June 13, 2024

Brain Food – Not!

Being bombarded with media, it is impossible not to know which kinds of food are bad for us. But still, we keep taking or ingesting them in the hopes that all those bad effects would go away. But perhaps, it is nice to be reminded of why they are considered bad in the first place to gain consciousness about these things and hopefully stop taking them. It’s for our own good anyway.

We all know that alcohol, when taken in huge amounts, is bad for our body and overall well being. Countless criminal cases have already been filed and reported all over the world due to alcohol abuse and intoxication (rape, drunk driving, death, etc.) Alcohol is good when taken in moderation. There are even studies that say it helps regulate the heart rate and blood pressure (like with red wine). The key is the word “moderation”. Otherwise, you end up like all those victims of the cases mentioned. For those who are still ignorant about how the alcohol affects the body, let me describe it to you. Alcohol is a substance that goes straight to the brain thereby killing brain cells in the process. This is why you get drunk, woozy or tipsy. You also lose motor control and your emotional reality drastically changes. Most of you will feel uninhibited, more carefree than usual and even indestructible for some.

Now let’s talk about Nicotine. Like alcohol, this substance also affects the brain in a very bad way (aside from the countless illnesses it can cause you through chronic use). Nicotine constricts capillaries and therefore restricts blood flow to your brain. Blood brings oxygen to the brain, right? So without blood, there’s no supply of oxygen and when you have poor oxygen in your brain, your brain functioning is hampered. In extreme cases, it gets fatal.

Hydrogenated fats, though not as negatively potent as the first two above, can cause heart failure and other heart diseases through continued ingestion. It is actually an ingredient of the top 5 cancer-causing food of today (e.g. hotdogs, bacon, donut, fries, chips/cookies).

These three types of substances should be avoided as much as possible for better brain and body health.

Most of us don’t know this but those artificial food substances and flavoring included in the processed food we take can lower a person’s brain power. One of the things they do is cause erratic fluctuations in your blood sugar level leading to drastic and erratic mood swings, over fatigue and moody behavior. One of the best things you can do to avoid this is to not include refined flour and sugar products in your diet. Potatoes, for instance, when taken in excessive amounts, are not good for your health either.

Let me explain to you the process further:

Carbohydrates turn into sugar once it gets digested. 20% of these carbohydrates are used by your brain. The brain always prefers to have a steady supply of blood sugar rather than an erratic supply of them (meaning, having huge supply sometimes, and then little supply in some occasions) which happens when a person goes on a yo-yo kind of diet. Otherwise, the fluctuation of blood sugar results to lethargy and moodiness. What you can do is try to eat many times in a day but in small quantities. This way, your blood sugar levels are always balanced. You feel active & renewed, mood swings are at bay and you can think more clearly. Always remember that processed flour and sugary products are the kinds of simple carbohydrates that can cause wild fluctuations in your system. So take them in moderation or don’t take them at all. When wild fluctuations happen, a surge of insulin enters the blood stream which leads to hypoglycemia or plunging blood sugar level which then causes adrenal hormones to be released. This makes you feel that “sugar high” feeling. If you keep experiencing “sugar highs and sugar lows”, your moods will be affected, you tend to feel sleepy, you’re not as attentive and alert. This shows that you are not able to maximize your brain function.

Keep in mind that simple carbohydrates are bad for your brain while complex carbohydrates are good for your brain. The latter help improve your alertness and mental capacities. It helps improve your brain power. Looking at their molecular structure under a microscope, you will observe that they are long like those of our intestines. This means that it takes a long time for them to get digested and turned into blood sugar. Therefore, it avoids the so-called sugar rush in your system. Instead, they give a steady supply of balanced sugar levels to your blood stream.

Karen Prime

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