3 Reasons Why the Ketogenic Diet is a Game Changer for Improved Mental Health
While commonly used for weight loss, not many people know of the amazing mental benefits of the ketogenic diet also. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at what food the keto diet consists of.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
A ketogenic diet or keto, in short, refers to a high fat and low carb diet. This means that you consume other foods in large quantities while reducing carbohydrates to the bare minimum.
A ketogenic diet is usually high in fats and oils. This kind of diet helps the body to produce ketones in the liver to be used as sources of energy in the absence of glucose.
The principle behind the keto diet is simple. The body gets most of its energy supply from carbohydrates. When the body is denied the carbohydrates, the sugar levels in the body reduce hence tricking the mind to think that you are starving. Under this state, the brain starts the process of burning stored fats into energy. This process is referred to as ketosis.
What to Eat On a Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet is not a strict meal diet. You can change the foods you eat each day as much as the alternative contains the required nutrients.
Planning your keto diet is simple. Here are some simple healthy keto foods to add to your diet.
1. Fats and Oils
Fats should form the major part of the diet. You should, however, consume fats from natural foods such as beef, fish, chicken, nuts, or MCT oil derived from organic coconuts. Fats should form 60% to 65% of your daily intake.
If possible you should stick to organic proteins. This includes pasture raised and grass-fed meat. You should also try to use cereals in this case. Your protein intake should be between 30%-35% of your daily intake.
The main aim is to avoid carbohydrates so stick to light carb meals. They should only form between 5% and 15% of your daily intake.
You should also be including vegetables into your diet. Stick to leafy green; you can even take them frozen and use it in your green smoothies.
Mental Benefits of Keto Diet
There are plenty of ketosis brain benefits. Once your body gets into ketosis, there are an array of activities that stimulate brain function. Medical research shows that a keto diet can be used to manage mental diseases such as dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, and seizures. Here are the key mental benefits of the keto diet.
1. Boosts your ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters
A neurotransmitter known as GABA is responsible for making you feel calm, energized, and motivated. Research shows that the state of ketosis bolsters the production of this neurotransmitter. It’s been established that the use of keto brain diet will help reduce mental stress and hence control some mental conditions.
2. Bolsters brain power
A common problem among most mental disorders is lack of energy. When your body is in ketosis mode, it produces ketones known as beta-hydroxybutyrate. They are an alternative source of energy to the brain in the absence of glucose. Research shows that these ketones produce far much more energy in the brain than the one produced by glucose hence boosting the mental power.
3. Exerts antioxidant effects
Studies show that one way of treating seizures is by increasing a certain oxidant known as glutathione which protects us against oxidative stress. The ketogenic diet can lead to reduced inflammation in the brain. This combined with the enhanced brain energy from ketones helps enhance brain function.
The Big Takeaway for Your Brain on Keto
Simply put, the ketogenic diet gives your brain a steady flow of fuel, allowing you to focus and concentrate better. You also experience less brain fog and blood sugar swings. Now that’s one great recipe for a productive day!
Have you tried the keto diet? Are you interested in trying it? Share your thoughts in the comments.