10 Nutritional Foods For Traumatic Brain Injury

The brain is one of the most vital organs of the body. And if the brain is hit from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, it is a result of traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury can be cured by maintaining a healthy diet. So, here, we will be writing about the foods for traumatic brain injury.

Though mild traumatic brain injury can affect your brain cells temporarily, the most serious injury can result in torn tissues, bruising, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries could result in long-term complications or death.

nutrition for brain injury patients

The traumatic brain injury has a wide range of physical and psychological effects. The physical symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury are loss of consciousness, a state of being dazed, headache, problems with speech, fatigue, difficulty in sleeping and dizziness.

The cognitive symptoms include memory problems, mood changes, feeling depressed or anxious. On the other hand, severe traumatic brain injury physical symptoms are persistent headache, repeated vomiting, convulsions, loss of coordination, etc. And the cognitive symptoms are profound confusion, slurred speech, agitation and coma.

Here are the nutritional foods that are considered good to be given to traumatic brain injury patients.

1. Foods Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines have been shown to improve cognition, plasticity and recovery of neurons after traumatic brain injury. Docosahexaenoic acid is one of the most important forms of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been found to be a key component of neuronal membranes. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) helps in improving neuronal function by supporting synaptic membrane fluidity and function.

2. Foods Containing Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an essential vitamin found in nuts, spinach, and certain oils like olive oil. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant, which helps in reducing free radicals in the brain that would otherwise impede optimal functions of neurons. Vitamin E has the ability to maintain neuronal health and improve neurological performance.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is an Indian spice which gives the food a yellow colour. Turmeric has a compound called curcumin, which is known to enhance recovery events after a brain trauma. Curcumin also can improve neuronal function in individuals affected with Alzheimer's disease by reducing oxidative stress. In addition, this spice was found to protect the brain from lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide-based radicals.

4. Foods Rich In Amino Acids

Protein plays a major role in all the biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks of it. A large proportion of muscles, cells and tissues is made up of amino acids, which means they carry out many important bodily functions. Amino acids in the brain are related to the normal levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. And it has been found that supplementation with the amino acids called leucine, isoleucine and valine restores cognitive function. Eat protein-rich foods like lean chicken, fish and beans that could supply a good dose of amino acids.

5. Choline-rich Foods

Choline is a water-soluble nutrient that improves the nervous system activity, helps in early growth and development, prevents cancer, promotes structural integrity of the cell membranes. The foods rich in choline are eggs, especially the egg yolks, beef liver, dairy foods, soaked nuts, legumes and cruciferous vegetables.

6. Vitamin B12 Foods

Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that aids in keeping the body's nerve and blood cells healthy. This essential nutrient protects your nerve cells by maintaining an outer coating. A good amount of vitamin B12 in your diet can help repair nerve damage and impaired brain function. Eat foods like meat, milk and eggs that are rich in vitamin B12.

7. Manganese-rich Foods

Manganese is present in whole grains, nuts and in fruits and vegetables. It helps in recovering from a brain injury, as it helps maintain a healthy cognitive function. It also aids in metabolising carbohydrates and assists in brain functioning. Rich sources of manganese include whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables and teas.

8. Foods Rich In Folic Acid

Folic acid prevents the build-up of blood, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. This acid can also lower the levels of serotonin in the brain. Research suggests that the vitamin plays an important role in protecting the brain against Alzheimer's disease and other brain-related disorders. It also has been shown to lower homocysteine levels in the blood. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, cereals, etc., are foods that contain a good dose of folic acid.

9. Foods That Contain Zinc

Zinc plays a very important role in axonal and synaptic transmission. It is also necessary for nucleic acid metabolism and brain tubulin growth and phosphorylation. Lack of foods rich in zinc in your diet has been implicated in impaired DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis during brain development. Zinc also plays a crucial role in neurotransmitter function and helps maintain cognitive function. Foods containing zinc are oyster, beef, pumpkin seeds, lamb or mutton, etc.

10. Foods Containing Selenium

Selenium is another essential mineral which helps in synthesis of some hormones and protects the cell membranes from damage. The neurons, which are utilizing another neurotransmitter called dopamine, have been shown to be more resistant to oxidative damage under adequate brain selenium supply compared to selenium-deficient brain. Eat selenium-rich foods like seafood, liver, and eggs, etc.

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