The Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Neuronutrition – Part 2


My 9 Tips for a Brain-Boosting Diet
If you missed Part 1 (our previous blog), we explored what a TBI is, what role neuronutrition plays in recovery, and considered some frequently asked questions about TBI recovery and nutrition. 

In this, Part 2, we’ll dive into the juicy stuff – the food! Plus we’ll consider a few other lifestyle tips to support TBI or concussion recovery.

But first, recall that neuronutrition involves four distinct components: 

  1. Adding in targeted nutrients the brain needs during recovery
  2. Removing anti-nutrients or substances the brain finds toxic
  3. Adding in targeted supplements when needed
  4. Making simple key lifestyle tweaks to support brain recovery

In this blog, we’ll focus on the right foods or nutrients that support TBI recovery and some lifestyle tweaks. So, let’s dive right on in!

Implementing a neuronutrition-centric diet doesn’t have to be daunting. 

A great place to start is by incorporating a variety of whole foods such as leafy greens, berries, nuts, and lean proteins into your diet. However, consistency is key – nourishing the brain should be an ongoing commitment. 

As you embark on your journey, remember that the road to optimal brain health starts with mindful choices and a commitment to providing your brain with the fuel it deserves. 

Pro tip: Whenever you leave the house, make sure you take healthy snacks with you… This might include fruits, raw nuts, energy bars, and hard-boiled eggs. Snacks like these will come in handy if you start losing energy. 

  1. Protein Intake and TBI: Fuelling Brain Recovery
  • After a brain injury, the body’s demand for protein increases due to the need for tissue repair and the production of enzymes and neurotransmitters. Protein breaks down into amino acids – the building blocks necessary for repairing damaged brain tissue and supporting overall brain function. From tissue repair to the creation of neurotransmitters, quality proteins are essential for optimal recovery and brain health.

Proteins: Make proteins count – think quality proteins like grass-fed beef and wild salmon. They’re the architects behind neurotransmitter communication.

  • Fruits & Veggies: Nature’s Bounty
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, and spinach, are known for combating oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can exacerbate the damage caused by brain injuries. When you include these life-affirming foods into your day, you are providing your body with the necessary tools to counteract this stress and promote healing. 

Life-Affirming: Emerging research suggests there is a connection between gut-brain communication and neurological healing. This implies that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could help the road to recovery. Additionally, maintaining electrolyte balance is crucial for nerve function and communication. Electrolytes, like potassium and magnesium, can be obtained through foods like bananas, avocados, and nuts.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Brain’s Best Friend
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fatty fish like salmon and walnuts, have been shown to have a protective effect on the brain. These healthy fats aid in reducing inflammation, which is crucial during post-TBI recovery. Incorporating these into the diet can potentially expedite healing and minimize long-term cognitive deficits.

Nourish with Omega-3s: Elevate your brain’s health with the richness of Omega-3 fatty acids. Think fatty fish like salmon and other healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and MCTs – the brain’s favorite fuel.

  • Antioxidants: Nature’s Defence Mechanism
  • As mentioned, antioxidants, abundant in colorful fruits and vegetables, play a vital role in protecting the brain from oxidative stress. Because the brain post-TBI is more susceptible to free radical damage, increasing the intake of antioxidant-rich foods is crucial to equip the brain with the necessary tools to combat more damage and aid in recovery.

Pint-Sized Powerhouses: antioxidants possess the remarkable ability to repair damaged neural connections and nurture the growth of new ones. They take on formidable foes known as oxidative stress and inflammation, safeguarding the brain’s well-being in the aftermath of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

We would like to thank Kelly for sharing this educational story with us. 

Please share your thoughts and/or comments on this or any other article.  And if you would like to get involved and share your experience with Ataxia, please contact us.  Join our community today.  A place where we empower you to build a healthy lifestyle and raise overdue Ataxia Awareness.  Experience transformative storytelling and share your story to inspire positive change.

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