Can Paleo Help Mental Clarity?
How important is food on one’s behavior?
Only about as significant as the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and drinking enough water. In other words, it’s huge!
The first example that comes to mind on this subject matter is the number of children who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and then medicated as the sole remedy. Often, they’re placed on Ritalin, which has many long-term side effects, to say the least.
Sadly, more times than not, these kids’ diets and activity level are not even factored in.
The very unfortunate fact of the matter is that many kids might not need these medications or may not even be diagnosed with ADD in the first place if they’d been eating properly and getting some exercise.
Granted, there are other situations and circumstances which can contribute to a diagnosis, yet even then, to not consider one’s diet is completely remiss.
At the risk of sounding simplistic, let’s make a very basic comparison. My husband and I have two Weimaraners. People will often comment on the fact they’re so well behaved, so calm and not at all like the stereotypical Weims, who are hyperactive and thus, destructive.
What’s the secret?
It’s not too hard. They run every day and eat real food.
The same goes for kids! If a child sits still all day playing video games and eats processed foods high in sugar, artificial dyes and nothing nourishing, of course he or she is not going to behave properly!
Another instance is the busy executive who skips breakfast and thrives cup after cup of coffee along with what they may feel are healthy snacks throughout the day, like low-fat cream cheese on a whole grain bagel or fat free chips with hummus dip.
Contrary to what we are taught to regard as great food choices, things like the examples listed above are not only not Paleo, but they set the stage for unbalanced meals leading to a blood sugar crash which will, not surprisingly lead to a day of less than ideal productivity and thinking.
On the flip side, if the two examples listed above are reversed and we see, instead:
• A child playing outside, full of life and exuberance and eating healthy portions of fresh veggies, fruits, proteins and fats
• A busy exec, getting up early to hit the gym for an early workout or out to the trails for a first-thing run, followed by a Paleo breakfast of soft boiled eggs, sautéed spinach and avocado
then both child and adult alike are not only bound to have steady, even energy throughout the day, crystal clear thinking and even tempered moods and if they do this as their norm, they’re far less likely to become ill later in life.
As I’ve said many times before: Eat Food + Move = Optimal Health. It’s really not rocket science!