Feed the Mind to Feed the Body
While it is true that our minds are amazing, such a statement does not quite capture their full potential. Of course, you are probably aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy brain, but this does not fully convey the significance of brain health. And while you may already know the value of nourishing your brain with proper nutrition, exercise, and hydration, these recommendations do not fully convey the importance of why.
In addition to being responsible for thinking, learning, problem-solving, memory, and emotional balance, our brains have other functions that are just as important but that we tend to overlook. If you have read my Nutritional Philosophy, you may have noticed that I emphasized the importance of nourishing the mind with various nutrients, as well as the role that nutrition plays in healing the body. These two aspects are interconnected in many ways, although explaining how they are connected can be complex.
I encourage you to critically evaluate the idea that the body follows the mind. You may have heard this phrase in different contexts, but it is much more accurate than we often realize. Our entire body is influenced by what our mind is capable of communicating.
While we know that nutrients, exercise, and water can improve cognitive function, it is essential to remember that the brain also performs many other functions, such as controlling various sub-routines. For the sake of time, I will provide a couple of examples to make the point. The hypothalamus plays a significant role in hormonal regulation. The medulla oblongata regulates heart function. These controls happen via communication through the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. These are just a couple of examples, but you could also think about your lungs, red and white blood cells, muscle contraction, bowels, and so on.
I apologize for the potential pun, but has it ever crossed your mind that if your brain is not functioning at peak performance, either the performance of these sub-routines and systems or the quality of the information being shared to these systems might be hindered? Logically, it would make sense that a malnourished brain would hinder performance in anything the brain regulates. The kicker here is that brain controls everything. Conversely, if our brains are adequately nourished, the potential for our brains to identify and handle a potential issue will improve. Hence, our body’s ability to heal and fight disease might be improved.
When we consider the nutrient deficiencies that come along with the various fad diets and cross-reference those with the alarming increase of behavior-related diseases, we also see some interesting connections to hindrances regarding thinking, learning, problem-solving, memory, and emotional regulation. Interestingly, when someone focuses on consuming the brain-nourishing nutrients discussed in that nutrition philosophy, there is an amazing healing curve almost universally (both mind and body). Is this a coincidence or a physiological reality?
Remember that the brain is the control center for the whole body. It controls everything. It is the motherboard, hard drive, and operating system for our entire machine. Hence, we must ensure that it has everything it needs to function correctly. This is true for the obvious cognitive portion but also for the sub-routines that keep us operational.
Feed the body to feed the mind – feed the mind to feed the body. Doing so will help ensure optimal health and healing. In other words, if you do not consume the necessary brain-nourishing foods, you will only ensure various issues throughout the body.