September 3, 2020
Longtime vegan celebrity Miley Cyrus informed Joe Rogan in his podcast yesterday that she is no longer vegan and has added fish to her diet again. The 27-year-old pop star, who was vegan from 2013 to 2019, said, “I was vegan for a very long time and had to introduce fish and omegas into my life because my brain wasn’t working properly.” Shock waves among vegans and vegetarians here in India. She says to Joe, “You’re not a vegan and you can’t go vegan and live that fast, but sure you can, some people I can’t.”
When asked what not veganism did for her brain, Miley replies, “Now I’m so much hotter than I was and I think I was pretty malnourished at one point.” The singer-turned-actress told host Rogan: “Unfortunately, I fucking love fish, but now I have to eat it so my brain can work as fast as you do and I’ll go now. “ Both vegans and vegetarians hit Miley back on Twitter, informing them that they had no cognitive state or brain fog after eating a plant-based diet. Mental fatigue and fog can be caused by a variety of factors, and not just diet alone. So we took this opportunity to demystify the myths surrounding the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with the help of the country’s herbal doctors and nutritionists.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3s are healthy unsaturated fats and it is important that we get them through our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in the development of the brain, nerves, and eyes in infants. They also help keep your immune system healthy and can help lower the risk of heart disease in adults.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- ALA (Alpha Linoleic Acid)
- DHA (docosahexanoic acid)
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-6 fatty acids are also healthy unsaturated fats and we need to include omega-6 fats in our diet from food. Omega-6 fats play an important role in regulating our genes and promoting immune system health and blood clotting. These fats can also help with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and dermatitis. However, more research is needed to support these health benefits.
There are four types of omega-6 fatty acids:
- LA (linoleic acid)
- ARA (arachidonic acid)
- GLA (gamma linoleic acid)
- CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Why should you choose vegetable sources of omega over fish?
Most people think of omega-3 fatty acids as fish or fish oil. But like other animal proteins, fish are just the middlemen who get their omegas from the algae they eat. Considering that fish contains toxic industrial pollutants, it is better to get your omega-3s from plants.
Plant sources of Omega-3 & Omega-6
There is no shortage of vegetable sources of omega-3 and omega-6 on the Indian subcontinent. Dr. R. Saravanan, BHMS, PGDHSC (Applied Nutrition), ACLM, a nutrition and lifestyle advisor, says, “Vegans can easily get omega-3s from plant sources such as chia, flaxseed, walnuts, black beans, and kidney beans. “He goes on by saying,” In healthy individuals, omega-3 fatty acids from the above sources are converted into EPA and DHA. But in the rare cases of those with compromised gut health, a herbal DHA / EPA supplement may be required. ”
Dr. Rashmi Menon, a plant-based nutritionist, holistic doctor, and psychotherapist, adds, “In addition to walnuts and chia, omega-3s are found in flaxseed and linseed oil, soybeans, tofu, pumpkin seeds, and hemp. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in soybeans, corn, safflower and sunflower oils, nuts and seeds. “
Vegan food supplements with omega-3 algae are also available on the market today. According to the American doctor Dr. Michael Greger Those who advocate a wholesome, plant-based diet must consider consuming 250 mg of non-toxic long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (obtained from yeast or algae). This recommended dosage is especially important for older men, as well as women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or thinking about becoming pregnant.
Does brain function depend solely on the intake of omegas? Not really!
Cognitive function can be negatively affected by a variety of factors such as consumption of unhealthy foods like refined sugar, poor sleep quality, chronic stress and anxiety, physical inactivity, accumulation of toxins in households, underlying health conditions like diabetes, etc. Heavy metal toxicity, hepatitis C, hormonal imbalance, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), substance abuse and drug withdrawal. Lack of nutrition is only one of the causes of decreased brain function. And it’s not just a lack of omega fatty acids that can affect brain function. “Choline is also needed for good brain health and is available in tofu, cruciferous vegetables, and peanuts, among other things. Vitamin B12 is also of crucial importance for brain function and can be taken in through a dietary supplement, ”says Dr.
The impact of the gut-brain connection on brain health and function
Science today understands the relationship between gut health and brain health. The herbal doctor Dr. Mahesh informs: “There is a connection between the gut and the brain and how inflammation of the intestine can lead to encephalitis. The lifestyle pillars are key to this, with diet being one of the pillars. In addition to animal foods, processed foods can also lead to brain and neurological inflammation. It is therefore important to ensure a healthy, plant-based diet. “
Excess omega-6 increases the risk of disease
Now. Do not overdo it with the daily intake of omega-6 fatty acids, as too much omega-6 increases the risk of various diseases. “Most people get more omega-6s than omega-3s in their diets because most products made with refined oils contain more omega-6s than omega-3s. An excess of omega-6 fatty acids can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. This also changes the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 in the body. When omega-6 is too high, the body suffers from an omega-3 deficiency. This deficiency can lead to “brain fog” ”, informs Dr. Rashmi.
So what do we have to do to be healthy? “Switching from refined oils and concentrating on a wholesome, plant-based diet with whole seeds can correct this ratio and the resulting deficiency,” replies Dr. Rashmi.