Your temporal lobes are located on the left and right sides of your brain, extending from beneath your temple toward the back of your head. The lobes contain billions of brain cells, including nerve networks important to visual processing, auditory processing and memory. Several dietary nutrients contribute to the health of your temporal lobe and might play a role in preventing temporal lobe diseases.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the health of your limbic system, a network of nerves located in temporal lobe. Your limbic system helps to regulate impulse control, emotional regulation, learning and fear. A study published in the "International Review of Psychiatry" in 2006 indicates that omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies can disrupt the normal development of the limbic system, leading to behavioral disturbances like abnormal aggression. As a result, consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- including fish and nuts -- during childhood and adolescence can play a role in supporting normal temporal lobe function later in life.
Consuming vitamin B-6 can also help support proper temporal lobe functioning. A number of nerve cells within your temporal lobe rely on serotonin for proper communication. Serotonin signaling within your temporal lobe helps to regulate your mood and prevents mood disorders like depression. The vitamin B-6 from your diet helps your brain produce serotonin, helping to maintain adequate serotonin levels required for proper mood regulation. Incorporate foods rich in vitamin B-6 -- such as bananas, poultry and potatoes -- to help promote proper serotonin signaling within your temporal lobe.
Consuming folate, or vitamin B-9, might also help maintain the health of your temporal lobe. You can develop temporal lobe damage as a result of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's. This damage to the temporal lobe can lead to the personality changes, mood disturbances and memory impairment that can develop in Alzheimer's patients. Folate deficiency might increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2004. As a result, preventing folate deficiency by consuming folate-rich foods -- such as spinach and beets -- might help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.
While some nutrients benefit the health of your temporal lobe, overconsuming other nutrients might increase your risk of temporal lobe damage. For example, if you have undiagnosed or poorly-controlled temporal lobe epilepsy, you might experience seizures as a side effect of consuming large amounts of gamma-linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid found in primrose oil supplements. If you're interested in consuming primrose oil, talk to your doctor about the possible risk of supplementation, and consult your physician of any abnormal side effects during treatment.
- "International Review of Psychiatry"; Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiencies In Neurodevelopment, Aggression And Autonomic Dysregulation: Opportunities For Intervention; Hibbeln et al.; 2006
- Linus Pauling Institute; Vitamin B-6; Dr. Jane Higdon; February 2002
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Homocysteine, Folate, And Vitamin B-12 In Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer Disease, And Vascular Dementia.; Quadri et al.; 2004
- Linus Pauling Institute; Essential Fatty Acids; D. Jane Higdon; December 2005