A healthy diet helps with both physical and mental health. Though the proportional impact may vary slightly, one cannot deny the positive difference a diet makes on one’s health. The Paleo diet is one particular eating style that is known for the health benefits it brings to the table. The diet is what our ancient ancestors followed, and which is primarily based on vegetables and fruits. No wonder our ancestors had less mental and physical issues to deal with. The Paleo diet helps heal different parts of the body, and in this article, we’ll take a look at its positive impact on brain functioning and health.
How Regular Diet Influences the Brain?
Grains are common food items consumed in almost every nook and corner of the world. However, not many realize that these grains lead to degenerative brain disorders, which includes Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and also has a part to play in anxiety, epilepsy, depression and migraines. Gluten is the primary reason behind obesity, and it is the glue that holds our flour together.
The majority of humans have gluten sensitivity because they were not naturally programmed to consume pizza, bread, cookies, etc. The bread that our ancestors ate had significantly lower gluten levels compared to what we eat today. When the human body comes in contact with gluten, the blood sugar level spikes, which causes inflammation and major harm to the brain.
Intro to Paleo Diet
Paleo diet, as aforementioned, is based on foods presumably consumed by early humans. In other words, the diet is all about consuming food items that humans were genetically devised to eat. The word “Paleo” refers to Paleolithic, which is a period that dates back to several thousand years. During that time, humans ate meat, roots, nuts, vegetables and an assortment of fruits. This made our ancestors stronger, healthier, and less disease-prone.
Paleo Diet’s Impact on the Human Brain
• Brain Functioning and Development
Paleo diet plays a big role in brain health and functioning. The diet comprises loads of fish, which means massive amounts of good fatty acids. These acids have DHA, which is a crucial compound for different body parts that includes the heart and eyes. DHA also helps promote brain development in people of all ages.
• Brain Defense
With age, the brain’s neurons lose connectivity, causing memory power to go down. The Paleo diet helps with safeguarding these connections. The Omega 3 fatty acid present in the Paleo diet helps reduce Alzheimer’s disease’s memory-destroying effects. These fatty acids that are found in both nuts and fish help reduce beta-amyloid’s accumulation in the blood. Beta-amyloid is a protein that amasses in the blood when the person is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
When opting for Paleo, you will also have to incorporate lots of berries into the diet. The nutrients present in berries help reduce inflammation. This inflammation decrease can enhance your cognitive traits and reduce the aging neurons’ detrimental effects.
• Sharper Mind
If you forget things too easily, you probably need to go on a Paleo diet. Again, the fatty acids (DHA) are the saviors! Also, low levels of DHA in the brain have been connected with acute incidences of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Modern-day diets have become synonymous with low DHA. Human bodies require DHA because they cannot synthesize the same by themselves. This is precisely why DHA is often referred to as essential fatty acid. The Paleo diet is rich in meat and seafood, and fishes such as mackerel and salmon have DHA in large quantities.
Exercise is another way to boost brain power. Our ancestors from the Paleolithic period didn’t have gyms and fitness centers, but they did indulge in hunting, which was a good physical exercise in itself.
• Good Sleep
Processed food items are replete with chemicals and additives. By eliminating them, your body would find it easier to tire down naturally every night. The food chemicals hinder this process by overriding the signal the brain chemical serotonin produces when it’s time to sleep. Sound sleep also means you’ll wake up fresh and energetic the next morning.
The Paleo diet has a lot of positives to offer, and the best part is that there isn’t much of cooking involved. So, it’s much easier to take up and follow for almost all people.