The carnivore diet is currently trending and is gaining momentum. Many people for a vast array of health reasons seem to be experimenting with this diet. Animal meat and water are the main focus of this diet. There are some significant health benefits, and some are considering it as a nootropic. Let’s find out all the positive and negative benefits and discover what all the fuss is about, specifically as a nootropic.
What Is The Carnivore Diet
While there are some variations to eating only meat and water, such as enjoying cheese, eggs, and butter you are encouraged to avoid everything else. No vegetables, no fruit, no grains, and no carbohydrates. Wow, that’s extreme. Supplements are also off the list. You may well be asking “Where am I going to obtain all my soluble and insoluble fibre from?” However, here’s the thing, many followers of this diet insist that meat has all the nutrients your body requires to maintain optimal vitality, enhanced well-being, and optimal brain health. Some devotees suggest that it helps with many health conditions including weight loss, exhaustion, arthritis, enhanced focus, autoimmune diseases, and even depression.
Effectively, by following this diet, you will be removing four food groups. Experts suggest your body requires dairy, fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. So how can eating only one of these food groups enhance your health?
Mental clarity, improved digestion, decreased inflammation, elevated testosterone, weight loss, and increased energy levels seem to be the most popular benefits. Above all, how does the evidence-based research stuck up on eliminating food groups and eating so much protein? The theory for the diet is that your body will thrive from all the nutrients found in animal foods.
Carnivore Diet As A Nootropic
Some of the most popular nootropics suggested to improve your mental performance, memory, focus, creativity, intelligence and motivation include caffeine, L-Theanine, creatine, Bacopa, Rhodiola, Panax Ginseng, and Ginkgo Biloba. Carnivore dieters claim to experience an increase in focus and mental clarity almost immediately. These claims may be because your brain is made up of nearly sixty percent fats. By following the carnivore diet, which consists primarily of protein and fats, you can see the direct correlation and how you may experience improved focus and why this diet is being considered as a nootropic.
The carnivore diet may cause metabolic adaptations that sustain glucose homeostasis which may lead to glucose metabolism. Any damage in neuronal glucose metabolism may cause disturbances in memory function. It is found for example in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.Schermerhorn, Thomas. (2013). Normal Glucose Metabolism in Carnivores Overlaps with Diabetes Pathology in Non-Carnivores. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 4, 188.
Your gut-brain axis may also be a strong reason for considering this diet as a nootropic. Neurotransmitters, otherwise known as your chemical messengers, connect your gut with your brain. It is these neurotransmitters, which are produced in your gut, may control your feelings and emotions. All your neurotransmitters are made of protein, which may be the most beneficial reason of following the carnivore diet as a nootropic.
Carnivore Diet And Your Digestive System
A healthy digestive system is the cornerstone of optimal well-being. Your gut is directly linked to your entire health specifically your immune system. A healthy balance of friendly gut bacteria helps among other things to digest food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, lower inflammation, balance your nervous system and enhance your brain health.
For optimally functioning digestive system your body requires plenty of water, healthy omega-3 fats, fibre, fermented foods, polyphenol-rich foods, and tryptophan-rich foods. Eliminate food allergies and sensitivities, treat any infections, replenish digestive enzymes think about taking a daily dose of probiotics, glutamine and zinc supplements to ensure good digestion and optimal brain functioning.
Healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids may increase good bacteria in your gut and may be useful as a nootropic.Robertson, R.C. et. al. (2017). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids critically regulate behaviour and gut microbiota development in adolescence and adulthood. Brain Behav Immun, 59: 21-37. Red meat is a fantastic dietary source of omega‐3 fatty acids and can contribute to your daily requirement for these essential fatty acids.Howe, P., Buckley, J., Meyer, B. (2007). Long‐chain omega‐3 fatty acids in red meat. Nutrition and Dietetics Volume64, Issues4 Pages S135-S139.Robertson, R.C. et. al. (2017). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids critically regulate behaviour and gut microbiota development in adolescence and adulthood. Brain Behav Immun, 59: 21-37.
Possible Side Effects
By only eating meat you run the risk of your body lacking nutrients that carbohydrates, fruit, and vegetables offer. Too much protein, specifically red meat has been linked to heart disease, inflammatory health conditions, and colorectal cancer and may be carcinogenic when grilled or cooked at high temperatures.Aykan, N.F., (2015). Red Meat and Colorectal Cancer. Oncol Rev. 9(1): 288.Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk was originally published by the National Cancer Institute. Other studies suggest that saturated fats are not the culprit of heart attacks.Nichols, Hannah. (2016). Saturated fat may not increase heart disease risk after all. Medical News Today.
While adapting to any new eating plan, you may suffer a few side effects including leg cramps, constipation, reduced physical performance, and heart palpitations. Check with your healthcare professional before adopting to any new health regime.
As a healthy lifestyle choice, the carnivore diet may enhance the health of your brain by utilising sources of energy which produce desired effects like weight loss, lower blood glucose levels, and preventing cellular damage.
What’s On The Menu
Above all the carnivore diet focuses on meat and water. Primarily beef, although other animal foods and drinks recommended include organs, lard, tallow, animal fats, fish, poultry, pork, lamb, bone broth, water, tea, Himalayan salt, and coffee.
Eggs, butter, and hard cheeses are on the list as an occasional treat.
Above all alcohol, seasoning, sauces and processed meats are not on the menu.
By relying on protein and fats and removing carbohydrates from your diet, the theory is that, like the ketogenic diet, your body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis happens because your body’s primary source of energy is obtained via ketones. Functioning from fats for energy via ketosis is your brain’s preferred energy source, and therefore this is why this diet may be a significant consideration as a nootropic.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Schermerhorn, Thomas. (2013). Normal Glucose Metabolism in Carnivores Overlaps with Diabetes Pathology in Non-Carnivores. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 4, 188.|
|2, 4.||↑||Robertson, R.C. et. al. (2017). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids critically regulate behaviour and gut microbiota development in adolescence and adulthood. Brain Behav Immun, 59: 21-37.|
|3.||↑||Howe, P., Buckley, J., Meyer, B. (2007). Long‐chain omega‐3 fatty acids in red meat. Nutrition and Dietetics Volume64, Issues4 Pages S135-S139.|
|5.||↑||Aykan, N.F., (2015). Red Meat and Colorectal Cancer. Oncol Rev. 9(1): 288.|
|6.||↑||Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.|
|7.||↑||Nichols, Hannah. (2016). Saturated fat may not increase heart disease risk after all. Medical News Today.|