If I'm not writing an article, I'm probably reading or playing chess. Needless to say, I use my brain a lot. Staying sharp and mentally alert is a top priority for me. And as an Independent Distributor of All-Natural Whole-Food Vitamins, I've gotten quite an education on the cause and effect relationship between nutrition and mental health, which led me to write this article entitled "Feed Your Head."

Just so there are no misconceived implications, I am not advocating an acid trip, as in the Jefferson Airplane tune "White Rabbit," where the dormouse admonishes Alice to feed her head. Neither is this a self-help "pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps" pep rally perpetuating the importance of positive thinking, though I certainly believe it is important to one's mental health to think positive. Rather, the theme of this article is to establish the critical importance of feeding your head by ingesting whole food nutrients - either through one's diet, through supplements, or preferably a combination of the two.

According to a Newsweek article entitled “Brain Boosters”:

“Life in the Information Age strains everyone’s processing capacity - and countless Americans are turning to supplements to improve, or at least preserve, whatever they’ve got.” ( Karen Springen, Nov 3, 1997)

Evidence to support the adage: "You are what you eat," has been around for quite some time. But before, the connection between nutrition and health was mostly made in reference to the health of the body. We now know that nutrients can and do have a profound influence on the health of the mind.

Symptoms of Brain Malnutrition

So how can you tell if your brain is being fed properly? The following questions are designed to give you a "check up from your neck up."

Your Official Handy-Dandy "Check Up From Your Neck Up" Quiz

1. Do you often lack the motivation to get things done?

2. Do you often experience mental fatigue?

3. Do you have difficulty remembering things? Examples: Information you've studied; Where you put important things, such as your keys or your kids?

4. Do you sometimes forget important details, such as your social security number, your name, or your planet of residency?

5. Are you easily depressed?

6. Do little, seemingly insignificant things, stress you out?

7. Are you overly-anxious?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it's a pretty safe bet that malnutrition is at least partially responsible.

Benefits To Feeding Your Brain

On the flip side, there are many benefits to adequately feeding your brain with essential nutrients, including:

1. An improved memory, both short-term and long-term.

2. Enhanced concentration and reaction time.

3. Reduced levels of stress and anxiety.

Memory And Old Age

Although many attribute their inability to remember to old age, with a proper diet and a sufficient supply of nutrients, your memory can remain sharp and active well into your golden years. (1)

Healthy Brains Require Healthy Blood

Nutrients are carried to your brain cells through your blood. So what happens if your blood vessels get clogged-up with too much cholesterol? The amount of nutrients delivered to your brain is proportionately diminished. Therefore, high cholesterol levels contribute to memory loss.

Neurotransmitters - The Key to All Brain Activities

Proper brain functions depend on neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are highly-complex chemical substances that transmit nerve impulses across a synapse to a postsynaptic element, as another nerve, muscle, or gland. If your brain isn't getting enough nutrients to create an adequate supply of neurotransmitters, it will eventually short circuit. Example: Ever draw a blank, as you frantically try to recollect a specific tid-bit of pertinent info? This is just one of many examples of how inadequate nutrition can create a malfunction in your brain. (2)

Free Radicals Attack Your Brain While Antioxidants Combat Free Radicals

Free radicals can also create an enormous amount of damage to our brains, which can ultimately result in extreme memory loss. A diet rich in antioxidants is an excellent remedy because they combat free radicals and simultaneously repair the damage done to your brain cells.

Aged Garlic Extract significantly improves both memory and learning. (3) Ginkgo Biloba has also been proven to enhance the memory. (4)

A study done by The University of Texas demonstrated that Zinc is an especially critical brain nutrient. (5) Vitamin B Complex also improves brain activity. (6)

These are just a few of the nutrients essential for the optimal functioning of your brain. Much research has been done to reinforce the cause and effect relationship between a healthy brain and a healthy diet.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Since it can be extremely difficult in our fast-paced society to get everything our brain needs from our diet alone, it's smart to supplement our diets with a great All-Natural Whole-Food Vitamin rich in Antioxidants, Vitamin B Complex, Zinc, Ginkgo Biloba, Aged Garlic Extract, etc. Of course, there are nutritional supplements formulated specifically for your brain. But why not feed your entire body at the same time you're feeding your head with a formula that does both?

So remember to feed your head - it's a (duh) "no-brainer!"



NOTES:

1. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing, 3rd Edition. p. 506.

2. Ibid.

3. Moriguchi, T., Nishiyama, N. et al., 1994B. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 17(12):1589-1594.

4. Koltringer, P., et al. Microcirculation in parenteral Gingko Biloba extract therapy. (in German) Wein Klin Worchenschr. 1989, Mar 17; 101 (6): 198-200.

5. Harold H. Sandstead, Christopher J. Frederickson, and James G. Penland. Journal of Nutrition. 2000; 130:496S-502S.

6. Am J Clin Nutr 2002, May; 75 (5): 908-13.