Halloween=Candy. Can Too Much Sugar Effect TBI Recovery? PS. There is One Yummy Treat That’s Good for You!

Humans love sweet foods. We have been looking to satisfy our sweet tooth for centuries. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that happens naturally in foods such as grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit. When it is left unprocessed, it is good for you.

Refined table sugar, which is sucrose, is very different. Derived from either sugar cane or beets, it lacks vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and it requires your body to work harder to digest it. Your body uses up its stored enzymes and minerals to absorb sucrose properly. What happens? Instead of your body receiving nutrition, it creates deficiency. It enters the blood stream rapidly affecting your body’s blood sugar levels. When it is high, it causes excitability, nervous tension, and hyperactivity. When it drops low, it causes fatigue, exhaustion, and depression.

According to Malcolm Peet, a noted British psychiatric researcher, there is a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk of depression as well as schizophrenia. There are two ways that sugar may exert a toxic effect on mental health. First, BDNF, a key growth hormone in the brain, is suppressed by sugar. This hormone promotes the health of neurons in the brain and assists with memory by creating new neuron connections.(

To counter these effects of a concussion, you’re going to need to consume foods that will replenish the nutrients your brain lost during your injury. Flavonoids are great for concussion patients because not only do they contain antioxidants that help fight the free radicals in your brain and reduce inflammation, they also stimulate the production of BDNF. BDNF (Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor) is a growth factor that helps trigger the creation of new brain cells and improves brain function!

Yes, you read that right. Dark chocolate has extremely high levels of flavonoids, making it a great snack during your concussion recovery. It’s also a rich source of magnesium, which is another nutrient that is depleted in the brain after a concussion.(