Brain Foods

28 Oct

“One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well.” 
 
 Virginia Woolfe

Protein is found in meat, fish, milk and cheese. Protein provides the building blocks for most of the body’s tissues, nerves, internal organs (including brain and heart). Proteins are used to make neurotransmitters and are essential to improve mental performance

Carbohydrates enhance the absorption of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin in the brain. Within about thirty minutes of eating a carbohydrate meal,, you will feel more calm and relaxed. The effects will last several hours.

Grains, fruits and vegetables are key sources of carbohydrates.

Digestion causes the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) which is the brains primary source of energy. If your glucose levels fluctuate too much, you may experience mental confusion, dizziness and if severe, convulsions and loss of consciousness.

The brain is more than 60% fat. This is 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. 

 

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to the optimum performance of your brain. Lack of omega-3 fats in your diet 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 and minerals are essential for the growth and functioning of the brain. 

The ‘B’ complex vitamins are particularly important for the brain and play a vital role in producing energy. 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. Magnesium and manganese are needed for brain energy. Sodium, potassium and calcium are important in the thinking process and they facilitate the transmission of messages.

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