Everyone has heard the expression ‘you are what you eat.’ Many of us struggle with food issues, from eating too much, or eating too little, or just not knowing what is healthy to eat. There are so many fad diets out there, and you may be confused about what they can do for your body. The most important thing is to find out what works for you.

Nutrition Keeps Your Brain Healthy

The role of food and nutrition is in the spotlight as scientists seek to understand how food affects our bodies and minds. A diet rich in vitamins and polyphenols is recommended, and you should avoid saturated fatty acids.

Cooking methods can also affect food quality and can modify the dietary content. Advanced glycation end products (or AGEs) are harmful toxins formed during the cooking process.

Scientists have found promising results when using dietary nutrients to prevent cognitive deterioration that occurs as we age and in individuals affects by Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and polyphenols slowed or prevented the effects of AD.

Scientists also found that the toxic effects of AGEs resulted from cooking at higher temperatures. While more research is needed, initial findings suggest that food can have a profound impact on our brains as we age (Abate, 2017).

So What Does This Mean For You?

Finding the balance between what you eat and having a healthy body and mind can be difficult. We all have to eat, but choosing what to eat is up to each of us. Understanding how food affects your life can help you make better decisions. 

Our guts are just as important as our minds. Zinc, magnesium, and B6 are low when you are stressed, which in turn affects your brain because you can’t produce the neurotransmitter levels you need to maintain your drive and imagination. 

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well. 

Virginia Woolf

All the fads mean that a type of food is in and then it's out. Instead of blindly following some of these so-called diet 'experts,' listen to your body and figure out what you need.

Balancing Food, Exercise, And Life In General

Feeding your body healthy, nutritious foods will make you feel better. Your overall health will improve when you cut saturated fats and decrease sugars. You may be tempted to jump on the next diet bandwagon, but unfortunately, most of us fall off as soon as we start eating ‘normally’ again.

The key is to find what works for your body. Try adding a daily walk, and spend some time getting a healthy dose of vitamin D.

Read labels and educate yourself on nutritional recommendations. Small changes can lead to big rewards, so don’t be too drastic.

Choose a salad instead of fries, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Your brain and body will thank you in twenty years.

Abate, G., Marziano, M., Rungratanawanich, W., Memo, M., & Uberti, D. (2017). Nutrition and AGE-ing: Focusing on Alzheimer’s Disease. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2017, 7039816. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7039816

Originally posted on: 26 October 2017
Last updated on: 18 February 2024
Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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