Effects of Food on Your Brain
Studies have been showing the food we eat affects chemical composition of our brain and alters our mood.
Think about it.Your brain is always on working mode. It takes care of your thoughts to activities — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of energy. Obviously that energy should come from the foods you eat. simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.
Consistently having too many calories or too little calories will have an effect on your brain. Too many calories can increase the risk of cell damage in the brain and too few calories can impair awareness, or make you feel drowsy. Choosing the right types and amounts of food will decrease your risk of cell damage.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, and moods. Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.
Studies have shown that when people take probiotics (supplements containing the good bacteria), their anxiety levels, perception of stress, and mental outlook improve, compared with people who did not take probiotics.
3 types of brain-affecting foods :
There are 3 categories of food that affect your brain either directly or indirectly.
Fast acting: Drugs, marijuana, caffeine, sugar and certain psychoactive plants come under this category. Their effects are almost immediate and depend upon how much reaches the brain and affecting a part of your brain; either giving a high or getting you less sleepy.
Pre-cursor loading: Secondly these foods affect our brain slowly over a period of a few days to weeks. carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index such as potatoes, bagels and rice, fava beans, lecithin-containing products such as donuts, eggs and cakes, chocolate and the water-soluble vitamins comes under this category
For example, studies have shown that consuming too little tryptophan makes us depressed and angry and has been blamed for multiple wars and acts of cannibalism.
Slow-acting: low acting, life-time dosing nutrients . This category includes the anti-oxidant rich foods such as colorful fruits and vegetables, fish and olive oils, fruit juices, anti-inflammatory plants and drugs such as aspirin, cinnamon and other spices, nicotine, caffeine and chocolate, the fat-soluble vitamins, nuts, legumes, beer and red wine. People who eat these foods do not report acute changes in their thoughts or moods . These foods do not appear to affect the brain or one’s mood drastically even after being consumed for a long time.