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Health 17 February 2017
Oleh: Natasha Tanga

Food for thought: How the things we consume affect our brain


Are you feeling down in the dumps lately? Have you felt sluggish after eating that brunch? And you're pretty sure it's not your hormone acting up. It might have to do with the things you eat. Studies say that what we consume actually has an effect on what we feel, and might be to blame for our mood swings, too.

The brain is only 2% of our whole body weight, yet it uses a significant amount of energy, around 20% of what we consume is used to power up your primary source of thinking. Imagine if you don't eat enough quality, nutrition-packed food, what would happen to the development of the brain? We provide you a number of insights on maintaining your brain health as well as regulating your mood.

1. Ensure that you are eating the proper fats.

This is important, as a certain stigma overshadows the understanding of fat in health world. Fats such as the Omega 3 & 6 are essential for regeneration of brain cells. They are considered the good fats for our consumption. These fatty acids are largely found in fatty fish like salmon, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. On the other hand, trans fats and saturated fats contained in junk food and sweet snacks are to be avoided, as they provide more bad than good for the body.

2. Bank on protein-rich foods

Proteins are definitely not to be missed out when you are planning to eat healthier food. Other than its capability to control your blood sugar levels to keep you full for a longer period of time, Amino acids contained in protein-rich food carries the building blocks to maintain neurotransmitters inside the brain. Therefore, it can regulate and manipulate the way we feel and behave. Amino acids are also responsible for the release of chemical reaction inside our brains, such as dopamine and serotonin. An intake of balanced diet can help us to balance things inside our brains as well, with the neurotransmitters not wreaking havoc on each other. Fish, meat, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds are a few examples of food that are loaded with proteins.

3. Sugar is not always a bad thing

Providing it is the right form of sugar, it is the primary source of energy for every cell in the body. The brain is so rich in cells, thus making it the most energy-demanding organ. Brain functions such as thinking, memory, and learning are closely linked to glucose levels. Glucose is a byproduct of carbohydrates we consume. High glycemic food like white bread, rapidly shoots up our glucose, but also quickly dies down, affecting our mood and attentiveness. Complex carbohydrates like grains and oats, on the other hand, slowly releases glucose and resulting in longer-lasting attentiveness.

4. Eating clean food = cleaning up your brain

Natural produce such as fruits and vegetables should be an essential part of your diet. They contain fibre which can help clean up your gut, while micronutrients found on these food take a role as antioxidants, which can fight off free radicals. The role of vitamins such as B6, B12 and folic acid are also needed for preventing brain diseases. Other food that contains micronutrients are yoghurts and wholegrains.

5. Hydrate yourself regularly

As the human body consists of 60% water, it is particularly important to drink water regularly and avoid dehydration. Lack of hydration causes your brain to shut down and not run at full speed. Some of the mental symptoms of dehydration include brain fog, anger, emotional instability, exhaustion, headaches, sleep issues, stress, and a lack of mental clarity, among others. So now you can see, even a simple step to drink a glass of water every time you wake up in the morning can boost your cognitive functions and memory, as well as keeping your brain cells healthy and emotions intact.

Whatever changes you make onto your diet needs time to take  into effect, and its effectiveness also builds up with time. So, be patient and implement these tips step by step, in order for you to pave your way to a better, healthier lifestyle. 

At Herbana, we are a firm believer of healthy, holistic living. There are no certain, particular practice that you can do to magically improve your health than by taking care of every part of your well-being. Our Jinten Hitam product promotes better immunity as well as improved mood, so that you can benefit from a better livelihood, the natural way.