08 June 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Eating for your Brain

If you having trouble motivating yourself to eat right for your body, how about eating right for your brain?  How you eat can affect your mind at a fundamental level. Our minds are profoundly affected by what we eat.  Often the effect is within minutes, hours or a couple of days, (whereas our bodies may not show the extra pounds for a few weeks, right? – when suddenly it appears “overnight”).

 If the effect occurs soon after we eat, (such as lack of concentration, fuzzy head, fatigue etc) then we are more likely to pay attention to it.

Here are a couple of things from Dr Mercola* that you should know about feeding your brain:

1. Don’t overdose on sugar

    Your brain, which accounts for 2 percent of your body weight, sucks down roughly 20 percent of your daily calories. It demands a constant supply of glucose. But wait…. before you  head to the store for a sixpack of soda……  there is more!!    This does  not mean that you should slurp soda to keep your brain functioning optimally. In fact, high glucose levels slowly but surely damage cells everywhere in your body, including those in your brain.  You want a steady supply of good food from which the brain can extract the glucose it needs.

2. Become a grazer

    To optimize brain power, one tactic might be more frequent but smaller meals. Your brain works best with about 25 grams of glucose circulating in your blood stream — about the amount found in a banana.

So the popular view of 6 small meals versus 3 large ones, appears to have merit, and affects more than the body, it affects the brain as well.

3. Eat foods that don’t raise blood glucose levels

    Pretzels cause blood sugar to rise very quickly. Dr Mercola says that raw carrots do not.  (However my research puts carrots in the “higher” glycemic range (compared with many other vegetables)  so I would limit eating carrots by themselves and rather pair them with a food that will slow the release of the sugars – Almond “cheese” is a good companion and is very low in fat.)

  High fiber carbohydrates will raise blood glucose levels relatively slowly, and combining them with fat or protein can slow absorption even more. The key is a balanced diet, where all macronutrients — carbohydrates, fats and proteins — are included.

See my next post on combining/separating the food types.

*  Periodically I visit  Dr Mercola’s website.  He has some excellent information on foods that he identifies as not good for you.  For example he is a proponent of gluten-free and soy-free and his very detailed articles articulate the reasons.  I review and dig to find the key points.  A few times I have shared information such as the ways to protect oneself  from the effects of radiation in the air  (after the Japan earthquake and tsunami), and I generally research and quote more than  one source.

2 Responses to “Eating for your Brain”

  1. Paula 10 June 2011 at 5:39 am Permalink

    Very interesting, Moira. Hope your doing well.
    Eating right is the KEY to exercise. Thanks.

  2. admin 18 June 2011 at 2:45 pm Permalink

    Glad you liked it. Hope you are doign well too!

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