For those who work long hours in front of computers, do you always stuff yourself with those junk food, just to save on time? Do you often feel your mind spinning from too much information, memory lapse or fatigue?
Friend, it’s time to make a change to your lifestyle, otherwise we would have to pay a high price for not taking better care of ourselves. Now, we can start from the basic but most vital change ie our diet.
What you need are food that will fuel and nourish your brain. But do you know exactly what your brain needs?
Our brain is made up of 3 major components : Neurons, which power the message, Neurotransmitters, which create the message and Receptors, which receive the message.
Fats are not totally villains, they are actually good guys when it comes to your brain. They are especially important and useful to Neurons. Fats made up about 33% of your brain. And we are talking here about good fats ? fatty acids which your brain needs to perform complex, intricate functions properly.
Now the membranes of neurons (the specialized brain cells that communicate with each other) are composed of a thin double-layer of fatty acid molecules. Fatty acids are what dietary fats are composed of.
When you digest the fat in your food, it is broken down into fatty acid molecules of various lengths. Your brain then uses these for raw materials to assemble the special types of fat it incorporates into its cell membranes. Where do good fats come from ? Top two on the list should be walnuts and sesame.
The amino acids found in proteins are what form the brain chemicals, called the neurotransmitters, that motivate or sedate, focus or frustrate. In other words, they are the masterminds of your mood. Lack of amino acids is quickly detected in your emotions and behaviour. Therefore, it is important you obtain sufficient protein in your diet from eggs, cheese, yoghurts, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds.
You need carbohydrates to fuel your brain. By consuming grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, the carbohydrates are converted into glucose sugars and absorbed into your blood to your brain.
However, raising the blood sugar too fast within a short time can actually cause the slowdown of energy supply to the brain and as a result, an adverse effect on your brain power to focus, remember and learn. That’s why you feel sleepy after a heavy lunch.
Vitamin C helps to maintain the brain in its best state :- alert, alive and intelligent. Eat at least 3 servings of fruits and green leafy vegetables daily to achieve the desired results.
Vitamin B group is needed for the conversion of glucose into brain energy and good functioning of the body immune system and mental health. Even a mild deficiency can cause you to become irritable, lack of concentration and forgetful. Foods that help include mushrooms and cauliflower.
As a guide, you should include the following essential brain foods in your diet :
1. Nuts provide abundance of protein, unsaturated fats, lecithin, inorganic salt and vitamins, all of which are good nourishments for our brain.
2. Mushrooms help to stablise blood sugar levels and prevent the blood vessel from damage, therefore keeping the energy supply to our brain stable and protecting it from stroke. They also contain anti-cancer properties, remove fatigue, stabilise mood, prevent anaemia etc.
3. Eggs are good source of protein, lecithin, vitamins, calcium and other minerals like phosphorus, iron etc, all of which are nutrients necessary for the metabolism of our brain.
4. Tiger lily buds, or dried lily flowers, actually boost the metabolism of our brain since they contain protein, fats, calcium, iron and vitamin B1.
5. The regular consumption of onions helps to prevent blood clotting, thereby improve blood circulation to the brain, lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, and are also useful in stabilising mood and reducing tiredness.
6. Millet contain protein, fats, calcium, iron and vitamin B1 and magnesium and is known to strengthen brain cells. Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
7. Longans strengthen the heart spleen and calm the nerves. They are also used to cure insomnia, prevent senility, forgetfulness, dizziness etc all as a result of poor constitution.
8. Grapefruits are a rich source of Vitamins A, B1 and C which help to neutralize the acidic effects of food which are harmful to the nerve system. One feels refreshed and alert if consume regularly. Oranges and lemons achieve the same effects too.