The Well-Fed, Undernourished Brain – Address Nutrient Deficiencies

 In Functional Medicine, Neurology

Do you ever feel like, despite your best efforts to eat well, you still miss out on some essential nutrients? Maybe you don’t have time for meal planning, rationing, or anything else that seems necessary for optimal health and wellness. Even with a busy schedule and lifestyle, taking care of our bodies must be a top priority so we can meet the demands of modern living better, but how do we do it while maintaining a healthy balance? Well, optimizing our nutrition is not as difficult as it may seem! Many times, nutrient deficiencies are overlooked, and they can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being. In this blog post, I will explore the ins and outs of nourishing our brains properly and what vitamins are particularly important to focus on in order to optimize body performance naturally.


Fill the Gaps 

Most of us are well-fed but undernourished. Sure, we live in a time when there is plenty of food to eat. You can go to your supermarket and fill up your cart with all kinds of things.

But the question is, does that food have the nutrients our body actually needs? Unbeknownst to many Americans, 1/3 of the population is on a course for nutritional deficiency—an alarming discovery that demands our attention. I find that a lot of patients are lacking in certain nutrients when we measure their nutrient levels every day.

Let’s talk about food first! Nourishment should be your number one priority. We all know it provides more than sustenance; food is a powerful medicine and can serve to improve your health in many ways, so don’t think for a second I’m suggesting you abandon wholesome nutrition and opt instead for supplements exclusively – that could never be the answer! 

That being said, even when you eat a nutrient-dense, quality diet, you can still not be getting some of the nutrients your body needs: Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and grass-fed beef.

Eating “healthy” isn’t always enough; even if you’re consuming the right foods, it may still be hard to ensure your body is getting all of these essential anti-inflammatory fatty acids.

Calciferol (Vitamin D) 

Where do we find Vitamin D? 

Who knew? The key to keeping your energy and health up may just be a good old-fashioned day out in the sun! Unless you’re getting plenty of vitamin D from sunlight, chances are that you’re not getting enough. I find most of my patients need 5,000 international units (iu) of Vitamin D every day to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin D in their diet.

Vitamin D helps support your immune system, and it’s responsible for helping you to make hormones that keep you vital. 


Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)

Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal proteins. Sure, we all want to be eating our vegetables and taking advantage of the amazing health benefits they provide. But for a balanced diet, you’ll also need quality animal proteins such as meats, including organ meats like liver, which are supercharged with vitamin B12. Also, certain shellfish are high in Vitamin B12. 

Vitamin B12 is critical for making energy in your body. Vitamin B12 is important for the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that allow your nerve cells to communicate with each other. It also helps promote genes that support your health.



Another common nutrient that people need
is zinc. 

Zinc can be found in certain shellfish, like oysters. Seeds, like pumpkin seeds, can be high in zinc. 

Did you know zinc is an essential element for healthy brain functioning? It’s no wonder, then, that nutrient experts are now recommending increased supplementation of zinc to treat depression. Apart from getting many crucial vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet, optimal zinc levels are necessary to keep your mood in the highest possible state. 

It also helps your immune system. 

It helps your nerve cells grow. 

It protects your mitochondria.

Our patients generally have far lower zinc levels than are optimal for ideal brain function. To help ensure our patients experience the full cognitive benefits associated with this essential nutrient, we recommend a daily dosage of 30 milligrams of zinc supplement, even if they are well-versed in healthy dietary habits.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for well-fed minds! They are key to preserving and protecting brain function as well as overall wellness. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids offer the body beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, and other compounds necessary to sustain great health. Without enough of these nutrients, a person is likely to become undernourished or deficient in one of the well-known Omega 3s – Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA).

Nourishment comes first and foremost from our food. But taking supplements can help us close any cracks in the nutrient-rich wall we’re constructing through diet alone. 

Where do the gaps need to be filled, even when you have that wonderful nutrient-dense diet?

Eating the recommended 5–6 cups of green, colored, and sulfur foods can give your body a health boost. But even with all that nourishment, you might still lack certain essential vitamins & minerals! While it’s important to have good-quality meats, nuts, & seeds in your diet too, for total nutrition, make sure to supplement where necessary.

Supplement Suitably

Our diet is essential for preserving and enhancing our brain function and overall wellness. To explore this further, why not dive into Tool Number Two: Eat? Unlock the power of your plate to boost mental performance.
But then let’s think about certain supplements that most people tend to need as they get older: – Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Yes, there are other supplements that one could take, and we measure them on a regular basis. If you’d like to come and see us, we can do your laboratory studies and work with you one-on-one to see what other nutrients your body might need. I’ve just given you the basics here.

Investing in your well-being is an investment in yourself. To ensure you’re getting the highest quality supplements, don’t simply resort to a cheaper option from your local pharmacy; speak to someone who can provide expert advice on what could best benefit and nourish you further, be it at a health food store or through functional medicine doctor consultations. With years of experience witnessing firsthand how people’s bodies respond differently depending upon their diet input, I’ve noted that even with nutritious meals, most individuals need additional supplementation. My sincerest wish is that these valuable investments are both cost-effective and richly rewarding.

In conclusion, we have explored ways to ensure your brain is well-fed and nourished. We have discussed Calciferol (Vitamin D), Cobalamin (Vitamin B12), Zinc, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, as well as the importance of supplementing these nutrients suitably.

When it comes to our health and well-being, being proactive and intentional is always better than leaving things to chance. To take positive steps towards supporting your long-term cognitive health, reach out to a specialist who can provide tailored advice suited to you and your individual requirements.

Being open with yourself and admitting that there could be micronutrient gaps in your diet can lead to great leaps forward in terms of health improvements over time. Join me on my mission to leave no stone unturned when it comes to holistic health. Schedule a discovery call today for an enriched wellness journey!





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DISCLAIMER:  The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional

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