Wholegrain foods, such as whole grain breads and wheat germ are some of the best brain foods. Whole grain breads, cereals, barley, popcorn boost blood flow to the brain, and the Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid that they contain are essential in protecting your memory.
With the good there is sometimes the bad. Food allergies or the use of these highly nutritious brain friendly foods couple with toxins like nicotine, alcohol, and foods that contain trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils result in brain drain.
Often these allergies go undetected because doctors are looking for other causes to the symptoms.
Take the case of a young woman named Janet, who was diagnosed with manic depression at the age of 15. There were times when she would become hyperactive and manic, and other times completely depressed. She was prescribed Lithium, Tegretol and Zirtek to control her behavior. These helped the severity of the condition, but she still was anxious and depressed frequently.
After two years, Janet consulted a nutritionist. She was found to be deficient in many nutrients, especially zinc, and was found to be allergic to wheat. As soon as her deficiencies were corrected, and she stopped eating wheat, her health improved remarkably. She was able to stop all medication, and provided she stays off wheat, no longer gets depressed.
Janet, now years later, continues to feel good. She has received her degree and has gone on to a productive live. If she has any wheat, even inadvertently in a sauce, she becomes depressed, confused, forgetful and anxious for 3 to 4 days. Her manic phases, however, have never returned.
To many people, the idea that food affects the mind is a strange concept. Since the brain is perhaps the most delicate organ of the body, using sometimes as much as 30% of all the energy we derive from food, this should be no surprise. Many levels of hormones and other key elements in the brain can be upset by allergies to food, resulting in symptoms ranging from depression to schizophrenia.
Allergies can cause a diversity of symptoms including fatigue, slowed thought processes, irritability, agitation, aggressive behavior, nervousness, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, hyperactivity and varied learning disabilities. Food intolerance, lack of absorption of food, and relief with fasting are three key pointers to the food-allergic patient. These patients usually have a low blood histamine, a fast pulse and food idiosyncrasies which may be expressed as strong likes and dislikes. Favorite foods are often the offending foods, so the patient is like an addict eating the offending food to obtain a psychiatric high.
Several vitamins are known for their effectiveness in reducing allergic symptoms. Vitamins C and B6 are probably the most effective. The allergic patient also needs vitamins zinc and manganese. Elimination of the offending foods may be needed for several months. For multiple food allergies, in which this approach would severely limit the diet, a four-day rotation diet in which each food is eaten only once every four days should be tried. If this approach is unsuccessful, â€œintradermalâ€ allergy testing to determine the degree of allergy and the â€œneutralizingâ€ dose of each allergen is recommended.
If you are experiencing recurrent symptoms of hyperactivity, depression, stomach problems, etc. and your doctor has not tested you for food allergies, itâ€™s a good idea to request it. You may be surprised at how different you may feel.
About the author:
Safe Harbor, International Guide to the World of Alternative Mental Health – Brain Allergies: http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/brainallergies.htm
MediManage – 9 Foods for a Smarter Brain: http://www.medimanage.com/my-diet/articles/9-foods-for-a-smarter-brain.aspx