Why should I be aware of this?
The foods we eat directly affects the performance of our brain. It has been proven that by eating the right food, you can boost our IQ, improve our mood, make us emotionally stable, sharpen oour memory and keep our mind young. The right nutrients can help us think quicker, have a better memory, be better coordinated and balanced and have improved concentration.
It's becoming more and more clear through tests across the world that the right food, or the natural neurochemicals that they contain, can enhance brain power. Right diet helps you concentrate, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, magnify memory, speed reaction times, defuse stress, and perhaps even prevent brain aging.
How well we nourish your brain determines how well our brain will nurture us —for the performance of a lifetime. It is possible to enhance mental alertness, sharpen memory and become resistant to stress resistance by supplying food components that are precursors of important brain neurotransmitters. One of them is choline, the fat-like B vitamin found in eggs. Choline supplementation has been found in tests to enhance memory and reaction time in animals, especially aging animals. It also enhances memory in people.
Brain food and health
There is growing evidence that a diet on fatty food and light on fruits and vegetables isn't just bad for your heart and linked to certain cancers, but may be a major cause of depression and aggression.
Specific type of fat found most commonly in fish, known as omega-3 fatty acids, are known to boost brain power. Even diets that that contain the recommended levels of fats, but are not the right kind, can undermine intelligence. What makes this finding awkward is that certain oils widely touted as healthy for the heart are especially troublesome for the mind.
All about brain food
To enable brain cells to communicate effectively with each other chemicals called neurotransmitters are required which carry messages from neuron to neuron. Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids found in protein foods e.g., meat, fish and cheese. These powerful neurotransmitters are formed when vitamins and minerals are added to ordinary amino acids. As neurotransmitters are found in the food we eat, some foods are called 'brain foods'.
Protein, found in meat, fish, milk and cheese, provides the building blocks for most of the body's tissues, nerves, internal organs (including brain and heart). Proteins are essential to improve mental performance.
Within about thirty minutes of eating a carbohydrate meal, you will feel more calm and relaxed and the effects will last several hours. Key sources of carbohydrates are grains, fruits and vegetables. Once food is digested carbohydrates break down into glucose (sugar) which is the brains primary source of energy.
The brain is more than 60% fat because the brain cells are covered by the myelin sheath which is composed of approximately 75% fat. Fats also play a crucial role as messengers. They regulate key aspects of the immune system, blood circulation, inflammation, memory and mood. Also essential to the optimum performance of your brain are Omega 3 fatty acids, lack of which can lead to depression, poor memory, low IQ, learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADD and many more mental disorders.
To ensure that your diet is rich in omega-3 fats, ensure that you eat plenty of oily fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, herring, mackerel and anchovies.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals, particularly 'B' complex vitamins, are essential for the growth and functioning of the brain. Vitamins A, C and E are powerful antioxidants and promote and preserve memory in the elderly. Minerals are also critical to mental functioning and performance.
What can I do about it?
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day though most of us don’t take it seriously. Take coffee in the morning as caffeine increases the capacity for mental and physical labor. Sugar also plays a part in the morning coffee.
- Sugar, which is a part of the simple carbohydrates family, which does fuel the brain, but only for a short period of time. Is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates have long chains of sugar molecules that the body breaks down gradually, releasing glucose to fuel the brain over time.
- Taking a bowl of fruit early in the morning is excellent for getting the brain working. You can take watery and crunchy fruits all day long as they are low in calories. Berries and citruses are highest in complex carbohydrates and also antioxidants which reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.
- Vegetables are as good as fruit. A salad is always preferable as glucose levels alter during cooking.
- It has recently been proved that egg yolk is a leading source for choline, a nutrient that boosts brainpower as it speeds up the transmission of signals to nerve cells in the brain.
- Fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which builds gray matter and cell membranes. These fats can also help emotional balance and a positive attitude throughout life.
- Avoid junk food totally.
- Ending lunch with a yogurt helps produce neurotransmitters, improving signals amongst neurons. Complementing this with nuts [particularly walnuts] balance omega-3 acids with omega-6’s while neutralizing blood sugar levels.
- It is important to keep your system hydrated. At least 80 ounces of water every day reduce stress hormones.
- Non-caffeinated drinks, such as green tea, relax the brain and induce mental alertness. A juice, such as grapefruit juice, has the same affects for the brain as fruits and vegetables along with the hydration benefits.
- Though soft drinks provide that quick boost of sugar, the effect doesn’t last and there is a sudden drop in brain energy during the day.
- Moderate alcohol consumption enhances blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
- Brain food
- Brain Food - Eat For Productivity