Concentration, mood and digestion–what’s the relationship?

Artists know very well that the ability to concentrate is critical to both practicing and performing. However all of us need these concentration skills to do well in our everyday lives. In addition mood instability that curtails a sense of well-being may impact our success. Today the cutting edge treatments for working with children who have autism, ADD, ADHD and mental health issues is a dietary protocol based on nutrient-dense foods that also maximizes digestion and absorption. This is because this scientific community has proven that this approach has offered remarkable advances in the reversal of all of these problems. These very same advances for serious ailments in children have a direct relationship on how we can look at what is helpful for optimal concentration and mood in less critical health situations.

When the diet is high in difficult-to-digest foods like high-fiber, complex carbohydrate and processed foods or sugar, digestion can slow down and cause an overgrowth of candida in both the stomach and the intestinal tract. The byproduct of sugars broken down by yeast (candida) is alcohol and acetaldehyde. The byproduct of poorly digested gluteomorphine protein from gluten grains is a morphine-like chemical. Need I say more! That alcohol and morphine would affect both the mood and the ability to concentrate even in small amounts is obvious. Acetaldehyde will bind itself to proteins we consume and make their nutrients unavailable to the body. Additionally, these foods become very addictive because of the chemicals they produce under these circumstances.

Therefore–changing your diet to foods that are easy-to-digest and nutrient rich is the best way to insure that your body and mind are able to function at peak performance.

Optimal digestion requires certain components.

  • The first is good intestinal flora, which helps us to break down our foods and keep the intestinal walls and villi functioning well for optimal nutrient absorption. Foods that enhance good gut flora are old fashioned probiotic, high-enzyme¬† foods like cultured dairy–whole fat kefir and yogurt; lacto-fermented vegetables–homemade sauerkraut and pickled beets and cultured drinks like kombucha and beet kvass.
  • Second, a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods such as meats, poultry, eggs and dairy from animals eating their natural diets and traditionally made bone broth soups
  • Third, a diet that includes traditional fats like butter, cream and coconut oil which help with nutrient absorption, cell integrity and hormone function.
  • Fourth, adequate vitamin A and D from natural sources like cod liver oil, egg yolks and liver also for nutrient absorption

For more information on healing and building optimal health with nutrient-dense, traditional foods, see

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

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