YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Most of us need a little extra brain food. As we get older, we all complain about not remembering things. To keep your brain operating at its peak you must eat the best brain food you can.
To keep your brain search engine sharp, it is important to oil your brain memory centers with good nutrition. If you eat the right foods, you will concentrate better, stay focused, and improve your recall center.
Good food contains the nutrients that make your brain chemicals,and help your reaction time, memory, concentration, and keep your brain from aging.
For example, protein foods help make brain dopamine, a natural chemical that keeps you sharp and alert. Some foods goof up your chemical balance, causing depression, anxiety, and inability to sleep.
Many behavioral and mental conditions are now treatable with zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, essential fatty acids, and amino acids. A lot of the drugs are not the magic bullets we once thought they were.
There is no magic food, drink, supplement, or drug that will miraculously help your sluggish brain. The brain has complex mechanisms that are affected by the foods and nutrients you eat. Truly: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!
YOUR BRAIN NEEDS SUGAR
The brain's ONLY source of energy is glucose. You must eat regularly to keep your sugar levels from dropping. Every day your brain needs 150 grams of PURE sugar. Glucose is needed for the brain to make serotonin, a natural brain chemical.
Starchy foods directly increase your sugar levels, since starch is a long chain of only sugar molecules. Pasta, pizza, bread, and beans are dangerous starches, since they contain appetite enhancers to make you overeat.
Fruits contain sucrose, fructose and glucose (sucrose = glucose + fructose), and all that fructose is very gradually converted into direct energy glucose. You can never overeat on fruits since they have no such appetite stimulants.
Since the brain can’t store sugar, an answer might be eating beans to keep the sugar stable, providing a steady stream of energy. Beans provide steady stream of energy, as well as a high amount of fiber.
Any of the following beans will do: black beans, lima beans, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, Great Northern, Navy and Peas and lentils.
Sixty percent of the brain is made of essential fatty acids. It always needs a new supply of fatty acids. Very brain cell has omega-3 that keep your brain cells perking.
Finally, the FDA has allowed food supplements to post health claims on their labels stating: “Consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” DHA is a special type of omega-3 fat that is needed for fetal brain development.
Fish is often called “brain food” because of its high omega-3 fatty acids. Oysters have zinc that stimulates nerve functioning and activity, and cognitive function.
Twenty percent of your brain is made of cholesterol. That is 40 times more than you have in your muscles, and 10 times more than the liver, where cholesterol is made. Statins that lower your cholesterol to extreme levels may cause havoc to your brain.
Many people over 65 have a B-12 deficiency. All B vitamins can boost your mood by helping your neurotransmitters, decreasing damaging levels of brain homocysteine, and repairing brain nerve fibers. They also help prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Good natural foods have just the right amount of protein and amino acids you need. The amino acids are needed for the brain’s neurotransmitters--- serotonin, dopamine and nor epinephrine.
If you are depressed, anxious, having a panic attack, or just can’t sleep-- you can raise your mood, by taking 5-HTP, which make serotonin. These chemical transmitters control your thinking, actions, and moods.
The brain also has acetyl-l-carnitine, which makes another neurotransmitter, called acetylcholine. It increases the mitochondria in your brain cells, resulting in improved memory.
Other brain neurotransmitters in the brain also contain fatty acids. Oleamide helps you fall asleep, and arachidonic acid helps your cognitive abilities.
Some substances in prepared food, wheat- and dairy products impair your neurotransmitter metabolism, making you aggressive, obese, insomniac, and activating attention deficit disorders.
Ginseng and Gingko Biloba increase the blood flow to the brain, increase hormone release, and delver more oxygen to the brain. Biloba has strong antioxidant properties protecting the brain from free radicals.
ANTIOXIDANTS AND FREE RADICALS
Antioxidants seem to always be hot topic. They protect you against disease. Free radicals are associated with cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. Each day, your cells are fighting against free radicals (unstable oxygen molecules).
Antioxidants, (phytonutrients), come to your rescue and protect your sensitive brain. Fruits and veggies neutralize the oxidative damage from free radical damages. They protect against brain inflammation, which is thought to be the main cause of brain aging.
The more refined foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats you eat, the more free radicals attacking your sensitive brain.
Go for color! Eat brightly colored yellow, orange, red, purple and green fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants. Go for orange with carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, mango, papaya and oranges---red grapes, cherries, tomatoes and red pepper --blue/purple blueberries, blackberries, prunes, eggplant –dark green veggies as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
KEEP YOUR MIND ACTIVE
Your brain is sensitive and continues to learn, as you grow older. It constantly needs activities that keep your mind active and push you to the edge of your competence. Activities stimulate important cognitive brain circuits.
You can help prevent dementia, by a few hours daily of mental activity, like doing crossword puzzles, learning a new language skill, or surfing the web.
Prime your unconscious awareness by leading a focused life full of goals. Your mind works beneath your awareness. Your unconscious memories, attitudes and perceptions are constantly working in your brain.
Fresh wild salmon is one of the best sources of essential fatty acids with Omega 3. These essential fatty acids are essential for your brain function and also have a lot of anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring.
Wild salmon also contains a high quality protein, is low in saturated fat, and has no contaminants (as mercury). Eating wild salmon will improve your mood, your brain synapses, and arteries,-- lowering your risk of dementia or a stroke.
Beware that farm raised salmon is raised in an artificial, locked-up environment, and needs to be fed and colored orange to look healthy. It has one-third the omega 3 fatty acids as the wild salmon.
Cacao beans have many brain health benefits. They contain: theobromine , antioxidants, flavonoids, and catechins
Green tea can boost your memory, focus, relaxation, alertness, and mood. Tea also has potent catechine antioxidants that help healthy blood flow to the brain.
The leaf from powdered green tea is rich in chlorophyll, and is loaded with antioxidants. It also contains epigallocatechin gallate, which has anti-cancer, and anti-aging benefits.
Wild blueberries have the highest level of antioxidants over all other fruits. They protect the brain by their anti=inflammatory action, and increase the bioactivity inside brain cells (Cornell University by Dr. Rui Hai Liu).
Motor skills are improved, short-term memory loss is gone, cancers are inhibited, heart disease and strokes are prevented, night vision is improved, and age-related dementia is reduced. Avocados are almost as powerful as blueberries, and also help brain blood flow. It is fatty brain food, but the fat is fortunately mono- unsaturated.
GOOD OLD CAFFEINE
Caffeine improves your concentration, is energizing and focusing. It is probably the #1 source of antioxidants in American’s diet. Freshly ground roasted coffee bean powder, actually reduces dementia and improves memory. Dark chocolate also has caffeine that can stimulate your endorphins. Remember, however: “Moderation is the key, more is not always better”.
Drugs are not the answer to improve your brain function. Make some small changes: add daily fish oil pills, diet. Supplements, and B vitamins. Another absolute for brain performance is water.
The brain is about 80 percent water and must be hydrated. Set goals and stay mentally active. Perhaps surfing the web for interesting provocative and controversial medical subjects can activate and improve your mental capacities.
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