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Is Your Brain Broken?

Today I'd like to look at our brain and the suprising connection of the inflammation within our brain and all the downstream problems; from autism, Alzheimer's, anxiety, depression, bipolar disease, schizophrenia and Parkinson's.



 

Inflammation.

When our body experiences inflammation, it has many ways of expressing it. Joint pain, swelling, discoloration, redness, loss of function, abdominal or chest pain, fatigue, insomnia, fever, skin rash, digestion issues, acid reflux and frequent infections. But when our brain's inflamed, it manifests differently.

A brain that's inflammed is driving every aspect of who we are, how we feel, how we interact with the world.

And to that end, it means that adjusting our inflammatory balance in both the body and the brain is a way for us to actually change how we show up in the world.


If we want to think better, be better in relationships, make an impact in this world, then focusing on brain health is vital.

Even without a diagnosable disease, any level of inflammation that's noticible in the body will contribute to dysfunction, which can look like brain fog, or fatigue, not quite as focused, a little depression or moodiness - just feeling poorly.

What's at the end of your fork?

We're always looking for something to make us feel better, and whether it's the beer, or the food, or the gambling, etc. this is our default.

We have in essence outsourced decision-making to those who are in it to make big profits.

The New England Journal of Medicine published data on what's actually happening with food marketing, especially toward children in how to create addiction for a greater "stomach share". This is truly frightening and it's time to become informed and take our declining health seriously.

Fix the Brain, Fix our Health.

There's a real pathway in our understanding of science about how to modulate inflammation through diet, lifestyle and other therapies that can actually help fix the brain.

We need to improve the connectivity of the brain to reduce anxiety and depression along with the aggression, behavioral issues and violence we're experiencing in our society today. This doesn't even address all the neurodegenerative diseases that are crippling many households.

Surrogates for Inflammation.

  • Waist to Hip Ratio

  • Hemoglobin A1C

  • Insulin Resistance

These markers are easily collected and correlate with risks for neuroimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases. When these numbers are not within the optimal ranges, we can see that our metabolic health suffers.

This can look like; slightly imbalanced glucose and insulin regulation, to pre-diabetes, and full blown diabetes- all of which leads to increased belly fat which is very inflammatory.


Messed up Gut, Messed up Diet, Messed up Metabolic Health.

This drives a lot of the brain inflammation that's related to the ultra processed food, starch and sugar and refined foods that we are over-eating, causing whole body inflammation.

Our brain is a reflection of the inputs we give it, it's what we put into our mouth, what we swallow, the food we eat and also the air we breathe.

Our body receives many insults every day and it responds by activating this inflammatory process or this fire in the body which also ends up in the brain. These infammatory pathways can be chronically activated through our interactions with the modern world. We are beginning to understand that bad food causes depression, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, which leads to Alzeheimer's disease and that there's an inflammatory process that happens as it relates to our lifestyle.

Chronically Inflammed Stimuli.

The effects of chronic inflammatory stimuli on the brain causes us to actually loose the ability to regulate what's best for us. Our good decisions diminish in proportion to the inflammatory foods we continue to eat regularly.

There's a link between the amount of junk food, and sugar sweetened beverages and the level of psychological distress. Our mental health takes a huge hit when we fill our plates with food-like addictive substances instead of real, whole food.


Held Captive by the Food Industry.

The common response to the availability of poor quality food by the food giants is 'everything in moderation', and 'let's give people the opportunity to choose what they want to eat'.

It all sounds really good - but it's a big fat lie!

We have believed this idea, this myth, that it's great to promote freedom and that we can do this through letting people have freedom of choice.


But can we actually make a choice without knowing what we are really choosing?

Can we make a choice if we don't actually have access to whole real foods?

Food labeling, food marketing, advertising is a multi-billion dollar business. Reading nutrition labels is complicated and confusing. The ingredient list is full of names that are not familiar.

Watch Out! No One Is Minding The Store.

We are on our own here. The food industry wants your stomach share and they have spent billions of dollars to ensure your brand loyalty. Children are lured by bright packaging and super sweet ingredients. The front of the package has all the right buzz words, so we quickly throw it ito the cart thinking we've made a good choice.

We need good truthful information to make good choices for ourselves and our family.

Our brain needs nutrients from whole, real foods to work well. So when we feed our brain junk food, this will impact how we make our choices.

Keep it Simple.

There's a huge connection between the gut and the brain. Our gut and brain are always communicating and what impacts our gut, impacts our brain.

Making simple lifestyle modifications can dramatically decrease our risk for brain inflammatory conditions.

Eat Real, Whole Foods.

The best diet for preventing neuroinflammation and promoting brain health are diets that incorporate a wide range of foods, especially focusing on plants, quality protein, nuts & seeds, and foods rich in polyphenols that can be easily identified as food.

Eating this way reduces inflammation and supports best brain health.

When we simply eat whole real foods most of the time, move our body every day, drink lots of filtered water with electrolytes, go to bed early, wake and go outside to greet the sun, we have the very best chance of living our years in health.

I'd love to help you find a way to eat that heals your brain and body.

You can find me right here:

Thanks, for reading,

Jan


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