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An Experiment in Nutrition January 3, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Nutrition.
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Are You Starving Your Brain?
When I think about optimizing learning, one facet I don’t often consider is nutrition. In fact, I’m usually in so much of a hurry to learn more, do more that I tend to eat a lot of junk food/fast food. But last November, I bought a book called Is Your Child’s Brain Starving? by Dr. Michael R. Lyon and Dr. G. Christine Laurell. In his work as a practicing physician and medical researcher, Dr. Lyon has explored a variety of methods for improving brain function in both kids and adults. But he has seen the most profound improvement in learning and behavior through an intelligent nutritional program. In the book, Dr. Lyon provides several case studies of children who were struggling in school and in life, whom he was able to “save” just by changing their diet. He also provides some high-level explanations of how both nutritious food and junk food affect the brain. It made me realize how poorly fueled my own brain–and that of my family–is.

What difference does a vitamin and mineral supplement make?
About the same time, I started taking a vitamin and mineral supplement. About a month or two after I started taking the supplement, my fingernails suddenly became as hard as granite and longer than they’d been for a while. One day when I was having a manicure, the manicurist commented on how healthy my nails were. She asked me, “Have you changed your diet recently?”  I told her about the supplement, and she said that that could be what was making my nails so healthy. (If that’s so, I can’t help but wonder what that supplement is doing to my brain!)

In December, I stopped taking the supplement because I was traveling alot and then I got busy and forgot all about it. And lo and behold, my nails are now short, chipped, and weak. Is there a connection?

The Experiment
That’s what I want to find out. So, yesterday, I started taking the supplement again. And I am going to take it religiously everyday for the entire month of January. We’ll see what my nails look like at the end of this month. And I’ll also look for other signs of overall health, such as more alertness and more energy.