One Page Guide to Paleo and the Brain

By on November 13, 2014
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So: Paleo and the brain brings a pretty dense, scientific-based topic–one certainly out of my brain power sphere. Let’s try to break Paleo and the brain down into a few essential elements for later, more exacting analysis. (Bite-sized pieces; easy-to-chew; all that.)

1. Paleo and the Brain: Using Food as a Reward

We’ve all been there. Turning to our favorite foods when we finish assignments, heading out for a celebratory drink or dessert after a big event, or simply perusing the snack drawer when we’re bored. This food-reward system supports immediate brain stimulation. Your brain’s pleasure receptors become overwhelmed. This, my friends, is the worst thing possible, leading to food addiction.

Note that a diet that most readily overwhelms your brain is a diet rich with processed, sugary-sweet, or super salty foods. Therefore, if you look to unprocessed, whole foods recommended by the Paleo diet, your brain can walk away from addiction and become normalized.

2. Paleo and the Brain: A Note on Gut Inflammation

Remember what we talked about in a recent blog post about gut inflammation, its unfortunate side-effects, and how to heal it with delicious foods. When you slam your body with continuous inflammatory foods: things like grains, sugars, and processed, packaged foods, your gut lining has no chance to heal, leading to chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation in the gut creates something called cytokines. Cytokines are free-flying molecules that can enter into your blood stream and ultimately end up in your brain. These cytokines create inflammation right there: on a neurological level. This neuron inflammation can lead to many unfortunate problems like depression.

Therefore, it’s essential to look to healthy, unprocessed foods to fuel yourself with greater mental health.

3. Paleo and the Brain: Cholesterol

When you fuel yourself with Paleo-honored ingredients, you are enriching your brain with one of the most important elements in the world: cholesterol. (Wait, what? You’re probably asking. Cholesterol has been branded one of the most evil molecules, bringing death and destruction to anyone it meets.)

However, it’s essential to remember that cholesterol has a key role in your brain health. You are born with a limited number of brain cells. In order to maintain those brain cells, you need cholesterol to fuel better cell-to-cell communication. When you begin to lose those brain cells, you’ll need even more cholesterol in order to connect the spare brain cells you still have. Did you know that people with Alzheimer’s may, in fact, have too little cholesterol in their blood?

So: watch out for that bulbous entity in your head, and eat the Paleo diet. Wellness doesn’t have to be so hard!


About Megan White

Megan White is a Paleo diet food fanatic running around the world, searching for the most nutritional tasty treats in every country she can find. Follow her on her journey as she dodges sugar cravings, works to better her mind and body, and picks up some creative Paleo diet recipes along the way.

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