From time to time, the medical community keeps on prescribing specific diets to manage several chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But, unlike these conditions, there are no such dietary recommendations for dementia and brain aging. So, in this context, Dr. Andrew Weil attempted to uncover the association between the foods and our brain.
Actually, several scientists and health experts think alike in this regard. They are quite reluctant to even imagine that our food choices might have anything to do with our brain or how our brain ages or develop risk of brain diseases. Dr. Weil feels this is, in part, because nutrition has been considerably glossed over in post-grad schools and medical schools. However, in the last couple of years, nutrition has been recognized as a separate science and diet has been evidently accepted as a way to prevent aging of brain and associated conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other brain diseases.
Gradually, scientists discovered the relationship between food and brain health. This revelation has paved the way to find foods that could actually prevent and treat brain-related diseases.
What most of us realize today is that the quality and actual health of the foods that we consume has degraded dramatically. Animals are being fed with antibiotics, genetically modified (GMO) feed and growth hormones. Likewise, pigs and chickens are also fed with poisonous substances like arsenic as preservatives. Raised produce is regularly showered with pesticides and loads of chemical fertilizers. There is also no denying that meat from such animals, when consumed, brings myriads of health hazards too us.
All those chemicals make the produce grow and look better and plumper but what they actually do is that they significantly reduce the vitamin and mineral content of the produce. Additionally, these foods are also regularly showered with artificial fats and refined sugar to enhance their taste and shelf life. Dr. Weil also stresses that the processing is done to enhance the sales, while making us crave more for these foods.
Until now, the connection between foods and our brain health practically literally remained unnoticed and extremely less unexplored. However, the fact is that from brain’s abilities to its architecture, everything calls out for a proper and healthy diet. Most people are unaware that our brain receives its nourishment from the food we eat. Whatever we eat is broken down into nutrients, which then enters the blood stream and travels to the brain, just like other body parts. The brain replenishes all its depleted sources to activate various cellular reactions and uses these nutrients to be incorporated in brain tissues.
Proteins obtained from fish and meat are broken down into the amino acids, which serve as the real backbone of brain cells. Similarly, fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide the necessary nutrients like vitamins, minerals and glucose; all of which, energize our brain. Healthy fats obtained from nuts and fish make our neurons responsive and flexible. All these nutrients actually save our brain from any kind of cognitive damage and aging. So, unarguably, it can be concluded that our brains are basically just what we eat.