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“You are what you eat!” In anticipation of Mental Health Week (May 7-13) the following nutrition tips will underscore the need for nutrients through better diet and supplementation to feed the body and the brain. Improved nutrition coupled with stress reduction are a healthy pair to help combat the detrimental effects of a busy, hurried lifestyle that many people lead. Let’s make time to examine the food in our pantries and the nutrients in the food we consume to advance both mental and physical health.
1. Balance your glucose (blood sugar) – it’s fuel for the brain
2. Essential fats - these nourish your brain; the brain is made up of 60% fat
3. Phospholipids- helps memory and boosts the brain.
4. Amino acids - these are the brain’s messengers, building blocks of protein.
5. Smart nutrients - vitamins and minerals can “fine tune” your mind.
The Brain-Gut Connection
Thinking is done by neurons in the brain, however, the digestive system contains 100 million neurons and produces as many neurotransmitters as the brain. For example, the gut produces two-thirds of the body’s serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter. So when you eat, you are in essence feeding two brains. The gut and brain are in permanent communication. Feeding your body the right foods can make you happy and the wrong foods can make you feel anxious ors depressed.
Resources: Optimum Nutrition for The Mind, Patrick Holford,
ABC’s of Natural Nutrition, A. Hoffer, MD, PhD
© Rosalie Moscoe, RHN, RNCP, Health In Harmony, www.healthinharmony.com