As we seek to improve our physical health, we often overlook the importance of diet when it comes to our brain health. We think about exercise and getting enough rest, but rarely do we consider how food affects our bodies, especially our brains.
However, research has shown that a low-carb diet holds the key to boosting cognitive function and delivering many other brain health benefits. In this article, we’ll take a look at the surprising link between low-carb diets and improved brain health.
Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet For Brain Health
When we switch to a low-carb diet, we consume fewer foods heavy in sugars and grains. This balanced approach reduces the likelihood of inflammatory responses in the body that can trigger sugar-induced headaches and feelings of lethargy. By reducing inflammation, we also foster a healthier and more functional brain. When inflammation is reduced, it supports the development of new brain cells, sharper memory, and reduced cognitive decline. This helps reduce the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Lower Blood Sugar
High blood sugar levels are a significant contributor to many illnesses, including diabetes and obesity, but did you know that high blood sugar is also a culprit in many brain-related issues like poor concentration and memory issues? Cutting bad carbs and sugar from your diet will result in fewer sugar spikes after meals, which causes wear and tear on your body’s cells. A low-carb diet helps decrease the risk of developing insulin resistance, protecting against memory decline and cognitive dysfunction.
When we switch to a low-carb diet, we also reduce the number of swings of blood sugar in our body. Since the brain needs glucose to function, maintaining a consistent source of energy will improve focus and mental clarity throughout the day. Low-carb diets work by providing an alternative source of energy to the brain called ketones. Ketones are particles produced by the liver from stored fat that easily pass through the brain’s blood-brain barrier. They work to supercharge brain function and aid memory retention.
Increase in Cognitive Function
Research has consistently shown that a low-carb diet can improve cognitive function. People following the diet consistently report better brain energy and complex problem-solving abilities. One study found that people who followed a diet low in carbohydrates reported a significant increase in memory compared to those on a high-carbohydrate diet. A low-carb diet will also help protect against age-related cognitive decline. Since our brains are continually aging, adopting a low-carb diet can stave off the normal cognitive decline that comes with aging.
Improved Sleep Patterns
Sleeping better is essential when it comes to improving brain function and general health. Adopting a diet low in carbs helps balance our hunger hormones and mitigates insulin spikes, improving sleep quality. A balanced, low-carb diet contains more healthy fats, which encourage better sleep quality and enhance cognitive clarity during the day. Also, eating a low-carb diet has been shown to significantly reduce episodes of sleep apnea, a disorder that results in numerous obstructions in breathing during sleep.
Our bodies are sophisticated and depend on different variables to function. When it comes to delivering peak brain health, reducing carbs in our diets is a smart move. By adopting a low-carb diet, you’ll reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar, improve focus, increase cognitive function, and enjoy better sleep. These brain health benefits cannot be downplayed and should make low carb a sensible nutritional choice. So the next time you’re choosing between the carbs and a low-carb option, remember that you’re not only looking after your waistline but also your brain health.