We all know that food is indeed the catalyst that is responsible for all our energy. As a result, we need to eat the right kinds of food to prepare ourselves in the best possible manner. Our environment and how we perceive it is shaped by our reactions to the world and our reactions are influenced by our energy levels, which again comes down to the question of food.
There are certain foods that can boost your energy levels and maintain the right kind of momentum for you, while other foods can drain your brain and lower your cognitive abilities immensely. It might surprise you to learn about the items that figure on either list; chances are that the food that you eat could largely comprise of the kind that drains your brain.
Get sharp and get a clearer understanding of what works and what doesn’t by eating the foods that make your brain work better. After all, no one conquered the world on a sluggish brain, right?
- Refined is not fine – Refined foods are easier to acquire and tasty to eat and therefore, they find a lot of space in our kitchens, our pantries and our tables. Still, the next time you sit down to eat that bagel, bite into that slice of cake or just pop some candy in your mouth, remember that the instant sugar rush that you get won’t last for long.
Refined carbohydrates instantly release glucose but after sometime the effect dies down and you’re left with a slump. Hitting a low after such a high can effectively make your brain slow down. The best way to tackle this is by eating foods that release glucose more slowly, such whole grains, legumes and fruits because these take time to digest and provide sustained energy to your brain.
- Go easy on processed protein – Meat eaters who love to stuff themselves with sausages, meat pies, hot dogs or salami have to remember that while protein is good for the brain, processed protein is actually the opposite.
Proteins are necessary for the brain because they help insulate the nervous system. However, hot dogs, sausages, etc, do not help your brain at all. You must opt for foods that contain good proteins such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, eggs, turkey, chicken, walnuts and seeds because these will help your brain to function better.
- Choosing the right fats – Munching on those French fries or fried chicken is not going to give you the benefits of carbs or protein. It’s just going to make you fat. Especially because these foods contain trans fats that indeed are the villains of the food world.
Avoid trans fats as much as you can because not only will they give you cholesterol problems, make you fat and generally be bad for your heart, they’re bad for your brain too. This strike against trans fats is important because everyone should realize how much harm they can do.
While they might taste good, they make your brain sluggish and your response times and quality of your responses are greatly affected.
However, fats essentially are not the bad guys. Mono and poly unsaturated fats are really important to help your brain function properly but because of the high calorie content, they should be taken in moderation.
- Artificial sweeteners – Most people think that they’re cutting down on calories by switching to artificial sweeteners. However, little do they realize that this causes them more harm than good. Research has shown that most artificial sweeteners can play havoc with your cognitive abilities and cause brain damage, especially when taken in large quantities.
- Alcohol – There are a number of reasons why people should stay away from alcohol but primary among these is that alcohol affects our ability to make sound judgments. Vision can get blurry and speech is also affected largely. In some cases, it can even impair your memory. The reason for this is that alcohol actually starts killing brain cells.
- Nicotine – It’s not just lung cancer that you should be scared of. Nicotine from cigarettes and tobacco can harm your brain too. Don’t be skeptical because it is indeed true. Nicotine can constrict the capillaries and as a result, the blood flow to the brain is considerably reduced. Due to this, the brain doesn’t receive glucose and oxygen as it should and this greatly affects the brain cells.
The adage that everyone should follow is that we should ‘eat to live’ and not the converse, ‘we live to eat’. Food should not be the mainstay of our existence but it should be used to help us get energy and to help us perform our functions better. For that to occur, you need to ensure that you eat the right kinds of food.