Covid-19 & Health Update: Fiber, Gut and Brain Immune Connection

Hello everyone:

 A new study has revealed that a diet with higher fiber intake, and one that has a lot of soluble fiber, is now linked to a lower incidence of disabling dementia…25% lower risk which is very consequential. How does that work? It turns out than higher fiber feeds the gut bacteria which then positively enhances brain neuroplasticity and brain function. For example: our gut bacteria convert some fibers into short chain fatty acids (butyrate, acetate and proprionate) which not only mend our gut lining (reduce leaky gut) but also downregulate inflammation via immune mechanisms as well as assist with the creation of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) to enhance brain function, maintenance, and development. Please note that this new information supports previous blogs about how to reduce inflammation and upregulate/balance the immune system via a plant-based approach…which is of course very pertinent to our pandemic world.

Who knew that the food we eat could have such a fantastic impact on our mental and cognitive health as well as heal the gut and reduce or attenuate neuro-inflammation?

Bottom Line:

The best place to get the fiber you need is still a plant-based food plan. In past newsletters I have gone over how to get started on a plant-based diet as well as why…yet here is another study that shows how vital such an approach to food really is. Here is a quote from the Medscape article:

“Commenting for Medscape Medical News, Uma Naidoo, MD, director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and nutrition educator at Harvard Medical School, said the study “adds to the growing pool of evidence suggesting that a diet rich in colorful, plant-based foods can benefit our neurological and psychiatric health, especially as we age.”

Naidoo, also a chef and the author of This Is Your Brain on Food, who was not involved in the study, continued, “In nutritional psychiatry, balance is key and therefore consuming a well-rounded diet including ample amounts of fiber — particularly from sources like steel-cut oats, beans, lentils, and numerous other fruits and vegetables — can be part of a healthy lifestyle and prevention against cognitive decline in later years.

“While the study authors admit to limitations within the study, in my opinion, eating healthier has so many mental and physical health benefits that it’s a nutritional psychiatry no-brainer,” she added. (Please note the ironic choice of words in that last sentence!)

Go plant-based!!! Try it for 6 months and see what happens…you can always stop and go back to your old food plan if you do not see any benefits…just give it a real 100% trial…it will help most of us in many different aspects of health…brain, heart, blood sugar and more!!


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