Sometimes when people are having various cognitive issues they assume that it is literally all in their head. It is important to remember that what happens in the rest of the body does affect the mind as well. It is not a separate entity in itself that functions normally in spite of what goes on in the rest of your body. In this blog I want to focus on seven steps that will help us have a healthy mind that functions at optimal levels. Too often when people are having these types of issues they are not getting any real answers and do not have the core underlying issues of their problems addressed.
Step One: Optimize Nutrition
The first thing that needs to happen is a change in one’s diet. This needs to be a lifestyle change that is long term and not some brief fad diet that someone is going through. A good place to start is to increase whole foods in your diet as well as healthy fats. It is important to get rid of processed food. Reading labels is very important and we need to avoid things like trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup and other unhealthy additives that are in many things today in the average supermarket. It is more common for supermarkets today who have organic sections and items in their stores.
Our cell membranes, and much of our brain, are made up of fatty acids. It is important that we get omegas and other fatty acids in our diet. Omega 3’s in particular provide nutrition to the brain which can be helpful for mood and bipolar issues.
Choline is important for normal brain development as well as liver function, nerve function, muscle movement and a healthy metabolism. “Choline is a vitamin-like essential nutrient and a methyl donor involved in many physiological processes, including normal metabolism and transport of lipids, methylation reactions, and neurotransmitter synthesis.”1
Cholesterol is important for brain health and it is the glue between molecules. Though it has been demonized in some circles it has a vital role in health. “Cholesterol, a substance required for the normal function of cells, is present in every cell of the human body. It is also found in the bloodstream. The soft waxy substance is produced in the body and is essential for the production of vitamin D, bile salts and hormones.”2
A person needs 30 to 40 grams of protein per meal which triggers protein synthesis. If you don’t do that you will destroy your metabolism eventually. Fiber is needed because it helps balance microbiome. Whole food carbohydrates are best. Vitamins and minerals include folate, B6, B12, vitamin D, zinc, selenium and magnesium.
1.) Oregon State University. Linus Pauling Institute. Choline
2.) Livestrong.com. Importance of cholesterol.
– King James Bible. Philippians 4:8.