Nutrition information by condition for Mental and Cognitive Health

Food for the Brain provide evidence based information on numerous conditions that impact on brain health and mental wellbeing. These conditions sit under four umbrellas:

Click below for evidence based information regarding nutrition and lifestyle interventions for supporting specific conditions.

ADHD (Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder)

A study of 265 hyperactive children found that more than three-quarters of them displayed abnormal glucose tolerance, – that is, their bodies were less able to handle sugar intake and maintain balanced blood sugar levels.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia

The single, hottest nutritional discovery is that your risk of developing Alzheimer’s is strongly linked to your level of the toxic amino acid homocysteine, which can be measured from a pinprick of blood on a home test kit. The lower your level throughout life the smaller your chances of developing serious memory decline.

Autism

There is growing evidence that nutritional therapy can really make a big difference to children with autism. Many have severely disrupted digestion, so restoring balance in the gut is a key focus for nutritional therapy. Also important is balancing blood sugar, checking for brain-polluting heavy metals, excluding food additives, identifying food allergies and possible nutrient deficiencies.

Bipolar Disorder

There have been some studies where magnesium was added to other treatments to stop symptoms of mania or rapid cycling. Magnesium can block the entry of too much calcium into cells (it is a natural calcium channel blocker) which may explain why it is helpful with some symptoms of illnesses.

Depression

There are been a number of studies demonstrating the benefit of omega 3 in depression. A trial led by Dr Andrew Stoll from Harvard Medical School, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, gave 40 depressed patients either omega 3 supplements versus placebo and found a highly significant improvement.

Dyslexia

Children with dyslexia are very often deficient in these essential fats and/or the nutrients needed to properly utilise them.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, from anorexia to bulimia to binge eating disorder, involve changes in appetite and disordered eating; providing a surplus or deficiency in essential body dietary nutrients, which can cause short and long term effects. Each disorder is patient specific, and they affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. You might feel anxious when doing a presentation at work, taking a test, or making an important decision. However, anxiety disorders go beyond temporary worries or fears. For people who suffer from anxiety disorders, the condition does not go away. Instead, it worsens over time and affects every aspect of their life.

Insomnia

If you have blood sugar levels which fluctuate wildly throughout the day and night, this can affect your sleep. Excessive sugar in your blood can have you feeling wide awake, whereas if your blood sugar is low, your body’s response is to release cortisol, a naturally-occurring hormone whose function is to release stored sugar into the bloodstream.

Parkinson’s Disease

While the cause of Parkinson’s is not known, environmental toxins such as pesticides and herbicides are implicated. Researchers have found levels of these chemicals to be higher in the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers and incidence of Parkinson’s is higher in areas with greater use of these chemicals.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

PTSD is a mental health condition that can be caused by a frightening or life threatening event. Originally a term used to describe the traumatised state of some returning war veterans, it is now understood that a variety of traumatic situations can cause PTSD, such as accidents, crime, disasters, childbirth or family or partner abuse…

Schizophrenia

A nutritional approach works alongside conventional treatment and may improve both positive and negative symptoms, and also reduce the side-effects of medication. In some cases, the improvements are so great that the patient’s doctor may take the decision to cut down or discontinue medication.

Stress

Diet is key, as eating the right foods and boosting your intake of certain nutrients can help you dramatically increase your energy reserves, so you feel better equipped to deal with life’s challenges. Getting enough sleep is also important. Adopting a more positive mindset can also change the way you perceive stressful events.

Allergies

….coming soon

Blood glucose homeostasis

….coming soon

Gut Health

….coming soon

Why optimum nutrition is important for the brain

The brain is the most energy-hungry organ in the body. Despite the fact that it weighs just 1.5kg, it steals roughly 25% of the body’s energy requirements. It is therefore dependent on a second-to-second supply of energy, which is only provided by the food we eat.

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