When we think of food and diets, we think of taste and how satisfying certain foods can be. Some also consider what the food will do to their energy level and their waist size. Few people think about what the food they eat will do to their brain.
Similar to your heart and lungs, your brain is always working. Your brain takes care of your thoughts, movement, breathing, and all functions of your body. It works 24/7 and to do that it needs fuel. That fuel comes from the food we eat. Similar to a sports car, if we give our brain high quality fuel it will perform beautifully, however, give it low quality and dirty fuel and it will leave you stranded. The food that you eat will determine how well your brain will function. In fact, multiple studies have shown a direct relationship between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function as well as worsening symptoms of mood disorders and depression.
It is not what you eat and the immediate reaction to that food but there is a link between your brain health and the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps manage your sleep, appetite, moods, and pain. Ninety-five percent of serotonin is produced in your GI tract. If your gut is healthy, your body will produce a lot of serotonin. If your gut is unhealthy, it will affect the production and absorption of serotonin. As well, a healthy gut, full of healthy bacteria, will protect you against inflammation and will provide a clearer path for nutrients to pass between your gut and your brain.
Foods that you should focus on for good brain health include fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains, and fish and seafood. Foods to avoid include processed and refined foods and sugars as well as limiting the amount of meat and dairy. Check this out to find the best brain foods: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/foods-linked-to-better-brainpower