Name that one person who always talks about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.
Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.
Grow new brain cells
- Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth. (1)
- As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. Those who may be wondering how they can obtain mental benefits from a detox should further review more detailed studies on BDNF. (2)
Enhance focus and concentration
- Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
- The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distraction. (3) Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
- Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.
Increase blood flow to the brain
- Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
- This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.
Boost mood and good vibes
- High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine. (4)
- Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
- Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills
- This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
- Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets. (5)
- Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.
- Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling. (6)
- It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.
Prevent mental illness
- Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
- Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
- An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. (7) With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.
Prevent cellular breakdown
- A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. (8) This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
- Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.
Thanks for reading!