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Your Brain On Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 03, 2011 at 5:19 AM

In his article [Food for Though][1], Jamie Fellrath reported that his own personal journey with Paleo eating led to a significant reduction in ADHD symptoms. I too have much greater levels of focus, creativity, and mental clarity through exercise and diet, but switching to Paleo (Loren Cordain/Robb Wolf version) seriously took things to a whole new level.

Has anyone else experienced this effect?

Art DeVany talked a little about this in relation to carbohydrate restriction (restricting carbs signals the body to regenerate/recover in order to make it through times of scarcity rather than reproduce in times of abundant carbohydrate access), but I really noticed this more while eating fruits, some starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes primarily), and while consuming much more Omega-3 than Art, Sisson, or others like Dr. Harris recommend.

[1]: Eat right, think right. Food for Thought by Jamie Fellrath of http://www.fitnessinanevolutionarydirection.com/2011/06/food-for-thought-by-jamie-fellrath.html

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(19479)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:26 PM

I noticed the most mental acuity when my fish oil intake was around 8-10gms per day. This was actually just the Nature's Own brand that you can see in the picture attached to the Food for Thought article and it is usually buy one get one free at Walgreens where I live. I always keep it in the fridge too. As of late, I cut back on my total PUFA consumption (O3 and O6), significantly reduced my fruit intake, and began incorporating more high fat dairy (heavy cream, some cheese) and animal fats (lard, ghee, bacon). I feel much more "foggy" now than I did with a more Paleo vs Primal diet.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:23 PM

I seem to remember reading an article regarding hunger (I don't think that the researchers looked at low carb specifically) and how it can improve measures of cognitive function. I'll try to look it up, but perhaps being calorie deprive AND having being carbohydrate restricted (more ketones vs. glucose) are beneficial for the brain. It seems like it would make sense evolutionarily that we would have our wits about us moreso when we experienced hunger rather than when we are overfed.

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2 Answers

1
2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on June 03, 2011
at 09:50 AM

I have much, much more mental energy. Probably physical too, but I notice the mental aspect more. It's tough sometimes to stay with my 5 yr old since her mental capacity is on a whole other level......I noticed recently that even if I miss a good nights sleep and am physically exhausted by the next evening, I don't crave sleep ...my mind is still very alert and wants stimulus.

This is what we have coined "nervous energy". I suppose it is not nervous at all but ketone energy. Missed sleep + no extra meal = burning something.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:23 PM

I seem to remember reading an article regarding hunger (I don't think that the researchers looked at low carb specifically) and how it can improve measures of cognitive function. I'll try to look it up, but perhaps being calorie deprive AND having being carbohydrate restricted (more ketones vs. glucose) are beneficial for the brain. It seems like it would make sense evolutionarily that we would have our wits about us moreso when we experienced hunger rather than when we are overfed.

0
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 03, 2011
at 08:55 AM

I wish I could report the same results, but paleo has had no affect on my ADD (though its been beneficial in many other ways).

Yet I haven't tried high dose fish oil - so I'm curious. How high of a dose do you take? What brand, etc?

Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:26 PM

I noticed the most mental acuity when my fish oil intake was around 8-10gms per day. This was actually just the Nature's Own brand that you can see in the picture attached to the Food for Thought article and it is usually buy one get one free at Walgreens where I live. I always keep it in the fridge too. As of late, I cut back on my total PUFA consumption (O3 and O6), significantly reduced my fruit intake, and began incorporating more high fat dairy (heavy cream, some cheese) and animal fats (lard, ghee, bacon). I feel much more "foggy" now than I did with a more Paleo vs Primal diet.

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