It is widely known that the food we eat affects how the body works, but many do not know that certain foods can have powerful effects on the brain. These effects run the gamut from brain energy to the task manager to general mood. Eat for brain health as well as body health is easy when many brain-stimulating foods are discovered and added to a normal, healthy diet
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Glucose is a form of sugar carried in the blood as fuel for the brain and stimulates energy. This blood is extracted from carbohydrates found in foods such as grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and other starches. Brain cells require two times more energy than the other cells in the human body, so that the consumption of blood sugar from carbohydrates is an important part of a healthy diet. There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates.
To stimulate and build healthy cells, the brain needs essential fatty acids that can only be obtained through diet. Omega 3 fatty acids found in foods like fish, green vegetables and walnuts. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in sunflower, corn, sesame, and other oils. If not enough essential fatty acids are consumed, losing the human brain’s cognitive ability and memory. There is no RDA for fat or fatty acids.
amino acids from proteins consumed through foods is important for brain stimulation because they build brain networks. Besides protein building blocks, amino acids calm the brain, stimulates the brain and provides energy. Complete proteins contain all the amino acids and are found in foods such as meat, fish, cheese and eggs, while incomplete proteins contain only a few amino acids and includes cereals, legumes and nuts. RDA for protein is age and gender dependent.
micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, is another element found in foods (and supplements) that stimulates the brain. Micronutrients work by contributing to maintaining a balanced level of oxygen in the brain and by eliminating harmful oxygen molecules as free radicals (high-energy particles that ricochet and damage cells). Important micronutrients include antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C, lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene. Inadequate levels of these nutrients have been associated with reduced lung function. RDA for micronutrients varies widely.
One of the most obvious foods that stimulate the brain is water. Human brain molecules composed of about 80 percent water, which is necessary to maintain healthy membranes neurotransmission. A sufficient quantity of water keeps daily brain from becoming overheated and aids in waste management and circulation. Furthermore, the brain dehydration fatigue and loss of cognitive function in both children and adults. RDA for water is about eight 8-oz. glasses per day.