There are many dietary factors that can affect brain function. Here I focus on the five that I encountered most frequently in clinic. The clue to identifying the right one(s) often lies in the accompanying physical symptoms. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you too might spot the clues. Here’s a guide to nutritional sleuthing for mental well-being.Read more
Sometimes described as “cellular housekeeping”, autophagy — meaning “self-eating” in Greek – is a process that takes place in all mammalian cells and tissues. It was in the 1960s that researchers first became aware that each cell can destroy its own components. These components include damaged proteins and organelles, considered to be “common features of neurodegenerative diseases”, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.Read more
When the phenomenal Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, two years ahead of schedule and fifty years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, it looked like we had all diseases nailed. A simple DNA test would reveal which disease you were most likely to fall victim to, so you could pre-empt your nemesis. Forewarned is forearmed.Read more
Inflammation is often visible and painful. Red, angry swellings make their presence felt. Yet sometimes inflammation is invisible and painless; you would never know it was there. When inflammation flares in the brain, it does so silently. Chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain is a factor in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases, including depression and dementia. It is also seen in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.Read more
It is a curious fact that antidepressants are a common treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. But why give Prozac to someone with abdominal pain? Antidepressants work because the gut and brain are inextricably linked. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut — it travels to the brain. More than half of all patients with IBS are affected by a mood disorder.Read more
Exercise, as you know, has many positive benefits. Aside from raising your buff rating, it improves all aspects of health, from pulmonary and musculoskeletal fitness, from immunity to metabolism. It is celebrated for its heart health benefits, and because cardiovascular fitness is considered a predictor of long-term health exercise can extend your life expectancy.
However, there’s another area of exercise research that is proving to be just as positive, and that’s brain health. It’s becoming clear that the right kind of exercise can help prevent the onset of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.Read more
It takes a natural disaster to realize that food does not actually come from shops, that borders are figments of our imaginations, and that everything that we construct to shield ourselves from the natural world is an illusion that can be swept away in seconds by a flood, an earthquake, a hurricane, a wildfire. A virus.Read more
Feed Your Brain is a Medium publication, exclusively about food and how it influences your mental health. Could you contribute? Medium writers can earn money for their articles.
If you can write, and have experience – either personal or professional – in the field of diet and mental health, find out more.
Tired all the time, wiped out, exhausted, fatigued… my clients all had different ways of saying it, but the problem was essentially the same. As a nutrition consultant, I encountered the same health issues time and again. Top of that list, by a mile, was low energy, or however you prefer to put it. If that sounds like you, it’s worth considering possible dietary causes of your fatigue, especially if you’ve tried everything else and been given the all-clear by your doctor.Read more
High homocysteine (Hcy) is an indication of low vitamin B12 status. It is also a risk factor for other serious diseases too, especially cardiovascular disease and stroke, as it can damage the walls of blood vessels. Hcy can easily be lowered. For some people, awareness of this fact could be life changing.Read more