Diet and your nervous system
A physical organ just like the heart or the liver, the brain thrives on natural, raw foods. According to a study out of the University of Wales, eating the equivalent of just three Brazil nuts daily can help significantly boost mood, promote feelings of calm, ease anxiety, and raise energy levels in as few as three months. Farabee; May Neuropathy. Omega 3 fatty acids is the key component in the fish that improves the functioning on the brain and nervous system. Treatment of diet-deficiency-induced beriberi, thiamin-deficiency associated with alcoholism and drug-induced lack of B1, usually consists of B-complex injections or high doses of thiamin supplements. Good health begins in your gastrointestinal tract. Your brain ages with time, it is important to improve the functioning and health of the brain along with the nervous system.
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Other foods readily available in our world today, however, not only raise the risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes, but may actually damage the brain itself. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation , fatty foods damaged the hypothalamus region of the brain in animal studies.
The hypothalamus produces hormones that control hunger, thirst, sleep, moods, and other natural rhythms in the body. Rats and mice fed a high-fat diet similar to that of many Americans had inflamed hypothalamuses after one day, and after a short period of time where the body tried to repair the damage, the inflammation persisted for 8 more months until the end of the study. Researchers theorized that trans fats were the likely culprits.
A three-year study of more than 1, people found that those participants with the highest daily sodium intake and the lowest level of exercise performed poorer over time on cognitive tests than those with low sodium intake and an active lifestyle.
Processed Foods Artificial food additives, like preservatives and food dyes, have shown in studies to affect the cognitive functioning and behavior of some children. Artificial food additives make up more than 3, chemicals that are added to foods. MSG, for example, used to flavor foods, was found in studies to destroy nerve cells in the brain, and to encourage seizure-like behavior.
Researchers also tested olive and flaxseed oil and found the same results, with flaxseed and sunflower creating the most toxic aldehydes with the least amount of frying time. Some areas of the brain displayed a loss of neurons in particular areas. The following amino acids and their related neurotransmitters are vital for a healthy nervous system:. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that the developing foetus, newborn infants and young children have an adequate supply of amino acids, which are derived from proteins.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you need to eat protein foods with a high biological value, i. If you are a vegan or a strict vegetarian, you may have to take an amino acid supplement to ensure that your baby obtains sufficient amino acids to develop a normal brain and CNS. In adults, any condition that affects adequate protein intake very low energy diets, vegan or macrobiotic diets, alcoholism, anorexia or increases the requirement for protein when intakes may be inadequate pregnancy, lactation, periods of growth, illnesses that exhaust protein supplies , can lead to an imbalance in the supply of amino acids to the brain and CNS.
This can result in neurological fall-out and damage. In this article, the three main B vitamins, namely thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, are considered.
Pronounced vitamin B1 deficiency causes beriberi, which is characterised by oedema, shortness of breath and sensory disturbances with paralysis. Muscle weakness, irritability, loss of memory, convulsions and permanent brain damage may also develop. Nowadays, outright thiamin deficiency is rare in populations that follow a western diet, but subclinical vitamin B1 deficiencies occur and certain conditions such as alcoholism Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome , and epilepsy treated with phenytoin, are known to be associated with a high risk of developing thiamin deficiency.
The use of certain diuretics can also lead to higher losses of thiamin with associated deficiency. Treatment of diet-deficiency-induced beriberi, thiamin-deficiency associated with alcoholism and drug-induced lack of B1, usually consists of B-complex injections or high doses of thiamin supplements. Niacin nicotinic acid is another one of the B-complex vitamins that may be linked to neurological damage.
Mild niacin deficiency is associated with weakness, tremor, anxiety, depression and irritability. Once again, severe niacin deficiency is rare in modern times, but sub-clinical niacin deficiency symptoms may be more prevalent than we suspect. Immediate treatment of serious niacin deficiency is usually done by means of B-complex injections or high doses of niacin supplements. The human body is capable of manufacturing niacin from the amino acid tryptophan.
Thus patients with a niacin deficiency will benefit from adequate intakes of high-quality protein foods see 1 above , as well as sources of niacin, such as: It is interesting to note that pellagra niacin deficiency , which used to be common among populations that ate highly refined cereals combined with a low protein intake, did not occur in countries like Mexico, where the population was also mainly dependent on maize as their staple food. The disease was relatively common among the black population of South Africa, which subsisted on sifted, white maize meal.
The reason for this is that the indigenous population of Mexico has always made tortillas by soaking the maize in limewater.