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Going grain-free eliminates all grains from your diet, including wheat, oats, corn, rice, and barley. On this diet, instead of eating lots of bread, pasta, rice, or other grains, you eat protein, dairy, beans, nuts, and complex carbohydrate foods like potatoes and carrots.
There are many benefits of going grain-free, and the diet can be great for your brain. If you’re used to eating lots of grains, you might experience withdrawal symptoms when you first start on the diet. Headaches, brain fog, and cravings are all common symptoms as your body adjusts to being grain-free. However, these symptoms should clear up after about a week, and you should notice an improvement in your mental health. Here are five great benefits of eating grain-free for your brain:
1. Improved Mood
If you eat lots of bread, pasta, and other grains, it might be part of the reason you feel sad, lethargic, or depressed. Grain contains gliadin, a type of protein that can affect your mood. Many people have found that their mood got much better after going grain-free. As you become happier, you may start engaging in more activities and spending more time with friends. This will lift your mood even more, which will let you continue to make choices that benefit your mental health.
If you go grain-free to help with depression, be careful with returning to eating grains. Some people experience dark, pessimistic, or even suicidal thoughts when eating grains after being grain-free for a long time. Make sure you have support from family, friends, or a therapist if you want to eat grains again after completely avoiding them.
2. Less Anxiety
Low-level anxiety is an extremely common problem that can affect your day-to-day life and prevent you from doing the things you love. Cutting grains out of your diet can reduce anxiety and make you more optimistic. This diet can also be effective at treating phobias, especially agoraphobia and claustrophobia.
3. Better Concentration
Many people report that their brain fog lifted after going grain-free and that they were able to concentrate better and think more clearly. This can help boost your job performance and give you the mental energy to focus on hobbies or creative pursuits. It can also enhance your learning ability, which is a great benefit for students or for anyone who wants to learn about a new topic or skill.
4. Reduces Frequency of Seizures
In some cases, seizures are associated with consumption of grains. If you suffer from frequent temporal lobe seizures, going grain-free could provide some relief. Some people have even had their seizures completely stop after removing grain from their diet.
5. Dementia Prevention
Although the exact cause of dementia is unknown, high blood sugar levels are associated with the development of dementia. Grains can cause intense blood sugar spikes or chronically high blood sugar levels if you consume them with every meal. Eliminating grains can be a powerful way to reduce your risk of dementia.