I meant what I said. Does our eating habit affect our thought? Do some kind of foods help to improve our thinking, memory and processing power? When I was a kid and studying, my mother would always suggest me to eat light vegetarian food, especially green leafy vegetables, reasoning that veggie food is healthier for brain and help me in my studies. Also, elders at home would recommend eating almonds and fishes to improve memory, which I would follow religiously for some day and then give up when I would see no change since I would forget what I had read the previous day 🙂 . In this fast paced world, if we do not see change happening soon, we get disappointed and loose interest in it. We need everything quick, everything in short cut. Moreover, at an age when our senses crave for eating all kinds of addictive crappy food, even ambrosia suggested by elders seems like poison 🙂 . It is difficult to digest the suggestions given by elders, forget about digesting the foods they recommend. Was there sense in what they recommended after all? If veggie food and some type of foods in deed help in developing brain, wouldn’t everybody in this world be intelligent? How many scientists or inventors in this world are vegetarian or eat fish and almonds regularly. Why this perception of foods to be affecting our brain power? Does traditional and age-old belief hold any scientific truth? What does research say about it? Does that endorse what our elders suggest us by their experience or what they followed as a tradition? Let’s turn to some facts and see.
Research, in deed proves that certain foods do affect our brain, helping it to develop and in some cases avoid some forms of brain disorders too. One research done at Tuft’s University found that eating fish on regular basis produced highest levels of DHA in the blood (reference : http://www.tufts.edu/med/nutrition-infection/hiv/health_omega3.html). Now, what is DHA? DHA stands for “DocosaHexaenoic Acid “which is an omega 3 fatty acid and which forms the major component of acids in human brain (at least 40%). And what does it do? Per experts that is what controls the signal transmission in brain which then propagates to other parts of the body through the nervous system. The more the DHA, the healthier the brain is. More the DHA, powerful the brain signals. Powerful the brain signals, speedier the individual. It is like Intel i7 processor inside your head 🙂 , more speed, and more valuable in market ;P !. Salmon, Macarel, Tuna and other fatty fishes are rich in omega 3, so are very good for brain. No wonder people from coastal regions have an upper hand when it comes to cognitive skills.
What about veggies and all those greens.? Green vegetables are filled with high antioxidants and plant compounds called carotenoids. Per Harvard medical school research, antioxidants enhance flow of energy in the body and also protect our body cells from damage, including preventing brain cancers(reference : http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Preventing_memory_loss.htm). It acts as a diffuser to harmful cells and degeneration of brain. Our brain will always remain active and younger the more we eat greens. A young active brain will have young heart ;P. Almonds, nuts, berries and fruits like avocado are also rich in antioxidants as well. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, brussel sprouts are rich in antioxidants and carotenoids.
Many spices like cumin, black pepper, turmeric and Indian curry leaves are high in antioxidant properties too. No wonder ancient traditions have included these spices as part of their daily diet, so that people don’t have to read books or see a doctor to know what they should eat, but rather, just eat what is traditionally followed. People who hold their noses when talked about Indian and other Asian foods should take a note of this. It is a well-known fact that the percentage of brain disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s is very low in Asian countries than the western countries. Most definitely because of the traditional food that they eat, which already includes ingredients in the form of spices and herbs that counter such kind of brain affecting diseases.
And Water?, almost three-quarter of the brain is made of water. Body well hydrated keeps the body and brain cells thriving. So drinking more water and keeping body hydrated all the time should be in our habits.
How about Grains and fiber rich foods? Yeah.. they keep the level of blood glucose steady in the body. Glucose is main source of brain fuel. It gives strength and stability to the brain. Steady brain, helps in good decision-making (like making right decision when choosing your super rich girl friend ;P )
Any other? Chocolateeee??? .. Yes, in limited quantity. Also, coffee and wine in moderate amount does boost brain activity, but only for a short period. So don’t give reason to eat a bag of chocolate or booze like camel.
To conclude… Yes, foods certainly affect our brain and our thought and research proves it. So, eat good foods those keeps your brain healthy, active, steady and strong and “Have a Brainy Day” 🙂