack of exercising, not getting out into the sun light, and not drinking enough water. 
 
Optimising brain functioning isn't rocket science, 5 areas to concentrate on are: 
Naturally focused high quality diet 
Hydration with pure water
Take daily vitamins focusing on key supplements, specific minerals, and Essential Fatty Acids. 
Exercise and get out into the light. 
Enough sleep, relaxation, and meditation time. 
 
The way you live your life day to day will have an impact on the functioning of your brain and body. Ask yourself do you want the unhealthy brain that makes you struggle with weight problems, mood disorders, poor decision making, a declining cognitive function, reduced concentration, all potentially leading to health issues? Or do you want the healthy brain that makes it easier for you to look, act and feel your best? 
 
The choice is yours.
 
Deborah Walker
Award winning Naturopathic Nutritionist and Natural Health Advisor. 
Clinics in 5 Oaks West Sussex, Guildford Surrey and soon to be opening Cork, Ireland. 
Twitter @changepassport
01483 789571
 
 
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