If you have ever been curious about what you eat and how it affects your brain, then this article is for you. In this article you will get to understand how the food you eat contributes to your brain and how it also affects the brain’s functions.
Our brain is a highly complex organ that regulates our thoughts, memory, emotions, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger, and all other bodily functions.
The central nervous system, or CNS, is made up of our brain and the spinal cord that extends from it.
The forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain are the three basic units of our brain.
Functions of the Brain
Our brain controls our thoughts, memory, and speech, as well as the movement of our arms and legs and the function of many organs in our body, so it is critical that we feed the brain nutritious foods that improve its function.
Effects of Food on the Brain
Our brain, like an expensive car, performs best when only premium fuel is used. Eating high-quality foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes and protects the brain from oxidative stress, which is the “waste” (free radicals) produced when our bodies use oxygen, which can damage cells.
Unfortunately, just like an expensive car, our brain can be damaged if we do not consume premium fuel. If substances from “low-premium” fuel (such as those found in processed or refined foods) enter the brain, the brain has little ability to eliminate them.
Refined sugar diets, for example, are detrimental to the brain. They not only impair our bodies’ insulin regulation but also promote inflammation and oxidative stress.
Multiple studies have found a link between a high-refined-sugar diet and impaired brain function and even worsening symptoms of mood disorders like depression.
Carbohydrates have a big impact on our mood and behavior, and they’re also good for our mental health.
People who followed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for a year had higher levels of anxiety, depression, and anger than those who followed a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.
The central nervous system suffers when there is insufficient glucose, which can cause dizziness or mental and physical weakness.
If the body does not have enough carbohydrates, it will turn to protein for energy, putting a strain on the kidneys.
Excess carbohydrates can be harmful to the brain in the same way that they provide it with enough glucose.
Excess glucose obtained from an excess of carbohydrates affects the brain by making it sluggish. Overstimulating the brain can result in hyperactivity and mood swings.
These behavioral changes, however, are only the short-term consequences.
Amino acids are known to be important not only as energy sources but also in protein synthesis, metabolism, and homeostatic function of cells in a variety of organs, including the brain.
Amino acids function as neurotransmitter precursors in the brain, making them an important nutritional therapy for brain and mental health.
It aids in the improvement of brain function and the prevention of dementia.
Excessive consumption of amino acids can be harmful to the brain.
Furthermore, changes in free amino acid levels in the brain signal the nervous system centers that regulate food consumption, causing eating patterns to change.
Probiotics are microorganisms that can alter brain neurochemistry and thus influence brain function.
Probiotics help us with more than just our gut health. They may also indirectly benefit our brain.
According to research, the gut and brain are linked in a partnership known as the gut-brain axis.
Probiotics and prebiotics may also help with mental function.
Excessive probiotic use can cause a significant accumulation of bacteria in the small intestine, resulting in disorienting brain fogginess.
Specific fats are vital to the brain because they are a necessary component of cell membrane structure and play a role in the structure and function of neurons.
We know that omega-3 fatty acids make up approximately 60% of the brain, with DHA, a type of omega-3 fat found in fish, being the main type responsible for eye and mental development.
Omega-3 fats, which are found in olive oil and oily fish such as salmon, herring, and sardines, are necessary for brain development in the womb and early childhood.
There is also evidence that a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet can have a negative impact on cognition.
Bad fats, such as trans fats, saturated fats, and omega-6 fatty acids, can cause brain cell plasticity to break down, and diets high in saturated fats and sugar interfere with the brain’s ability to adapt quickly.
Certain vitamins are essential for maintaining brain and heart health.
The right vitamins can boost cognitive function, protect the brain, prevent memory loss, lower blood pressure, and lower your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Caffeine increases energy metabolism in the brain while decreasing cerebral blood flow, resulting in relative brain hypoperfusion.
Caffeine stimulates noradrenaline neurons and also influences dopamine release locally.
Every food you eat has a different effect on your brain; sometimes it’s a good effect, and sometimes it’s not.
We hope this article feeds your curiosity about what the food you eat does to your brain.