A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about Anxiety and Forgetfulness, where I looked at anxiety and how stress fits in; as well as other causes that can set it off in some of you. In part 2 of Anxiety and Forgetfulness, I will look at how and why, of some of the underlying causal factors of your anxiety and forgetfulness.
Anxiety and Forgetfulness – HOW, WHY
Your anxiety could initially have been triggered by nutrient deficiencies, due to a poor diet over a period of time; only to be made worse by poor nutrient absorption due to impaired digestion caused by your anxiety, which also affects your appetite. Does this make sense?
If you are not having a diet that consists of eating fruits and vegetables of all colors, nuts, seeds, grain, legumes, and good quality meat, fish, chicken; then you are more than likely to have low levels of many nutrients. Which can only be aggravated by food intolerances, poor digestion, and having a vegan/vegetarian diet (this is also a topic for another day).
Some of the important nutrients that you may be low in, which have a great impact on brain function and mood are:
- Iron – helps your cells to produce energy. Keeps the nerves in your brain healthy, as well as, transporting oxygen throughout your body – especially to your BRAIN. It also helps to reduce damage to your cells that can be caused by a build-up of excess toxins. Iron is also involved with the activation of neurotransmitters Dopamine, Serotonin.
- Vitamin B’s – are involved in many in so many biochemicals functions throughout your body, many of which are for brain function.
B6 (pyridoxine) in particular, is needed for the conversion of all amino acids into other amino acids, that help your cells to make energy, neurotransmitters, etc. Along with B12 and folate, as they are involved in reducing oxidative stress in your cells, maintain blood pressure and heart rate, make dopamine, and serotonin.
- Vitamin D – is not just for your bones. It helps to protect brain cells, reduce inflammation, and produce a compound called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. This helps to regulate your neurotransmitters, ‘train’ your brain to learn and remember; also, is involved in brain cell growth. (Bathina, S., & Das, U. N, 2015).
- Essential Fatty Acids – are needed to maintain healthy cell membranes, especially in your brain. Making sure that your cells have a strong protective barrier, being the gatekeeper of what goes into and out of the cell. Making sure that your cells are efficient with the work that they do and not being ‘side tracked’ into doing other activities.
- Iodine – is needed by your thyroid to function and produce the hormones that you need for your metabolism. Which is basically ‘the motor’ of your body. If it’s not working properly then you are not working properly. The best source is found in seafood, but you can also get it from some fruits and vegetables that you eat.
- Selenium – you also need for your thyroid to work efficiently.
- Amino Acids – Tryptophan, Glutamine, Tyrosine, Glycine, Phenylalanine. You need these amino acids to make the neurotransmitters Serotonin, Dopamine, and GABA. These help you to feel good/happy, sleep, be clear of mind, and relax your brain. If you are low or deficient in any of these amino acids, it will affect your ability to make these neurotransmitters.
Some of you may think What about it? Well, it has a major impact on your stress and anxiety. This then flows on to affect your mood, sleep, ability to think, concentrate, and remember! This refers to your work, recreational activities (or lack thereof), sleep, how and what you eat.
By now you should be realising that everything is interconnected and needs to be in balance. When there is too much of one thing and not enough of the other, that is when you start to get out of whack.
So you need to remember to get enough sleep, but also make sure that it is good quality sleep. This means that you get off to sleep easily, sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed and clear of mind. As studies have shown that resting your brain through sleep supports memory function. Lack of sleep can activate other cells and chemicals that induce ‘forgetting’. Yes, your brain has the ability to remove information if it is not allowed to sleep and rest – but this could occur over a period of time, not just from one bad night’s sleep. (Davis, R. L., & Zhong, Y,2017).
If you are on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet, you will be deficient in B12, as your main sources are found in animal products. Your intestines can make some, but not enough for what you need on a daily basis. Meat and other animal products are also the best sources of iron, and amino acids. You need to supplement.
If you have any concerns, please see your doctor. I am also here to support you in any way that you need.
Bathina, S., & Das, U. N. (2015). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its clinical implications. Archives of medical science : AMS, 11(6), 1164–1178. https://doi.org/10.5114/aoms.2015.56342
Davis, R. L., & Zhong, Y. (2017). The Biology of Forgetting-A Perspective. Neuron, 95(3), 490–503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2017.05.039