Food and the Brain
By Kate Leinweber • December 5th, 2012 • 13411 Views
One of the most common things I talk about with regards to the brain is the concept that we are what we eat, and we also think what we eat. The foods we eat directly support the function of our body as well as our brain.
In my experience working in an ADHD clinic I find that for the most part there is a lot of confusion or resistance to eating high quality foods. The confusion I can address through education and the resistance usually lies in picky children. It has been shown that individuals diagnosed with ADHD digest and absorb nutrients differently, and therefore need rich sources of nutrients that are easy to digest. A nutrient deficiency can affect taste buds, which means that a transitional diet may be a challenge to youngsters’ under developed tastes. Patience and perseverance with an understanding of how to support the brain’s development through food is key.
Here are the basics of understanding what to eat to support the brain.
Fat is the building block of the brain. In fact, the brain is made of 60% saturated fat! Fat is also where most of your energy is going to come from. And as a parent of someone with ADHD or other disorder you need all the extra energy you can get! Fat provides endurance as opposed to the quick fix energy that comes from carbohydrates.
Plant based saturated fat is found in coconut oil. Animal sourced Saturated fats are found in dairy, eggs and meats. It is imperative that organic animal products are consumed. Pesticides build up in fatty tissues, so if animals are eating pesticides they end up in your body.
Unsaturated fats are also very important for brain function. If you can get grass-fed meats they are high in anti-inflammatory and brain supportive fats like Conjugated Linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3’s like DHA and EPA. Fish and fish oil supplements are great, although avoid the larger fishes that are high in toxins. Click here for a reference you can carry in your wallet.
Other fats include nuts, seeds, avocados and olives. Only cook with coconut oil, butter, olive oil or grape seed oil. Everything else is too delicate and turns into free radicals when cooked. And never, ever buy a “low fat” item again. These have chemical additives and have lost vitamins in processing. They are left...