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Your brain on sugar

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

I hope that you and your families have survived this somewhat unconventional festive season and are ready to tackle the new year and it's new (and some ongoing) challenges.

Following the festive season I always find myself re-evaluating my eating and exercise habits (or lack thereof for the past few weeks!)

A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition revealed that Californian adults who consumed more unhealthy food were also more likely to report symptoms of either moderate or severe psychological distress than their peers who consume a healthier diet. The author of this study, Jim E. Banda Phd, MPH, notes that this study confirms those conducted in other countries that have found a link between mental illness and unhealthy diet. Banda concludes that perhaps it is time that we take a closer look at the role of diet in mental health.

It has long been accepted that the gut and the brain share an intimate connection but more and more research is identifying specific mitochondria in the gut which affect the communication between the gut and the brain.

We are all well aware of what foods we should avoid and what we should eat more of.... BUT

As with all things the MOTIVATION to stick with plans is where most of us stumble.

This is where Neurofeedback comes in to the picture.

Sometimes we need to get our mind in the right space before we can commit to creating new habits that ultimately lead to lasting change.

The frontal lobes of the brain make up two-thirds of our brain matter and are associated with higher-order cognitive functions including those associated with reward-seeking behaviour and motivation. Most of the brain's dopamine-sensitive neurons, which support feelings of reward and motivation, are in the frontal lobe.

Dysregulation in the frontal lobe will make sticking to any long-term plan difficult as your need to feed the dopamine-sensitive neurons - most often with sugary treats - will over-ride your new goals.

By incorporating neurofeedback into your overall wellness practice you will be able to stick to your goals and achieve them so much easier!

Emeran Mayer's book

The Mind-Gut Connection is an excellent read for those interested in more on the topic and is available online from

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