We have discussed items that may atribute to an ideal mind before in the devils playground, stagnation and the brains longing for new experiences to stimulate thought and learning.
The feedback loop
Today we will discuss nutrition in relation to mental health and cognitive function. We must understand the concept of both positive and negative feedback loops. Firstly I think we should validate that there can be many forms of depression, some of which are clinical, these can and should be supported by medical professionals but there are also things we can do ourselves to support, improve or eliminate more mild depressive episodes. For example a person who suffers from depression may also suffer from a lack of motivation. I think it’s safe to say that the two things can go hand in hand. So someone that lacks motivation may not have the drive for the preparation of healthy fresh real food or physical exertion. Herein lies the feedback loop and a chance for understanding and knowledge to break the negative cycle.
So you may ask ‘how can I improve my mental health through healthier eating’? Our brains need certain nutritional compounds and lifestyle factors in order to make neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Serotonin, Melatonin, Gaba and Acetylcholine to name a few. The precursors to neurotransmitters are generally amino acids which have to be acquired from the diet in sufficient amounts. Although exercise is an amazing tool for mental health, it’s difficult to motivate yourself for exercise when the chemistry is not running effectively. Hack your brain chemistry and hormonal profile first through functional nutrition. Using this method will Improve the functioning of neurotransmitters and balancing a hormonal profile. In turn it gives a person more drive and will power to escape their own negative feedback loops.
What can help?
The link between mental health, nutrition and lifestyle is undeniable. The following are a list of foods and supplements that have positive implications for the production of neurotransmitters, Circulation, hormonal balance, cognitive function and brain health.
- Vitamin D– Neuroprotective, Regulates brain function, Calcium Homeostasis
- 5HTP- Derived from L theanine, Converts into serotonin,Regulates mood, appetite, behaviour
- Omega 3s– Structural role within brain cell membranes, Improves communication between cells
- B Complex/B12– Helps to down homocysteine, anxiety relief, Energy for creating new brain cells
- L Theanine– Improves mental performance when taken with caffeine
- Ginkgo Biloba- Improves both circulation and blood flow which positively impacts brain health
- Raw Cocoa- Flavonoids boost brain oxygenation and cognitio. Benefits memory & processing
- Curcumin Extract- Aid heavy metal detox and build up of abnormal proteins in the brain
- Blueberries- Helps to maintain brain function and improves memory
As with anything health related, a holistic approach always works better than focusing on one particular area. My intention with this article is to show both positive and negative feedback loops so they may be understood and hopefully implemented.
- Physical exercise
- Brain health
- Will power
- & Happiness
They’re all interlinked. Positive impacts in brain function will positively affect these areas. In turn this should make most areas for your health and fitness journey easier.