Eat Well To Think Well
Today I’d like to introduce you to a seldom heard of brain chemical that has scientists pretty excited. Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) is a chemical that acts like a super fertilizer for the brain, improving the speed and function of neurons, helping them regenerate and protecting them against cell death. There are two things that are well known to increase BDNF – exercise and omega-3 fatty acids.
Ashleigh and the team here at the Refinery provides you the necessary exercise, but how about your omega-3’s? Do you have them in the ideal ratios for mood stability, blood sugar regulation, lowering inflammation and creating healthier, faster functioning cell membranes?
There is a test you can order (www.omega3test.com) but if you don’t want to go that far, then start to improve your ratios by lowering your omega-6 fats and adding in sufficient high quality omega-3’s. You want to aim to consume between 2-4 grams of omega-6 fats for every 1 gram of omega-3 fats you consume daily
Getting your 6’s is not usually a problem. They dominate the standard American diet in the form of seed fats like soy and corn oil, the fats of grain fed animal and corn-fed seafood (farm raised salmon for instance) and they are dominant in grains, nuts and seeds except flax, walnut and chia which are rich in the omega 3’s. Sadly, and perhaps tragically, 80% of the fat consumed in the US is actually from soy oil while less than 20% is in derived from fish oil. By comparison, In Japan they get 80% of their fats in the forms of the omega-3’s and only 20% in the form of omega-6 fat, which may be why their rates of heart disease, depression and dementia are significantly lower. Studies have clearly shown that a lack of fish consumption is universally related to depression, and that rates of violence are tied to lower omega-3 fatty acid consumption – an indication that brains deprived of this amazing fat can malfunction with dire consequences.
Include some omega-3 fat at every meal including foods like wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, pasture raised or omega-3 eggs, pastured dairy foods, flax oil, walnuts, flax, hemp and chia seed. For a super boost of omega-3’s purchase Nordic Naturals or Carlson’s liquid fish oil and take 1-3 tsp. per day.
To Your Brain Health!
Cassandra Mick, CNE