Food for the Brain: Put Your Brain Cells into Action
Do you know that you can sharpen your mind and memory through the food you eat? Know which food could help you put your brains into action!
Paid advertisements of products claiming to boost the mental development of children and adults clog the airwaves. No wonder, “brain boosters” like milk formulas, multi-vitamins, and energy drinks enjoy high sales especially during midterms and examinations.
However, one need not resort to these so-called “brain boosters” to help you get through that exam with ease. In fact, studies show that sufficient water intake and nutritious food can improve one’s mood, sharpen memory, prevent the early onset of cognitive decline and yes, boost IQ!
Certain types of food actually contain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that facilitate the communication between brain cells. With the aid of vitamins and minerals, proteins are converted into neurotransmitters in the body.
The three basic neurotransmitters are Acetylcholine, Dopamine, and Serotonin. Acetylcholine excites nerve cells involved in memory and voluntary muscle movements. The lack of acetylcholine leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Peanuts, egg yolks, wheat germ, fish, milk, cheese, liver and some vegetables are rich in acetylcholine. Dopamine, on the other hand excites nerve cells that have something to do with attention, learning, voluntary movement, and emotional arousal. Decreased dopamine leads to Parkinson’s disease. Protein-rich foods contain high amounts of dopamine. Serotonin is involved in sleep, mood and arousal. Insufficient serotonin is liked to clinical depression. Eating carbohydrate-rich food enhances the absorption of tryptophan, which is the chemical precursor of serotonin.
Oh, My Omega!
In addition to these three neurotransmitters, increase your intake of the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids by eating salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel. More than 60% of our brain mass is actually fats. Fats also serve as messengers that regulate the immune system, blood circulation, inflammation, memory, and mood. Lack of acids is linked to low IQ, increased propensity to depression, learning disabilities, and low IQ.
Glucose or sugar is the primary fuel of the brain. Insufficient glucose reserves can result to dizziness and disorientation and even loss of consciousness and convulsions in extreme cases. To ensure adequate glucose, take carbohydrate-rich food like grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Vitamins and minerals like potassium, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B, A, C, and E play vital roles as the converting precursor of substances into energy for the brain. So make sure you don’t forget to take your vitamins.
Go ahead and eat your way to optimum brain power and avoid damaging brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.