Clinically, there are some things that I really enjoy doing and some things that come up so often it can become well, repetitive...
I'm sure this is true for every profession out there but as some one who specializes in brain health (the exciting part to me) it can sometimes get tedious to talk about basic nutrition.
But practically ALL of our patients need support in at least one of these three areas.
I wanted to take a minute to cover some of the most OVERLOOKED basics about nutrition that we share with patients ALL THE TIME that can benefit EVERYONE.
This is such a basic part of our physiology but almost everyone that comes into our office has something not quite right about it. Every cell in our body needs fuel (sugar in the form of glucose) but you can have too much or too little.
Here is what that might look like...
Fatigue after meals
Belly can be wider than hips
Increased thirst and appetite
Difficulty losing weight
Irritable if meals are missed
Depend on coffee to keep/get going
Get light headed if meals are missed
Eating relieves fatigue
Feel shaky or jittery
Agitated, easily upset, or nervous
Poor memory between meals
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR BOTH:
If you are the type who has "too little" then you need to eat more often and rely on easy proteins and fats to keep you going. You should also consider weening yourself off of coffee a bit because it forces you to deplete your blood sugar stores :( .
If you are some one who deals with "too much" then you need to decrease the amount of carbohydrates that you eat at one time. This can be daunting but a good start is to replace sugary drinks with something else that is still tasty like sparkling water. Also, if you do crave giant servings of rice or pasta (like I do sometimes...) then at least split it over a couple of hours.
The Theory of Everything: the majority of chronic incurable degenerative diseases are linked to inflammation. The most critical driver of inflammation is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats.
Americans consume far too many inflammatory omega 6's, and far too few anti-inflammatory omega-3's.
Take Omega 3 regularly. It comes in many different varieties but you can likely find good quality Omega 3 in most stores now. I would recommend Nordic Naturals as being the highest quality common variety.
Vitamin D does a lot more than build healthy bones. It is critical for immune system function and for brain physiology.
Most Americans are significantly low in vitamin D levels and supplementation is necessary for ALMOST EVERYONE.
You should be taking at least 5,000 IU a day unless you are deficient, in which case you should take more for a time.
We are only a couple of weeks into the new year. Hopefully you haven't begun to slip up too much with your resolutions yet... Nothing helps to solidify our resolutions more than making progress. If you are doing the three things in our simple list above then chances are you'll make big improvements on your overall health!