Food and our brain

What we eat profoundly impacts our brain. There is absolutely no arguing this. Like every other part of your body, our brain is entirely dependent on the fuel we eat for all its functions. We are sometimes confused into thinking that stimulants are fuel, that caffeine makes our brain work. It is energy in the form of calories that our brain needs. Real fuel comes in the form of food. And even food is divided into useful and and not-so-useful fuel.

There is a big difference between the two.

Food affects your moods since your moods are a manifestation of the state of your brain at a given time. If it is nutrient deprived or lacking in positive neurotransmitters (also produced from food) it will show it to you through your low, cranky, anxious, and depressed moods. One of the biggest impacts on moods is blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar (often due to the aftermath of high blood sugar) will leave you feeling low and irritable. Picture your poor brain, starved of its immediate fuel source and trying to think straight. Then you have a hit of sugar or a glass of juice to give it a hit. 20 minutes later you are right back to low. Until you start eating in a way that keeps your brain steadily fuelled in a small, steady stream, you will never know how incredible a level brain feels and functions. Remember that you brain is the transmitter of ALL messages through your entire system. See the diagram below to get an idea of how many branches of nerves come from that ONE brain.

Nutrient deficiencies are another common occurrence that profoundly affects how your brain works every minute of every day. Being deficient in the B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, chromium, and essential fatty acids prevents the brain from being sharp and firing impulses through the system. All these vitamins and minerals act as catalysts and enzymes within the brain that allow it to initiate and perform its various mental and physical tasks. What is the best way to ensure that your brain is obtaining everything it needs ALL the time? Eat vegetables and healthy protein and fats (in the form of fish, nuts, and oils).

There are three factors that are involved with delivering ongoing fuel and njutrients to the brain. First of all, you need to eat for balanced blood sugar. Too much carbohydrate only leads to your poor brain getting NOTHING since everything ends up getting stored rather than sent through the body and up to the brain as fuel. Secondly, every time you eat a meal, choose those foods that are most colourful (not red bonbons) and most abundant in nutrients (vegetables, for those who aren’t sure what this means). Thirdly, supplement. Honestly, it make a difference. B- vitamins, zinc, and fish oils, at the very minimum.

So what do you think?