Healthy Food, Healthy Brain: Exploring the Link Between Healthy Eating and Brain Health.

The human brain is a marvel of evolution, capable of creating breathtaking works of art and music, developing complex systems of culture, language, and society, and uncovering mysteries of the universe through science, technology, and mathematics. But even a healthy brain couldn’t do any of these things without a healthy body to support it.

Our brains and bodies are inextricably linked through a variety of systems, working in parallel. When these systems are working at their peak performance, our brains also are able to reach their full potential.

When our body’s systems slow down or begin to function poorly and become unhealthy, our minds struggle to perform. They can suffer from fatigue, stress, or any number of adverse mental consequences.

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How Are the Body and Mind Connected?

Anyone who has had to perform on stage or give a speech in front of a large group of people knows that the stress and anxiety, supposedly mental phenomenon, can manifest in physical discomforts such as “Butterflies” in our stomachs, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate.

Similarly, when we find ourselves receiving praise or affection, the feelings of happiness and euphoria we experience are readily apparent when our cheeks blush, our eyes dilate, and in extreme cases, we can even begin to cry from joy.

But just as our brain can affect our body, so too can our bodies have a powerful effect on how our brains function.

A cup of coffee in the morning helps us focus and feel more alert. A glass of alcohol can give us a euphoric feeling, reduce social inhibitions, and drastically slow down our ability to react to stimuli.

While these are extreme examples of the brain-body connection, the interconnectedness of our mental and physical selves means that nearly everything we do to our body, from taking medications, running a marathon, or sitting on a couch all day playing video games, to something as simple as drinking a glass of water can have an effect on how we feel and how well our brains perform.

Exercise and Eating Right Help Keep A Healthy Brain

By taking care of our bodies, we can help to ensure our brains are functioning at their best. Although there is no single exercise or diet that is right for everyone – each person should speak to their nutrition or health professional to understand the best regimen for themselves – there are specific general rules of thumb for exercise and diet that can help just about anyone improve their brain health.

Exercises for a healthy brain:

Essential Nutrients for a healthy brain:

What Are Some Healthy Foods to Eat for a Healthy Brain?

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel

Eating healthy and providing your body and brain with all the essential nutrients doesn’t mean you have to give up the foods you love. Plenty of delicious foods provide fuel for brain health!

If you are looking for a healthy, natural way to boost your brain health, speak with a trained nutritionist or medical professional and learn more about how a healthy diet and exercise can keep your mind sharp.