Dr Aashima Chopra
After heart health, now it is time to focus on brain health. What we eat affects both, the physical as well as mental health.
Neuro nutrition looks at how food affects our brains. Bio-hacking is a new concept which tells you what to eat to keep your brain healthy.
Health and wellness experts have been studying for years that what you eat can affect the health of your heart. Now there’s growing evidence that the same is true for your brain as well.
Diet is one of the major factors that affect a person’s immunity, wellbeing and even behaviour. When feeling down, many people go for some kind of makeover — their own, a wardrobe makeover or home makeover and such. But what is actually needed is a brain makeover to help you feel like yourself again.
Our brain has a natural ability to release feel-good chemicals — endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters can make you feel happy. Without the right kind of brain food, you can feel anxious, stressed, depressed, tired, burned-out and emotionally drained. It is the hungry brain and depletion of neurotransmitters in it like serotonin, dopamine, Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA) which makes it so. It can, however, be repaired through eating right kind of nutritious food that is good for brain.
Our brain is working 24/7, which also means that it requires a steady supply of fuel. In order to make neurotransmitters function properly and to keep your mood good, it is important to eat those feel-good foods that provide the brain raw material to remain happy.
One important aspect about neuro-hacking is that if you are experiencing cravings, depression, irritability, panic, insomnia, crying bouts, low energy, lack of focus, inability to relax, weight gain and compulsive behaviour, you not only need to eat food but also specific brain-targeted nutritious food.
About 80 per cent people suffer from low serotonin levels. When it comes to food and mood connection it is neuro nutrition that plays an important role. People feel sleepy after having too much food in the afternoon or become angry or irritable when not eaten for a long time. Eating too much or too little affects blood sugar levels.
Neurotransmitters are the frontline regulators of our moods. Serotonin and GABA help calm us whereas dopamines are the stimulators. Neuro nutrition can help check depression, anger, anxiety and adult ADHD.
So switch to this mind diet which has feel-good foods in abundance and be happy always.
— The writer is a dietician, Paras Bliss Hospital, Panchkula
Fish: The mind diet includes eating fish at least once a week helps protect brain function.
Green leafy vegetables: Kale, spinach, broccoli, collards and other greens are packed with Vitamin A, C and other nutrients that help in neuro development. At least 1 serving per day can help provide greatest brain benefits.
Strawberries and berries: This fruit change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition.
The all time munching snack for brain health. With lots of fiber, antioxidants it is recommended to have bit nuts once in a day soaked or in any other. As said now we have moved from heart health to brain health these tiny tots are still on our top list.
- Eat good amount of protein.
- Eat green leafy vegetables and a fruit serving per day.
- Eat good fats.
- Never let your mind crave for more food.
- Skip meals, especially breakfast.
- Don’t eat much junk food.
- Do not eat much sugar.
- Don’t drink much caffeine.
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