WATCH WHAT YOU EAT FOR A BETTER BODY AND BRAIN

chocolate
Dark chocolate is known to be a “brain food”

We all know that unhealthy food is not good for your body, but how much exactly does it affect your system? Sometimes you cannot concentrate on your work, you feel low and the only thought in your mind is “I just want to be in bed.” This would be a clear sign that you are not in a normal mood and the culprit of this could very well be your diet.

A recent U.K. study found that fatty and sugary foods might cause brain damage, causing inflammation and blood clots, and even strokes once the damage reaches the brain. According to the nutritionist Carol Feitosa, the most important thing to remember is to be aware of everything you eat and try to avoid junk food as much as possible. She also explains the perks of eating healthy: “When you start a healthy diet, you can feel the difference even in your sleep; you feel more relaxed . Also you have more energy to do things during the day; for women, this helps during the PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) time. You feel your body is less bloated, and your skin will get softer and cleaner.”

This is easy to say, but less easy to carry out when we have a nice piece of chocolate cake in front of us. Why do we crave dessert? When sugar hits your tongue, it activates the sweet point of your brain and starts a process of electrical and chemical reactions throughout it. It’s a complicated network, but every single time you eat sugary food, your brain lights up and says – YES, GO FOR IT, LET’S DO IT AGAIN! How can you avoid that? It’s not easy, however, the less that you eat, the less you will crave it. This means the hardest part is in the beginning. Trying to avoid processed and fast foods is a good start. Feitosa gives us some tips: ”First of all, you have to understand why you have to at least lower your intake of unhealthy food, and how this can positively affect your life. After that, a good goal would be reducing junk food consumption to 2 or 3 times a week until you feel able to totally eliminate it from your diet.” And of course there is exercise, which is a significant mood booster, even when done only 2 or 3 times a week. Why not start today?
Some Brain Food:

* Dark Chocolate – This treat is rich in antioxidants and is actually healthy for your body when consumed in regular (and regulated) amounts. It also sharpens your mental processes because of the small amounts of caffeine.

* Wholegrains – You don’t have to completely give up carbs like bread, crackers, etc. Wholegrains are your solution; they supply a lot of energy with a low glycemic index for a balanced diet. Opt for wholegrain cereals, bread and pasta.

* Tomatoes – This fruit (although some people still insist it’s a veggie) is helpful in preventing the development of dementia. Besides that, it is good for preventing wrinkles! Bring on the marinara!

* Nuts – These small sized snacks are packed with nutrients and rich in vitamin E, which, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, prevents cognitive decline.

* Blueberries (and fruit in general) – Another pint-sized addition to the brain foods, blueberries are high in antioxidants, protecting the brain from ageing.

 

Flavia Motta

Brazilian, journalist. Experience in magazine, website, politics and TV. Portuguese native and english, spanish and french speaker.

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