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Posted on 07-03-2017
Being Ketogenic Increases Brain Function
Lacking energy is a familiar feeling for most of us. Many of us find ourselves running on fumes, nearing the end of our “tank”. As time goes on we become more tired and sluggish – we see our mental performance and physical drive decrease.
Don’t give up hope. Research has demonstrated those who follow a ketogenic lifestyle can increase mitochondrial function and decrease their free radicals.
The purpose of mitochondria is to process food and oxygen to produce energy.
When you have an increase in mitochondrial function you have more energy for your cells – and more energy for you.
Free radicals develop when oxygen affects certain molecules in your body. They are dangerous and determined to do damage to our mitochondria. When this occurs, cells often function badly and die.
When we can lower the production of free radicals this can result in better neurological stability and enhance cellular performance and the consequence your body becomes more energy efficient. Then your body will focus on repairing the damage done by free radicals and your body’s inner wisdom will focus on producing more energy.
Combining the ketogenic diet with exercise will help increase mitochondrial function and will produce more mitochondria to help compensate for any increased energy demands.
A common indication of the standard American diet is a deficiency in mental clarity – commonly referred to as brain fog. The lack of ability to focus on a job or recall information is frustrating.
Two molecules that have are involved with this are glutamate and GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). Glutamate is the molecule responsible for exciting neurotransmitters which promotes stimulation in your body and GABA inhibits the neurotransmitter which reduces stimulation in your body.
Brain fog and reduced focus is caused by having too much glutamate and very little GABA. This occurs when your brain relies on glutamate for fuel, this doesn’t leave enough to be processed into GABA. When the brain only uses glutamate, it will over-process without any way to decrease stimulation.
According to the research ketones have the capacity to let the extra glutamate be processed into GABA proficiently.
When your brain has another form of energy to use it will break down ketones, when this happens your body will balance out the production of its own neurotransmitters.
When there is an increase in GABA production it reduces the firing of neurons in your brain which increases brain function and concentration. Another benefit of increased GABA production in your brain is that it reduces anxiety and stress.
To help increase my concentration I have a cup of bullet proof coffee for breakfast. I mix a tablespoon of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) aka caprylic acid a derivative of coconut oil which directly converts to ketones in your liver, giving you a great boost of energy and mental clarity.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are two types of fatty acids and are a critical part of cognitive functioning. They play a vital role in many different functions of your body, like preventing heart disease, cancer, strokes, kidney failure, lung disease, alzheimer’s arthritis and many more. These are considered essential Omega fatty acids.
Essential means your body cannot produce them. They must be consumed either by food or supplementation. This is where the ketosis comes in – a diet rich in essential fatty acids.
Research has proven that the standard American diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, specifically Omega 3’s.
Fatty acids make up most of your brain tissue they are also important for your brain’s ability to function, having direct control over learning, memory, and sensory performance.
Research has demonstrated the need for these supplements as well as the importance of maintaining a proper ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s. We recommend a ratio between 1:1 of Omega-3’s to 6’s – which is great when you are in ketosis because you can consume plenty of healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil to help balance this ratio.
Whether it’s a lack of proper nutrients or consuming too few or too many of the wrong calories – this can cause our bodies to be out of equilibrium.
If we fail to maintain this balance, the body’s energy levels will drop and performance will suffer and not produce the quality of life you would like to have. This can lead to accelerated brain deterioration. As we age, it becomes more important to maintain a balanced brain if we want to be happy.
The ketogenic diet is the answer.
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