Food intolerances and the problems associated with them are more far-reaching than we often realise. Understanding the symptoms and causes helps you understand how to feel the best you can, with a brain that is happy, productive and healthy.
Understanding the Brain-Gut Connection
Our brain is made up of about 75% water and the rest is grey and white matter. This matter is made up of hundreds of billions of neurons transmitting and receiving signals to do an amazing array of processes throughout our day. It also receives external stimuli and responds to it in ways that are deeply impacted by our sense of wellness, vitality and energy. We’ve all been tired and overreacted right? Well, if you want your brain to be at its best, the optimal functioning of our brain is reliant on the food that we digest and how nutrients are absorbed.
Clean Food & Raw Food vs Processed Foods
The importance of clean organic food is that it reduces the chemicals entering your digestive system. Agricultural chemicals are new to our species (introduced in the last 70 years) and our body is not designed to ingest or digest them. Their impact, although small at the time of digestion, can, over long periods of time have adverse health impacts that contribute to a range of digestive challenges.
The importance of raw foods is that they contain digestive enzymes to help your digestive system break down food into tiny particles that can be absorbed and used by your body*. A lack of these enzymes, or ingesting excess processed foods means your digestive system will not be absorbing minerals as it should, thus causing two potential problems.
As Delia McCabe states:
Undigested fragments of food are absorbed through your digestive tract straight into your bloodstream. As a result, antibodies in the bloodstream recognise these particles as foreign invaders and mount an attack. This causes an inflammatory reaction within the body.
The digestion of protein is severely limited when there are not enough digestive enzymes, which is of real concern, because protein is the foundation of hormones which keep blood levels stable. Unstable blood glucose has been linked to moodiness, depression, anxiety and weight gain**.
Our bodies have developed over thousands of years eating clean, raw and natural foods. Since the development of the chemical agriculture industry and increased globalisation of our food markets processed foods and chemically laden foods and additives have increasingly become part of our modern diet. What impact does this have over the long term? We can only make assumptions here, but the state of many of our mental and physical health in the western world is definitely a cause of concern right? Depression, suicide and obesity have sadly become increasingly prevalent and their relationship to food is undeniable.
Reason for Food Intolerances & Neurological Symptoms
Digestive challenges are often the underlying factor of food intolerances and combined with chemicals found in additives (often found in processed foods) do leave many of us with a range of neurological symptoms. As stated by Delia McCabe these may include:
- Fatigue, apathy, lethargy
- Emotional stability
- Impaired concentration and mental lapses
- Paranoid thinking
We may experience any of these symptoms and simply brush them off as impacts of our busy lifestyle or as “I’ve always got them”, but in reality we can avoid these symptoms by monitoring our food intake, restricting processed foods and choosing to honour our sacred and magical bodies.
Feeling Great is your Birthright
Whether it’s been a lack of understanding, a lack of education or our “status-quo food history” many of us have walked the path of neglecting to recognise the important and powerful connection between food and our mental vitality and health. The gut-brain connection and understanding your body is the key to healthy positive living, and it is our birthright to be nourished with food that our bodies and thousands of years of evolution understand, digest correctly and appropriately ‘feed our brain’ with.
Understanding your moods and any neurological symptoms caused by food intolerances can be easily attended to through probiotics, raw, organic wholefoods and assertiveness. Taking care of your digestive system nourishes your brain and keeps you alert and mentally well. When we go out to face our busy world, we will operate more joyfully, more thoughtfully and with more energy – and in our modern fast-paced world who doesn’t want that right?
To learn more to find out how to assess whether you have food intolerances and how to respond to them buy Delia McCabe’s book ‘Feed Your Brain’ here. It includes delicious super-fast recipes for brain health and will have you feeling the best you can in no time.
*(Feed Your Brain, Delia McCabe Pg 48)
** (Feed Your Brain, Delia McCabe Pg 49)