The first thing that comes to mind when considering the food and beverages you consume may not be brain function or mental health. However, it may be time to reconsider your perspective!
Food is the fuel for our entire body and its functions, including our brain. Brain health and nutrition interact a lot more than you may expect. For that reason, when it comes to targeting our brain function while treating certain mental health conditions, we always have to consider how our diet comes into play.
When you are undergoing neurofeedback training at Beaverton Neurofeedback, we encourage you to also consider making some changes in the foods you consume – and here’s why!
As the master controller of your body, your brain keeps your heart pumping, your lungs breathing, and gives you the ability to experience motion, feelings, and thinking. Your food has an effect on how well your brain works and can improve various mental skills like focus and memory.
Even when you are asleep, your brain is still working and always active. This implies that your brain needs a steady flow of fuel. Your diet serves as this "fuel," and the ingredients matter greatly. Simply put, your diet directly affects the structure and operation of your brain, which in turn affects your mood.
Knowing how strong the link is between brain health and nutrition can serve as a great asset for anyone looking to improve their mental health. Certain foods are popularly known as “brain foods”, such as dark chocolate, fish, nuts, and many others. Even certain diets, such as the ketogenic diet which we will discuss later in this article, can aid in keeping your brain healthy.
Implications are to be anticipated if your brain is malnourished or if harmful inflammatory cells or free radicals are circulating inside the brain's contained space, further causing brain tissue injury. It's noteworthy that the medical community did not widely accept the relationship between mood and eating for a long time.
Our brain function and cognitive performance may change as a result of our diet, exercise, and other everyday environmental interactions. According to one study, we now understand that specific foods affect cognition by influencing cellular or molecular processes that are essential for preserving cognitive function.
This opens up the intriguing idea that altering one's diet is a workable method for improving cognitive capacities, preventing brain damage, encouraging the repair of impaired brain function, and reversing the consequences of age-related mental decline.
The term "ketogenic" refers to a low-carb diet. This carbohydrate limitation causes the body to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis.
Your body becomes highly effective at burning fat to generate energy when this occurs. Additionally, it causes the liver to produce ketones from fat, which the brain can use as fuel – a classic example of brain health and nutrition working together.
Though more research is necessary, studies have shown a link between the ketogenic diet and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and even traumatic brain injury.
The brain typically runs primarily on glucose. Unlike your muscles, your brain cannot use fat as fuel. Ketones can, however, be used by the brain. Your liver converts fatty acids into ketones when your blood levels of glucose and insulin are low.
Every time you go for a long period of time without food, for instance after a full night's sleep, a few ketones are produced. However, the liver produces more ketones when you fast or when your daily carb consumption is less than 50 grams. When carbohydrates are reduced or removed, ketones can meet up to 3 quarters of the brain's energy requirements.
Neurofeedback training requires live monitoring of your brainwaves, in response to certain triggers, depending on what mental health issue you are looking to treat. By providing yourself with certain rewards when your brain is producing optimal electric impulses, and taking them away or providing negative feedback when it isn’t, you can train your brain to “balance itself” and bring itself back to a good state.
Make sure that your brain and nerve cells are receiving nutrients from foods such as omega 3 fatty acids and green leafy vegetables. You wouldn’t want to solely fuel your body with processed foods. Furthermore, you can increase brain function, boost overall health and ensure your brain responds more effectively to the neurofeedback training.
Nutrition and brain health are closely linked, and therefore it’s only natural that avoiding foods that can impair brain function and eating high-quality foods can help in treating mood disorders and maintaining a generally healthy brain.
Brain health and nutrition go hand in hand, as is proven especially by the close link between the ketogenic diet and improved mental function. Just imagine the possibilities this can open up for someone undergoing neurofeedback training!
However, a good neurofeedback session, at the end of the day, relies on high-quality equipment and well-trained professionals. This is precisely what Beaverton Neurofeedback has to offer – contact us and let’s start your training sessions as soon as possible!