Metabolic Health

A Link Between Metabolic Health and The Brain

Zoomi Singh

October 12, 2022

Our body continuously undergoes several chemical reactions. These chemical reactions responsible for the breakdown of food and providing energy to the body are together called metabolism. This process of metabolism changes the food we eat into energy. Energy gets consumed when we perform different activities in our daily life.

Specific proteins in the body are responsible for the chemical reactions that lead to metabolism and metabolic health. In our body, thousands of metabolic reactions happen at a particular time. Also, this is automatically regulated to keep our cells healthy and in optimum working conditions.

According to a study, metabolic rate depends on various factors such as sex, race, exercise levels, diet, age, and diseases. Therefore, the metabolic rate is different for different people. For example, some have a high metabolic rate, requiring food more frequently than others. 

There are two types of metabolism: 

  • Catabolism is a type of metabolism that breaks organic matter. This includes the breakdown of molecules to produce energy in the body.
  • Anabolism: This type of metabolism occurs when the synthesis of compounds requirement happens by the cells. This energy forms other vital components like protein or nucleic acids.

Metabolic health signifies the balance in the rate of metabolism. It refers to a condition where during the metabolism, there is no unhealthy spike in blood sugar. Good metabolic health is visible in the absence of diseases like high blood pressure, high blood fat, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or a large waistline. We can understand more about metabolic health through this research by NCBI.

The Connection Between Brain and Metabolic Health

Metabolic health has a direct relation with the brain. The bidirectional relationship between metabolic health and the brain has been well stated in the study by NCBI.

It establishes the connection between metabolic rate and the brain in a way that has helped humans evolve. The brain adapts to the weather, food availability, and living conditions.

Healthy brain function and its malfunction intricately correlate with energy metabolism. According to the current evidence, as stated in the research paper, impaired energy metabolism is a modifier or cause of brain ageing.

Furthermore, an impaired metabolism leads to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, it is imperative to be healthy and keep the metabolic health in good condition to have a healthy functioning brain with no complications.

Glucose acts as fuel for the brain. The human brain needs a constant flow of glucose for the cells to work optimally. Though tiny, the brain requires 20% of the body’s glucose. The brain controls glucose production and significantly impacts memory and cognitive abilities. The ageing of the brain results from a decline in energy metabolism.

A CGM like HealthifyPRO 2.0 BIOS is an excellent measure of blood glucose levels. In addition, insulin resistance can lower cognitive processes. 

Interestingly, the gut is known as the second brain. The gut-brain axis connects intestinal function with cognitive abilities. Therefore you must understand the connection between the right food habits and the brain. There is evidence that gut health influences mood, sleep, stress levels, memory and overall cognition. The brain shrinks as we age, and it is a natural process. 

Foods rich in nutritional values and regular exercise can improve brain plasticity. It enhances brain cells and creates new cells. Also, engaging in games like scrabble and crosswords, keeps one agile and arrests a decline in cognitive abilities. 

Foods and Diets that Improve Your Metabolic Health

Proteins and Mineral-rich Foods

Consuming protein and mineral-rich food can help you boost your metabolism. This is because protein-rich foods have a high thermic effect. The thermic effect of food specifies the number of calories your body needs to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients in your meals. Protein-rich food products include eggs, dairy, meat, fish, legumes/lentils, nuts, and seeds.

Protein-based diets produce a better increase in metabolic rate than the carb or fat diet. Also, it helps balance the metabolic rate. It happens by increasing the muscle mass in the body instead of the fat. We can understand more about the benefits of a protein-rich diet in the study.

Similarly, a mineral-rich diet is also beneficial in maintaining the metabolism balance. Minerals like iron and selenium are very crucial for the proper functioning of the body. Therefore, instrumental in maintaining metabolism. 

Leafy Green Vegetables

One can not emphasise enough how important it is to incorporate green leafy vegetables into your diet. These vegetables include broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.

These products are also high in iron and magnesium. Therefore, there is a high chance of balancing the metabolic rate if you include this in your daily diet.  Furthermore, leafy greens are the best mineral source you can get if you are vegan. 

Chilli Pepper

Chilli pepper contains a component known as capsaicin. According to the research, capsaicin helps in improving the metabolism of the body. Therefore, if you want to shed some pounds or improve your body metabolism, including some chilli pepper in your diet might help you speed up the process.

Studies show that the component capsaicin contains anti-cancer properties. It restricts the growth of cancer-causing components called free and inhibits their proliferation. 

Milk and Yoghurt

Dairy products are well known for cutting fat in the body. Milk and yoghurt are good sources of calcium and protein. It can help lose body fat very quickly. It is also very beneficial for 

digestion. Milk is filling and will help you reduce snacking on unhealthy food items.


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in increasing the body temperature thus speeding up the metabolic rate. It is one of the food items that help you control your appetite. Ginger increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the body, also called good cholesterol. Also, this boosts the glucose level of the body and benefits metabolic health. 

Adding ginger to your diet is always good, especially in cold weather. It will prevent your body from catching a cold. You can consume small amounts of ginger every day by incorporating it in your soups or your cooked veggies or salad dressing.

Green Tea

Green tea has been experimented with and proven to result in better metabolic health and also helps reduce weight. It contains bioactive substances which help increase metabolism. There are a few other benefits of consuming green tea. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties and benefits the heart and oral health.


Cinnamon, like ginger, helps increase body temperature. This rise in temperature results in the fat-burning process. There are a large number of benefits of taking cinnamon. It can help you clear your arteries and fight ageing In addition, consuming around 1/4th teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day will help you reduce your sweet cravings.

The HealthifyMe Note

Diet plays a vital role in metabolic health. Therefore, it is crucial to have healthy eating habits to maintain metabolism. Suppose you have been or are a person suffering from metabolic diseases. In that case, it is advisable to stick to a diet that boosts the metabolism. 

Lifestyle Habits to Improve Metabolic Health

Besides diet, our lifestyle also plays a significant part in our health. There are a few things you need to consider and improve upon for better metabolism. 


It is well-known that drinking a lot of water daily brings good health. This helps you increase your body’s metabolic rate. According to research, water comprises 75% of body weight in infants to 55% in the elderly and is essential for cellular life. 

Drinking water helps you perform better, both physically and mentally. It also makes you more active, and stronger and helps fight the signs of ageing. Drinking plenty of water also helps you control binge eating or frequent hunger pangs. It is advisable to drink 5-6 litres of water every day.

Adequate Rest

Some people tend to take this very lightly. Putting up with little sleep is very harmful to the body. It makes your body weak and prone to diseases. It is vital to take uninterrupted sleep of 7 to 8 hours. Your bodily functions like digestion happen at their best when you are sleeping. The breakdown process needs energy which is why it is so important to get proper sleep. 

Sleep also strengthens and gives your brain some rest. Also, this makes it better for you to work efficiently. Without good sleep, you become lethargic, and your mind becomes dull. Therefore, for your brain to be creative and active, it is essential to give it enough rest.

Regular Exercises

We need to exercise to keep our bodies fit and active. It will help you burn fat and will be very beneficial for weight loss and metabolism balance. 

If we do not exercise, then we are making our bodies weak and stiff. We can also learn more about the importance of physical activities in the research by WHO. Exercising also works as a mind booster.

The HealthifyMe Note

You can improve and manage your metabolic health by following the fundamental principles of healthy living. Your body’s health is a result of what you eat. Hence, it is essential to follow a healthy eating plan, exercise regularly and rest adequately.


Metabolism is a type of chemical reaction responsible for the breakdown of food and provides energy to the body. This process changes the food we eat into energy.

There are two types of metabolism. First is catabolism. It occurs to break down organic matter. This includes the breakdown of molecules to produce energy in the body. Anabolism is a type of metabolism that occurs when the synthesis of compounds gets required by the cells. This energy forms other essential components like protein or nucleic acids.

Our metabolic health gets directly linked to brain functionality. Therefore, the better our metabolic balance, the better our brain functionality in our body would be. Conversely, an impaired metabolism might lead to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. 

We can improve and maintain our metabolic health by eating the right food and following a better lifestyle. The food products recommended are protein and mineral-rich, leafy green vegetables, chilli pepper, milk and other dairy products, green tea, cinnamon, and ginger. Apart from improving our diet, a few lifestyle changes include drinking plenty of water, getting adequate sleep, and exercising daily.

About the Author

Zoomi, holds Masters degree in Nutritional Sciences from University of Allahabad, qualified CBSE-UGC-NET in Home Science and pursuing PhD in Nutritional Sciences, University of Allahabad, Prayagraj. A Strong research professional focused in Nutritional Sciences where she have more than 8 yrs of work experience in the field of Nutrition and Research, had work experience as a Dietician at Super-specialty hospitals. Skilled in Weight Management, Hypertension, Diabetes and Micronutrient related deficiencies. Additionally, she is well-versed in biostatistics and proficient in statistical tools such as SPSS and STATA. She is endowed with strong writing abilities and has authored her own book, more than six research papers, and six book chapters. Holder of various awards like Excellent Dietician, 2019 and 2020 by Saksham Society, Jaipur, Rajasthan, Academic Excellence at National Conference by Jayoti Vidyapeeth Women’s University, Jaipur (Rajasthan), India and Research Achievement Award-2020 for Research & Innovation by ACAIRS Global Network Pvt. Ltd. Life Member of Nutrition Society of India, NIN, Hyderabad and participated and presented papers in four International and six National conferences. Zoomi believes the right habits play the most crucial role in one’s health and wellness journey. The key to fit body is a fit mind and mental state.

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