We complain about how our children are unable to stay focused…we worry that they have bad behavior at school…are a bully or are bullied! Or as an adult we have that midday lull that slows us down enough that we can’t finish our day, we take medicine to stay awake and medicine to help us sleep. But did you realize how much control we have over our body’s ability to function?
If you were buying gas for your car you wouldn’t put water in the tank, nor would you put unleaded gas in a diesel.
There are foods that we KNOW change the way we function. We eat to refuel our body’s gas tank and most REAL foods contain the nutrients our body needs to function.
So what is the definition of a nutrient- a chemical substance that provides nourishment and affects the nutritive and metabolic processes of the body. Nutrients are essential for growth, reproduction, and maintenance of health. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Nutrients
What happens to your body when you don’t get the nutrients you need to function~
* Lack of Sleep
* Speed Processing problems
* Timing/Rhythm problems (this affects mental organization and your internal clock)
* Auditory Processing (being able to interpret what you hear, many people eating poorly are taking med’s that can actually cause ringing in the ear)
* Working memory and short term memory
When we talk about feeding your BRAIN there are several foods that come to MIND ~
*Nuts & Seeds
*Green veggies (kale, broccoli, cabbage)
*Beets, Carrots, Tomatoes
These foods boost your brain function, AND help create cognitive power and mental energy that helps you stay focused all day!
When we look at what supplies nutrients to our body we also need to look at what hurts us and decreases our abilities!
Additives in Food:
~ Monosodium Glutamate (MSG/E621)
~ High Fructose Corn Syrup or Glucose/Fructose
~ Artificial Sweeteners
~ Common Food Dyes (Red, Blue, Yellow)
~ Trans Fat
~ BHA and BHT (E320)
~ Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrate
~ Potassium Bromate
~ Sodium Sulfite (E221)
~ Sulfur Dioxide (E220)
Elimination Diet: There are a few foods that CAN cause sensitivities and are known for decreasing attention and focus even if testing does not show an allergy. These foods can be detected through an elimination diet. This is accomplished by eliminating them from your diet for 3 weeks. At the end of the third week, eat a LOT of that food. If the symptoms are better when you are off that food and get seriously worse when reintroduced then it is important to steer clear of those foods. These foods include:
* Diary Products
* Gluten Products
* Additives and Preservatives (including food dyes)
* Yeast Products
I understand how hard it is to feed children and get them to eat foods that they do not think they like. As their parent you are helping them thrive and survive by feeding them nourishing food. When we not only allow them to eat chips, soda, donuts, candy, mac & (powdered) cheese and hotdogs, but we buy this stuff for them, then we are supporting an ‘addictive’ body. These simple carbs turn into sugar which then creates inflammation and a ‘craving’ for sugar. Alcohol is the easiest sugar to consume as an adult.
Simple Rules of Buying Food:
~ Nothing in a box
~ Nothing in a can
~ Steer clear of any aisle food, shop the perimeter of the store!
This may seem extreme, but daily I see less concern for what we feed our families and MORE medication needed to help them sleep, pay attention, stay calm, and have better behavior. It may not be ALL diet related 🙂 BUT, I am confident reducing refined sugar, chemicals in foods, and all the processed foods will help our brains think faster, stay focused and perform with cognitive flexibility.
BE AWARE: Eating food can be life altering! Try to eat meat that is grass fed, food that has not been sprayed with chemicals and as you eat salmon, please ensure it’s “WILD salmon”.
Another Thought by Dr. Lise’