Healthy Eating and a Healthy Brain

Advance Health Blog

Healthy Eating and a Healthy Brain

Chris Goetz - Thursday, May 21, 2015

Eat Right to Boost Your Brain Power

Goetz with CaptionWhat we eat is so closely tied to how we feel and how our bodies function that the effects can be observed in our mental health as well. A poor diet can lead not only to obesity, low energy and disease but also decreased mental performance and even depression. It turns out that the foods that are most beneficial to our bodies are the same ones that promote increased brain function. Healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to achieve a healthy body and mind.

Begin your day with a good breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast - as opposed to skipping the meal altogether - should be part of your daily routine. The body needs breakfast to jump start the metabolism and produce adequate levels of energy. The brain also needs the fuel breakfast provides to function optimally. Without it you are likely to experience fatigue and brain fog. Unfortunately, breakfast is the most commonly skipped meal, and many people turn to caffeine when that fatigue or brain fog set in. Caffeine, especially in large amounts, can dehydrate the body, leading to further fatigue as well as mood swings and trouble concentrating. A small breakfast is all you need. A whole grain granola bar and a piece of fruit will give you the energy to get to lunch. Limit coffee to one cup or substitute it with tea which has less caffeine and is loaded with beneficial antioxidants.

Healthy Foods for the Body and Mind

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Try to consume wild herring, salmon, mackerel or seaweed at least a couple of times a week for a positive affect on neurotransmitters and a boost to learning and memory.
  • Proteins - The building blocks of proteins play a part in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood and depression. Lean proteins like fish, chicken and beens help balance mood affecting serotonin levels in the brain.
  • Fruits and Vegetables - Vitamin C increases mental agility. There are many sources, and one of the best are blackcurrants. Blackcurrant seed oil contains an omega-3 fatty acid that can reduce muscle inflammation. Leafy greens like broccoli, spinach and kale, as well as lentils, are rich in folate which lowers the risk of depression, insomnia and fatigue.
  • Probiotics - Probiotics are known to lower stress and anxiety. Keep a balance of good bacteria in the digestive system by eating fermented foods like yogurt and having drinks like kombucha.

Eating the right kinds of healthy foods has a strong affect on mental performance and in many cases can fight against the symptoms of depression. If you are suffering from depression or another mental illness, make sure to get professional help from a physician. Browse our site and call us to learn more about healthy living and how Advance Health Services can help you reach your healthy potential.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.