Food For Thought, Literally
Do you have one of those days when you feel like youíve forgotten something, decide to not think about it anymore and realize what it was sometime in the afternoon, a little too late? What ...
Do you have one of those days when you feel like youíve forgotten something, decide to not think about it anymore and realize what it was sometime in the afternoon, a little too late? What about finding yourself taking a few seconds to pause while everyone else in the room chuckles, in an effort to get someoneís joke? Or have you ever bumped casually into someone in the hallway and waved hello because you cannot recall the personís name at the time?
If you answered yes to all of the above, you are not alone. Itís not just a simple case of getting old. People in their 20s and even those young folks in their teens have experienced something like this at least once in their lives.
Indeed, boosting our brain functions is serious business. How else can we properly manage our tasks for the day, let alone the multiple aspects of our lives, without a sound mind to help get us through?
Itís safe to say that everyone has been introduced to various products that cater to this important functionĺfrom energy drinks loaded with caffeine to health supplements claiming to decrease memory gaps and a bunch of other products that promise effective results, whether prescribed by the doctor or purchased over the counter.
But what we should be paying more attention to is food for thought. Research has revealed that keeping oneís brain sharp commands a ton of energy. It is this very energy that travels to the brain via the blood vessels, which means that diets that are good for the heart are also good for the brain. A diet that promotes clear arteries and active heart pumping complemented by exercise enables that vital life force to reach the brain. Keeping a steady flow of nutrients to the brain also aids in guarding against mental disorders such as dementia and Alzheimerís from developing in later years.
Itís true that there are foods in particular that are meant to make your brain perform better, leading to enhanced memory, improved concentration, higher neuronal growth and could potentially result in increased intelligence.
Among those recognized as brain food is fish, a widely available grocery staple. Those high in omega-3 fatty acids including salmons, anchovies, and sardines contribute to keeping the blood vessels of the brain free from blockages and thus allowing nerve cells to operate at high levels.
Raw nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts prove to be beneficial for the brain as well as they contain no opioid peptides nor heterocyclic amines that can cause concentration and memory lapses.
It may be surprising for some but chocolate, the dark variety in particular, is also brain-friendly. This is attributed to the cacao bean, its main ingredient, that greatly assists in focus and boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours.
In conclusion, the foods you eat have a direct and strong impact on your brain's development and performance. As soon as food leaves the mouth and enters the digestive system, it is then broken down into energy transported by the bloodstream to all parts of the body to feed its cells. And guess what? The brain is a major recipient. Our brains have to meet a large energy amount requirement, roughly 20% to keep it running. A pretty hefty task, considering it comprises around 2% of the average human body weight.
So go nibble on some actual food for thought. Itís what makes you process those little nuggets of wisdom.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Perry is a freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and Greenpeace volunteer. She is currently contributing articles to Pure and Healthy by Nu-ture, leading provider of various award-winning resveratrol products and health supplements in the US.