Bridging the Knowledge Gap

Nutrition and Brain Health - April 2020

Most of us know that our food plays a role in how our physical bodies function. But, did you know that the foods you eat can have a direct impact on how your brain works? We as PTs are in a unique position to discuss nutrition and its effects with our patients. Our patients can find serious improvements in their physical and mental well-being and function if you can empower them to take their nutrition seriously.

For example, did you know that roughly 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract? The balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut can drastically alter the amount of serotonin our bodies are producing. Low serotonin levels could be showing up in your patients in the form of depression, poor sleep, anxiety, and chronic pain. Educate yourself about the effects of nutrition on your patients’ bodies and brains, and help make positive changes in their lives! Here’s a great article out of Harvard discussing this in more detail and with some links to additional studies and reviews about nutrition and brain health.