Nutritional Assessment

Nutritional Assessment

Nutrition has a tremendous role in how we feel and what goes on in our gut has an enormous influence on the brain. Inside the gut are what we call microbiome this is about two to four pounds of bacteria that inhibit our gut and help us to digest food but they have an enormous influence on our brain.

We are now realizing that the gut and the brain are intimately connected. Our diet There is a lot of studies from around the world in different population that shows when people eat healthy traditional diet of fruits, vegetable, nuts and grain and limited amount of meat they tend to be much less depressed and much less anxious. In comparison, when they eat a more western diet which consists of a lot of fat, sugar and sweet, processed foods and carbohydrates, they are much more likely to develop anxiety and depression.

There is a significant relationship between mood and food

Most of the weight of your dehydrated brain would come from fats also known as lipids. In the remaining brain matter, you would find proteins and amino acids, traces of micronutrient and glucose. The brain is, of course, more than just the sum of its nutritional parts, but each component does have a distinct impact on functioning, development, mood and energy. So that post-lunch apathy or late-night alertness you might be feeling that is simply the effects of food on your brain. Of the facts in your brain, the superstars are Omega 3 and 6. These fatty acids which have been linked to preventing degenerative brain conditions must come from our diets. So eating omega rich food like nuts, seeds and fatty fish is crucial to the creation and maintenance of cell membranes.

While omegas are good fats for your brain, long term consumption of other fats, such as tans and saturated fats may compromise brain health. Meanwhile, protein and amino acids the building block nutrients of growth and development manipulate how we feel and behave. Amino acids contain the precursors to neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that carry signals between neurons, affecting things like mood, sleep, attentiveness and weight. They’re one of the reasons we might feel calm after eating a large plate of pasta, or more alert after a protein rich meal. The complex combinations of compounds in food can stimulate brain cells to release mood-altering norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. But getting to your brain cells is tricky and amino acids have to compete for limited access.

A diet with a range of foods helps maintain a balanced combination of brain messengers and keeps yor mood from getting skewed in one direction or the other. Like the other organs in our body our brains also benefit from a steady supply of micronutrients. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables strengthen the brain to fight off free radicals that destroy brain cells, enabling your brain to work well for a longer period of time. Without powerful micronutrients like vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid, our brain would be susceptible to brain disease and mental decline. Trace amount of minerals like iron, copper, zinc and sodium are also fundamental to brain health and early cognitive development. In order for the brain to efficiently transform and synthesize these valuable nutrient, it needs fuel and lots of it. While the human brain only makes up about 2% of our body weight it uses up to 20% of our energy resources. Most of this energy comes form carbohydrates that our body digests into glucose, or blood sugar. The frontal lobes are so sensitive to drops in glucose, in fact, that a change in mental function is one of the primary signals of nutrient deficiency.

Assuming that we are getting glucose regularly, how does the specific type of carbohydrates we eat affect our brains? Carbs come in three forms: starch, sugar and fiber. While on most nutrition labels, they are all lumped into one total carb count, the ratio of the sugar and fiber subgroups to the whole amount affect how the body and brain respond. A high glycemic food like white bread causes a rapid release of glucose into the blood and then comes the dip. Bllod sugar shoots downs and with it our attention span and mood. On the other hand, oats, grain and legumes have slower glucose release enabling a steadier level of attentiveness. For sustained brain power, opting for a varied diet of nutrient-rich foods is crucial. When it comes to what you bite, chew and swallow, your choices have a direct and long-lasting effect on the most important and powerful organ in your body.

Food and herds that help you sleep better:

1.  Cherry – high in melatonin, which is sleep hormone.

2.  Lemon balm, sleep promoting herb.

3.  Chamomile – promotes better sleep by reducing anxiety.

4.  Banana – High in magnesium and potassium that re;ax the muscles distress the body.

5.  Spinach- high in magnesium, calcium and potassium. Calcium is important in production of
melatonin.

6.  Almond – high in magnesium, calcium.

7.  Walnuts – good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin and melatonin.

8.  Lettuce – contains lactucarium , a sedative that relaxes the brain.

9.  Oats – grains in oatmeal trigger the production of insulin.

10. Dark chocolate – contains serotonin, which promotes relaxation of the mind.