Food For Thought: The Effects of Food on Your Brain

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Food For Thought: The Effects of Food on Your Brain

 

You may have witnessed the short-term effects of food on your brain: a sugar rush after too much candy or a mental fog from hunger. But, did you know that some foods make you work smarter? Almost everything you consume directly or indirectly affects your cognitive processes. Scientific evidence has proven the long term negative impacts of certain types of food deprivation.

Here are a few tips on what to eat to boost your brain power.

1) Carbohydrates: Carbs help fuel our brain. Low-glycemic whole carbohydrates from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes are high in fibre and slower acting. Consuming them help keep our blood sugar stable. On the other hand, fast acting high-glycemic carbs like those found in cereals, desserts and white rice can cause spikes in insulin. This results in fluctuating energy levels which make it hard to function through the day.

Berries are a good source of low glycemic carbs

Berries are a good source of low glycemic carbs

2) Fats: The human brain is the fattest organ in the body. Fats make make up 60% of the brain’s solid matter. However different kind of fats can positively or negatively affect our brain function. Saturated fats from plant sources like coconut are healthier for our brain than from animal sources like cheese. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts are beneficial for cognitive function. Trans fats like those found in fried food are harmful to our body. They have been shown to decrease DHA which is directly linked to one’s IQ. So, avoiding junk food may be the smartest option.

Good sources of healthy fats

Good sources of healthy fats

 

3)Proteins: An essential nutrient, without which our brain can not function. Adequate protein intake has been linked to beneficial effects on intelligence.

Set of nuts - peanuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts.

Nuts are a raw food source of protein

4)Water: Being dehydrated negatively affects the way our brain functions. Lack of water can cause sleep problems, brain fatigue, headaches and depression. Studies show that people who stay hydrated perform better in tests that measure cognitive intelligence than those who don’t drink enough water in the day.

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Staying hydrated improves cognitive functioning

Here’s to a healthier, happier brain!

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