by Tony Webster
Neuro-nutrition holds surprising answers
There are some interesting new ways to improve your memory which are being discovered in the new field of nutritional neuroscience, or neuro-nutrition as we prefer to call it. Starting to think of food and food supplements as medicine is a new way to consider what we eat and there is no area to which this is more relevant than the brain. When you think about what this small organ, the size of your two fists held together, does for you it is amazing. It is the home for our personality, our thinking and problem solving skills and our memory. It is an extraordinary organ and it needs care in the same way as our bodies and hearts do. Did you know that the health of the brain is 70% to do with the environment (including the nutrients you put into it) and only 30% reliant on your genetic inheritance?
Let’s look at ways we can improve our memories and our brains.
The way you eat – the diet our ancient ancestors had is perfect for our brains, and also helps our hearts too. It makes sense when you think about it as the human body evolves steadily but slowly to be the best ‘machine’ for dealing with the environment surrounding it. Thus the ‘stone age’ diet simultaneously shaped the evolving brain at that time and also set the parameters for what the brain needed and could tolerate. Life for a human being was very different then but remained like that for many many hundreds of years until the start of large scale agriculture became the norm. Since then life has rapidly changed within a very short time span. Our bodies and brains are lagging way behind our current lifestyle. So in order to help our bodies get back to basics and thrive again we need to give them a much higher proportion of ‘stone age’ food and a lot less fast Generation Y food.
What is the Stone Age Diet
Wild game, wild fish, wild greens, fruits, berries and roots! By now our bodies have been bombarded with the newer foods such as refined grains, sugar and dairy products – not to mention alcohol and separated fats. Ooops! Doesn’t look easy for our brains to thrive on such different food. Especially when you realize that 83% of our food is ‘new’ food and 17% old. The ancient ancestors used to eat three times as many fruits and vegetables than we do and ten times as much fiber!
The biggest critical difference has been the change in the type of oils we eat. We need Omega 3 and omega 6 – but we need to have them in a roughly equal proportion. In fact what we eat is 20 times more omega 6 than omega 3. Our brain cells just cannot function well with this regime and they shut down or malfunction badly in this situation. Omega 3 oils come from wild meat, oily fish and some vegetables. Omega 6 oils come from corn oil, margarine and baked goods.
So… make these changes in your diet and take good care of your brain. It has to last you a lifetime and it will if you understand what it needs.
– Make fruit and vegetables the majority of your meals
– Eat nuts, particularly almonds and walnuts once you have checked for any allergies.
– Eat fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel and of course shell fish (again checking for allergies)
– Eat game and white meat without skin.
– Don’t eat much sugar and sodium
– Don’t eat much refined food that goes through lots of processes before it ends up in a box for your microwave
– Take vitamin and mineral supplements
– Take fish oil capsules if you don’t eat fish more than twice a week.
– Unleash your Inner Ancestor and do your brain a favor!
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