Eating Healthy For The Body And The Mind

1401 words - 6 pages

Memory is our ability to retain, store, and recall information and past experiences in the human brain. Not only is memory important for retention, but it also provides the capability to adapt from the past, learn, and build relationships with others. In a more scientific sense, memory is a set of encoded neural connections in the brain. These connections are recreations of the neurons that fired during the original experience. Overall, memory is an essential asset to human life. As a child, connections in the brain are form quite rapidly because of all the early learning that is being done such as how to walk, communicate, and even tie shoes. But as age increases, the brain’s ability to make these connections slowly deteriorates and this decrease results in a lower capacity of memory. Recent research has shown there are ways to slow down, cease, or even reverse the deterioration of human’s capacity to form memories. Good nutrition, eating foods with low glycemic indexes, adequate nutrient intake, and a healthy lifestyle can all have positive effects on memory.
The body needs to be treated in a positive way for it to work in a positive way. When the body is working optimally, the brain is able to easily fire neurons to make the connections that are necessary for memory. Catherine Saxel, a nutritionist at Foodwatch Nutritional Services, states, “Though only two percent of body weight, the brain uses twenty five percent of the body’s energy” (Saxel). With the brain using a fourth of the body’s energy resources, it’s essential to provide the mind with a lifestyle that supplies an adequate amount of energy to work optimally. Keeping a nutritious diet and keeping the glycemic index of foods in check can have an enormous positive effect on the body and brain, and therefore memory.
A good diet and nutritional intake can change the way the brain functions. There is not a specific food that boosts memory, but types of foods that provide the same effect. In Irene Allegar’s review of Patrick Holford’s book, Optimum Nutrition for the Mind, she outlines the “essential brain boosting foods”. These include complex carbohydrates, smart fats, phospholipids, and amino acids. Slow releasing complex carbohydrates produce relatively slow increases in blood glucose and modest insulin release, both good for the body as a whole. These complex carbohydrates can be found in foods such as vegetables, bean, or foods that contain whole grain. Smart fats, such as omega 3 and omega 6,are important fatty acids for brain health. Smart fats can be found in vegetables, flaxseed, and walnuts. Phospholipids are a kind of fat that enhances mood and mental performance. Phospholipids are in foods such as egg yolks, soymilk, and peanuts. Amino acids keep neurotransmitters working optimally, which are essential to the connections for memory. They can be found in soy foods and sources of animal protein. Trying to add these “essential brain boosting foods” to a nutritious diet will...

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