Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Your Diet Affects Your Mind

cc licensed flickr photo shared by austinevan
The human body is designed to work collectively, each part of our body is responsible for our overall well-being. Our body works and develops according to the food and nutrition we provide to it. Most of the people are unaware of the fact that our eating habits have a great affect over our mind and its functioning. According to research, a person's diet is capable of enhancing cognitive abilities, counteracts the signs of old age, and provides protection against any damage to our brain. There is a great connection between the food we eat and our brain chemistry. In this article, we are going to discuss the effects food has on your body, and how to change eating habits.
How food affects your mind?
Our brain chemistry has a deep connection with our eating habits. Brain works by transmitting and receiving electrical impulses or brain waves; it requires neurotransmitters for carrying out these functions. There are different types of neurotransmitters: endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and glutamine. There should be a proper balance of these chemicals in our body. Our body manufactures these chemicals by using minerals, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, and carbohydrates through the food we eat. If your diet is not balanced leading to deficiency of these nutrients, you may face physical as well as mental problems.
It's better to keep your metabolism warm by small meals throughout the day. Well, there is another benefit of eating small diets. These meals maintain the level of blood sugar in our body, saving us from regular mood swings due to change in level of blood sugar.
How to plan your daily diet?
We are going to discuss simple methods and eating habits that will ensure proper working of your brain throughout the day.
All of us are aware of the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of our daily diet. Most of us would have a coffee and bread toast in our breakfast. It is true that coffee boost our working capacity but for a small interval time mainly because of caffeine and sugar present in it.
The best option for breakfast is fresh fruits. Fruits consist of long chain sugar molecules, which are broken down gradually by our body, hence fueling the brain for longer period. It is best to start your day with a bowl of fruits and you can have some cereal later in the morning (oats or even a sandwich).
Our lunch comprises of cooked vegetables and bread. Generally, there is huge change in glucose level of vegetable before and after cooking, so it is best to consider green salad in your lunch. Another great option to add to your lunch includes egg yolk, which is a great source of choline and helps in boosting the function of our brain.
Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and it is responsible for the development of gray matter in our brain. These are also helpful in maintaining emotional balance and positive attitude in your life. Some other healthy additions to your lunch include yogurt and walnuts.
It is advised to have a larger lunch rather than taking a heavy dinner. Our metabolism tends to slow down as the day sets off. Try to eat something light in your dinner and it will help you in having a good sound sleep.
Three nutrients that affect your brain
• Folic Acid: Folic acid is highly responsible for fighting off the cognitive decline, which is very common among old people. Insufficient amount of folic acid in your body may even lead to depression. Make sure to have orange juice or other fruit juices rich in folic acid.
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are responsible for the good health of our brain and the best source of these acids includes fish, walnuts, kiwi fruit etc.
• Antioxidants: Antioxidants are helpful in fighting the symptoms of old age. Vitamin E is especially associated with the performance of our memory. It is best to have sufficient amount of nuts, leafy vegetables, and vegetable oils in your regular diet.