Welcome to the Healthy Way Diet Program! Our focus is providing nutritionally sound and medically researched information and advice to help you live healthier, happier lives.
Feeding Your Brain
The importance of nutrition on brain function
Our society has become very dependent upon seeking a prescription for everything that ails us. We often find it difficult to make the connection between the food we eat and its effect on our physical and mental health but the truth is, we really are what we eat.
One area where we seem to rush to the doctor for a quick-fix pill is when we are suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mood-related disorders. Sometimes we aren’t even interested in talking about the issues in our lives; we just want a pill to make it all better.
What most people are probably not aware of is that many aspects of our mood are controlled by neurotransmitters in the brain, and certain nutrient deficiencies inhibit the production of these neurotransmitters. These deficiencies can lead to depression, anxiety, ADD, insomnia, anger issues, feelings of hopelessness, and even physical issues such as high blood pressure and obesity. While it is quite feasible that one can be deficient in the amino acids that are used in the formation of neurotransmitters, it is quite unlikely that one is deficient in Prozac, so why do we seek a synthetic substance before we try a natural one?
The four primary neurotransmitters are: dopamine, GABA, acetylcholine, and serotonin. This is what synthetic anti-depressants work upon. However, it is amino acids (protein) from the foods we eat that enable the natural production of these neurotransmitters. The amino acids that are needed by the body to produce these neurotransmitters are: phenylalanine, glutamine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and tryptophan, respectively. If you don’t obtain adequate amounts of these proteins from your diet or through supplements, you will most likely exhibit the symptoms of deficiency. If you suffer from a mood or attention-related disorder, we recommend that you undergo a 24 hour urine test with a health-care professional to check for nutrient-related amino acid deficiencies.
The Edge Effect, a book written by Eric R. Braverman, M.D., details the connection between the brain, the neurotransmitters, and nutrition. His book is endorsed by such notable figures as Ronald Klatz, M.D., President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and Ernest Noble, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. Dr. Braverman designed a written test that he believes can help determine neurotransmitter deficiencies. This test can be accessed online. Click this link to take the Braverman Assessment. The Manual for a Healthy Body and Happy Mind discusses the foods that contribute to good brain nutrition. They are all part of a healthy, well-balanced, and nutrient-dense diet.
The Edge Effect: Eric R. Braverman, M.D.