breaking news

How could government shutdown affect Springfield residents?

Eating your way to strong memory and mental health


Did you know nutrition may play a role in anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder and Alzheimer’s disease? Studies are finding that certain nutrition deficiencies or overloads can affect different chemical and inflammatory processes leading to such conditions.

First, we have chemical substances throughout our body called neurotransmitters that are like little communicators. Some of the common neurotransmitters found in the brain include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Serotonin works with different brain processes including mood, appetite, sleep and memory. Dopamine works with cognition and pleasure. Norepinephrine is the flight-or-flight neurotransmitter and therefore increases alertness and attention in the brain.

How does what we eat effect neurotransmitters? The pathways to make the neurotransmitters need essential micronutrients like Vitamin B6 and iron. Therefore if we are not eating a healthy diet and lack some of these nutrients, we may also be deficient in these neurotransmitters.

RELATED: Does government play a role in children eating healthy?

Then we also have inflammation. Inflammation in our body can cause damage to our blood vessels and cells in our brain leading to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. Different lifestyle choices such as exercise and sleep can help to decrease inflammation. Also, a healthy diet full of antioxidants such as different vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals can also decrease inflammation and protect the brain.

A diet high in foods such as fruits, vegetables and healthy fatty oils from fish, avocados and olive oil can help to decrease inflammation. One diet shown to help decrease inflammation is the Mediterranean diet, for it is high in these foods and essential nutrients.

So, to fight against memory loss and to encourage mental health, make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Beware of processed foods or foods that have few vitamins and minerals.

MORE HEALTHY EATING TIPS: Here’s the skinny on red meat.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

How to survive a break up with your best friend
How to survive a break up with your best friend

When the Four Seasons sang that bit about "breaking up is hard to do," they clearly meant romantic relationships. Breaking up with a best friend might be even harder. "Friends aren't just icing on the cake of life – they're the cake," psychologist Thelma Duffey stated in Psychology Today. "Our friends are the people...
Premier planning to redevelop Good Sam site once hospital closes
Premier planning to redevelop Good Sam site once hospital closes

Premier Health officials have told this news organization that they want to "transform" the soon-to-be former main campus of Good Samaritan Hospital once the facility closes at the end of the year. They don't know exactly what redevelopment will look like on the site once the buildings are razed, but they say it's a process they will be...
Why Winter Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try somewhere or something new
Why Winter Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try somewhere or something new

Twice a year, every year, Dayton restaurant chefs break out their most unbeatable lineups of dishes that they think you must try.Restaurant Week is the opportunity to try a number of Dayton’s favorites without emptying your wallet. The 2018 Winter Restaurant Week is Sunday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 28. “This is a week the...
5 questions every man in his 40s should ask his doctor
5 questions every man in his 40s should ask his doctor

Men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctor unless they're desperate. But routine doctor's visits – especially when you hit your 40s and beyond – can help you be as healthy as possible. Getting regular care and screenings can help your doctor catch and treat issues while they're in their earliest stages. »RELATED: 4 health...
High-salt diet could cause dementia, study finds
High-salt diet could cause dementia, study finds

Consuming too much salt can be dangerous for your health. It can cause your blood pressure and cholesterol to skyrocket, but it might also cause memory loss, according to a new report.  Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York recently conducted an experiment, published in the Nature Neuroscience journal, to determine if salt...
More Stories