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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Give the Brain Better Nutrition for Best Health

Mar 01, 2022 04:23PM ● By Dr. Michael Smith

Foods go beyond impacting the physical body, they also impact how the brain functions. A 2021 University of Barcelona study of the nutrition habits of more then 800 elderly participants concluded that eating more plant-based foods improves cognitive function, while other foods like saccharin, commonly found in artificial sweeteners, increased the risk for cognitive decline (see If food is fuel, think about the kind of fuel the brain needs to run at optimal levels. If a car is given poor-quality fuel for years, it’s not going to run efficiently. Eventually, it will break down. The brain acts in a similar way.

Foods like beets, which are high in nitrates, help increase blood flow to the brain and improve its function. Foods that contain trans fats, like fried fast food or baked goods containing vegetable oils, can negatively impact how the neurons communicate, decreasing brain function. In the long term, consuming foods that negatively affect the brain can increase brain fog, forgetfulness, anxiety and depression, and the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Reduce consuming added sugar and refined carbohydrates, which research shows creates an insulin spike that negatively impacts brain function. Instead, begin eating a diet supportive of brain health, including foods high in brain-fueling nutrients such as avocado, dark chocolate, leafy greens, broccoli, fish, walnuts, blueberries, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Start the day with a vegetable, protein, and fat instead of carbohydrates.

Making the connection between how we feel mentally and what we eat is the first step in achieving optimal brain health. Keep a diary and keep track of how the brain responds.


Dr. Michael Smith is a naturopathic physician at Carolinas Natural Health Center, located at 6404 Bannington Rd., Ste. A, in Charlotte. For mor information, call 704-486-2448 or visit

Carolinas Natural Health Center - 6404 Bannington Rd Ste A Charlotte NC

Carolinas Natural Health Center - 6404 Bannington Rd Ste A, Charlotte, NC

Michael T. Smith, Naturopath. Providing whole family healthcare. Specializing in classical homeopathy and clinical nutrition. Treating people with conditions ranging from diabetes to ADHD... Read More » 


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