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Metabolic Health and Your Brain


Metabolic dysregulation is associated with cognitive decline. This is when you are not sensitive to insulin signalling and therefore, do not regulate glucose levels well. Excessive blood glucose promotes oxidative stress.


Risk factors for metabolic dysregulation include:


- Dyslipidemia

- Hypertension

- Diabetes

- Increased central body adiposity

- Poor gut health

- Systemic inflammation

- Excessive Western Food Diet intake (e.g refined grains, processed foods, low fibre, human modulated fats)


Other contributing factors to metabolic dysregulation:


- Significant hormone change (e.g. menopause)

- Stress

- Poor sleep patterns

- Nutrient deficits

- Poor gut health

- Alcohol

- Sedentary lifestyle


Improving your metabolic health is an important way to protect your brain and overall cognitive function.


Strategies to explore when needing to improve and/or wanting to maintain metabolic health:


Anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense nutrition:


- 5+ serves of colourful fruit and vegetables

- Whole grains and other complex carbs

- Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. oily fish)

- Unprocessed animal and plant-based protein

- Fermented foods


Key nutrients best found in wholefoods identified above for both metabolic and brain health:


- Choline

- B vitamins

- Folate

- Iron

- Polyunsaturated fats

- Antioxidants and phytonutrients

- Vitamin D

- Vitamin E

- Vitamin C

- Zinc

- Pre and probiotics

- Magnesium


Lifestyle Advice


- A regular and consistent exercise/movement practice

- Stress management practices

- Improved sleep quality

- getting outside in natural light


If you have metabolic syndrome or diabetes it is important to continue to see a trusted health care practitioner for more support and individualised planning to meet your needs.


References


(Sarris & Wardle, 2019)

(Hechtman, 2019)

DOI: 10.3390/nu14020333

DOI: 10.3390/nu12113367

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