A new perspective on the dieting
Today, the current obesity rate in the US is over 42% as opposed to the recommended 18-24% ratio advised by health officials. On the other hand the human brain stands at a whopping sixty percent! Your brain feeds on and relies on healthy fats to maintain integrity and function, just like your body depends on H20 to maintain a sixty percent water composition.
Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, some veggies and wild game are especially important during a baby’s initial brain formation because they assist in the proper growth of both white and grey brain matter. Human breast milk, which is natures perfect food, boasts a strong presence of DHA which will continue to nurture an infant’s overall health, especially the rapid development of their prefrontal cortex; the area of the brain responsible for orchestrating behavior.
Within the brain you will find multiple nerves and nerve cells that send signals and coordinate functionality. These nerves are are surrounded by a fatty substance called myelin. Myelin is an insulating layer, or sheath that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of protein and fatty substances that allow electrical impulses to transmit efficiently along the nerve cells resulting in fast responses, focus and optimal brain functionality. This fatty protective substance is maintained by the consumption of healthy fats but it is also impacted by the body’s gut microbiota.
The gut impacts many functions from sleep to metabolism, digestion, cravings, immunity, blood pressure, autoimmune responses and so much more.
Interestingly enough, the gut has a direct communication pathway to your brain. Your gut microbes have the power to either help or hurt your precious myelin. Studies have shown that certain gut flora, when overgrown can trigger myelin autoantigens causing autoimmune demyelination. This is when the immune system attacks its own myelin leading to exposed nerves. This study was done to assess the role of gut microbes in Multiple Sclerosis and explain the conditions flare ups. Not only did these studies give preventative hope for those suffering with MS, they gave the rest of the world something to chew on in regards to other brain degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and even behavioral conditions such as ADD in both adults and children. While the science is just now starting to dive into this miraculous concept that is the Brain-Gut connection, we have enough evidence to presume that nurturing our microbiome may be the best way to improve mental cognition and prevent degenerative disease.
So, what does this mean for the intellectual, entrepreneur, student or even parents of ever-distracted youth? It means that WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR BRAIN! We influence the growth, development and function of our noggin with what we eat, how we move and how we live. When we feed our children sugar laden, processed foods and send them off to school, we are actively participating in the degeneration of their brain cognition and expecting them to work with a broken machine, day in, day out. When we bathe in chemicals and toxins, we add an extra obstacle to our own focus issues and ability to control our moods. When we sit a lot or forego sleep, we are committing to working much harder than is necessary and we are limiting our own best potential. All lifestyle factors, especially diet, movement and stress impact our Gut bacteria who constantly imprint on our brain neurons. This is perhaps the best perspective shift on the idea of “dieting.” What if we “dieted” not for ab muscles but for a sexy, fat brain? Willpower is generally a word given to rate a person’s ability to abstain from a compulsive behavior but what if we focused on the very thing controlling the behavior instead; the one organ of the body responsible for your most innovative thoughts and the strategies that may ultimately lead you to purpose and passion? The thing that controls your moods and ultimately your happiness.
Maybe 2021 is the year that we discover a motivation to move eat and live for brains sake and in doing so, maybe we benefit from a better body as well.