Eating for the Brain and not just for the Rest of the Body ~ K.B. Pellegrino

What to eat after over a year of being jammed up in seclusion and perhaps enjoying unlimited taste of food over common sense moderation in what we eat?

No, I am not giving you recipes. Nor are you getting ideas for dinner from me. Nor am I telling you about the great dinner I had for take-out last night. Instead, this is a reminder of what is one of the most important elements of living – FOOD for proper nutrition. The brain is a smaller organ. It is by weight about 2% of the body. In a typical day the brain uses about 20% of calories. In most cases, even at rest, the body uses approximately 320 calories for the brain. What happens if dieting or fasting keeps the intake so low that it impacts the brain. Does it impact the brain? It is not rocket science. A little math tells us there could be a problem. Well, then, does being overweight allow for more calories to be used by the brain. If it were just a mathematical computation, it would appear to be true.

But, – “There are links between caloric restriction and longevity in humans. Short-term human trials have clearly shown that calorie restriction (CR) can improve many vital health markers, such as body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels, blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and measures of inflammation. And regarding too much weight, high insulin levels and inflammation ( common in those overweight) have both been linked to cognitive problems. In mice, reducing calories has been shown to slow certain Alzheimer’s-related changes in parallel with reductions seen in blood insulin and inflammation. There is great interest in examining the effects of CR on brain health in humans that may help memory…” Med.

What about the content of those calories, whatever the weight, too low or too high? Does calorie by content play a role? Apparently there is study after study supporting fish, lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, and the right oils for supporting memory and cognitive function. So the question is, why don’t we concentrate on the content of our dietary habits and celebrate good content. Taste is important, but not as important as the content of the calories we eat. Weight control often comes from eating good content. I do know portion control is also vital, but that is our American flaw: more is not better.

Good eating and good recovery from our pandemic.

Read books for stress release. Read my murder mysteries. My detectives talk about food a lot.

K. B. Pellegrino, Author

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