How Does The Keto Diet Improve Brain Health?
Keto diet is not something new. For the last decade or so, its popularity has slowly been increasing, and right now, there are millions of people around the world following and advocating the diet.
Are you considering a keto diet to help with weight loss or to keep yourself fit? Then this article is for you.
Here are some of the common benefits of a keto diet:
- Quick and efficient weight loss
- Better cholesterol levels
- Improved insulin resistance
- Controlled blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes
- Increased energy levels
- Better skin
These benefits are all commonly known. However, did you know that a keto diet also helped with your brain health? In fact, the basic idea of a keto diet was created to cure a disease related to the overstimulation of the brain – Epilepsy.
The creation of keto for epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disease that affects about 50 million people worldwide. This leads to temporary disruptions in the brain function and causes conditions like seizures and convulsions.
During the 1920s and 1930s, a high-fat diet was created as a mainstream treatment method for epilepsy.
After the development of medicines for the condition, this diet slowly lost its importance in the treatment process. However, even now, many doctors make the use of a Low Carbohydrate High Fat (LCHF)/keto diet along with medications to effectively manage this condition.
Keto diet for neurological trauma
Neurological trauma is a condition that results in injuries to either the nerves in the brain or the spine. The reason could be accidents or dangerous falls. Some studies prove ketones give the brains as much as 70% of their energy needs while glucose can only match up to 50%.
During a neurological trauma, it is observed that the cerebral activities need more ketones for healing. Therefore, some doctors administer ketones exogenously to help with the healing of brain injuries.
You can generally keep your brain’s cerebral center all active and pumped-up by opting for a keto-lifestyle.
Keto enhances the mitochondria production in the brain
Mitochondria are organelles that are present in the cells of all living beings. Mitochondria produce 90% of all chemical energy that the cells need for surviving.
Your brain is a high-energy requirement center. Hence it needs more numbers of mitochondria to survive. In fact, in your body, the brain is one organ that has the highest concentrations of mitochondria.
Studies prove that a ketogenic diet helps increase the number of mitochondria in the body. This produces more energy in the brain and the brain can deal with stress better and functions more effectively.
Keto protects your brain cells
SIRT3 is a type of protein that protects the neurons in your brain. When the body has lesser SIRT3, the neurons and the brain cells seem to get damaged faster and die sooner.
Good amounts of fatty acids help boost the production of this protein in the body.
Researchers conclude that when you consume a high-fat diet that boosts ketone production in the body, this can actually protect your brain cells and prevent different kinds of age-related cognitive declination conditions.
Keto for progressive memory loss
Progressive memory loss is also called dementia. Alzheimer’s is, particularly, a common brain degenerative disease that affects people as they grow older.
It is estimated that in India, by the year 2030, the number of people with Alzheimer’s will increase to about 7.5 million.
Clinical studies conclude that a Low Carb High Fat (keto) diet can effectively prevent memory loss and all signs of dementia.
Generally, if you want to enjoy better memory prowess, then including good amounts of fat in your diet can help. Give it a try!
Keto for migraine
Migraine is a very common problem that is characterized by a throbbing headache, usually in a particular area in the head. Migraines are usually accompanied by a feeling of nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
This is named the 6th most disabling condition globally and can render you helpless for several days. This neurological condition is a result of abnormal brain activity and can also be hereditary.
A study on keto diet for migraines concludes that an LCHF diet helps make the symptoms of migraines better and reduces the frequency of the condition. This diet also seems to reduce the need for drugs in migraine patients.
Keto can make symptoms of Parkinson’s better
Another progressive neurological condition that is a result of abnormal wiring in the brain is Parkinson’s disease. This can affect movement and everyday functioning with time.
There are ongoing studies that are analyzing the effects of a keto diet on the symptoms of the condition.
However, a small restricted study on Parkinson’s patients who were on a keto diet concluded that about 43% of their symptoms became more manageable after consuming good fats and restricting their carbs intake.
A keto diet improves blood flow to the brain
When you are on a high-glucose diet, the body struggles to handle insulin secretion and the blood flow through the vessels is forced. A high-glucose diet also ends up causing plaque deposition and higher blood pressure and hence a reduction of blood flow to different parts of the body, including the brain.
Lack of blood to the brain can result in memory issues, foggy thoughts, and general mental fatigue. A keto diet widens the vessels and allows constant blood flow to the brain and brings down your blood pressure levels.
This improves brain energy metabolism and hence makes you sharper and more focused.
A high-fat diet prevents oxidative stress in the brain
Free radicals from the atmosphere constantly affect the cells of the body and lead to oxidative stress. This can damage your brain cells with time.
Here are some of the results of oxidative stress in the brain.
- Chronic inflammation in the body
- Increased risk of neurological/ neurodegenerative diseases
- Chronic fatigue
- Foggy brain
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory loss
This 2016 article concludes that a ketogenic diet works in reducing oxidative damage to the brain and this keeps the brain healthy and active for years.
If other health benefits of keto do not encourage you to start the diet, then its immense effect on your brain health should definitely push you in the right direction.
Your brain is your Central Processing Unit (CPU) and it determines how long you live, how active and responsive you are to your surroundings and your quality of life. Protect this wonderful organ with a keto diet and enjoy a sharp and focused brain until the end.