Ketogenic Lifestyle: The Brain-Boosting Benefits

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

We all want to feel mentally sharp and in control of our mental faculties, but it can be hard to know how to go about achieving this. Recent research into the science behind a low-carb, high-fat diet known as the ketogenic lifestyle suggests that it may hold some answers. From improved cognitive performance to a decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider giving it a try. Let’s dive in and explore what the ketogenic lifestyle can do for your brain.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic, or ‘keto’ diet is a high fat, low carb eating plan that has been around since the 1920s. But I prefer to refer to it as the ketogenic lifestyle. It was initially used as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children who weren’t responding well to traditional medications. In recent years, however, its popularity has grown with people from all walks of life embracing its potential for improving mental health and overall wellbeing.

How Does It Work?

The key element of the keto diet is reducing carbohydrates to a very low level (usually less than 50 grams per day) while increasing fat intake substantially (upwards of 70% of daily calories). This shift forces your body into a state called ‘ketosis’ where it becomes more efficient at burning fat instead of glucose for energy. As your body begins using fatty acids as fuel sources instead, natural chemicals called ketones are produced which then travel through your bloodstream providing energy directly to cells throughout your body – including those in the brain.

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Brain Boosting Benefits

This is where things get interesting when it comes to understanding how the ketogenic lifestyle can benefit brain function; once these ketones travel inside your head they have various effects on different parts of your neurological system – some good and some not so good – let’s take a look:

  • Improved Cognition: Studies conducted by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have suggested that increased levels of ketones can help improve cognitive performance such as alertness and concentration. Furthermore, results from investigations carried out by scientists at Harvard Medical School found that people following a strict keto diet were twice as likely to pass memory tests compared with individuals on other diets.
  • Reduced Inflammation: A study published in 2017 found that consuming dietary fats rich in omega 3 fatty acids (such as those found naturally in fish oil) could reduce inflammation within cells – particularly those associated with age-related decline such Alzheimer’s Disease. On top of this evidence suggests that following the keto diet could also lead to elevated levels of anti-inflammatory proteins, further helping protect against deterioration associated with aging brains.
  • Increased Energy Levels: One surprising benefit reported by many followers of the Keto diet is an increase in energy levels even when calorie intake is reduced significantly. This could be due to enhanced mitochondrial functioning – cells powerhouses responsible for producing energy – resulting from increased availability fuel sources like fatty acids rather than glucose which requires more effort from them during digestion.
  • Neuroprotective Effects: Last but not least research indicates that certain compounds formed during metabolism within cells on a Keto diet may offer protection against oxidative damage which otherwise leads neurons becoming damaged or destroyed over time. In turn this helps protect us against developing conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis later down the line; indeed studies suggest that following this type eating plan early enough could even reverse symptoms already present.


As you can see there are plenty benefits associated with adopting a Keto style lifestyle when it comes looking after our brains; from improved cognition right through enhanced protection against neurodegenerative illnesses too! If you think making changes like this might be suitable for you then always consult qualified medical professional beforehand just make sure any alterations made are safe and healthy ones… Good luck!

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