The brain is called the control center of the body – and for good reason. All the processes in your body are practically managed by the brain, even those you do not have conscious control over. The brain also stores your memories, gives rise to your moods, and makes your emotions possible.
Eating organic food is one of the best ways to ensure that your brain is adequately fed the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Not only are organics free from chemical pesticides and other harmful toxins, they also contain more of the nutrients that make fruits and vegetables so essential to good health. That they taste better than conventional fare – preserved and shipped for weeks from other countries – is a huge bonus.
The best way to obtain organic food is to visit your local farmer’s market. Because they are grown in your area, they end up costing cheaper, too. But because the stalls are usually open just one day in a week, it’s best to plan ahead before you set out to fill your pantry. It’s a problem during winter, but the summertime offers a rich variety of flavors and food items you can buy to get a healthy body and mind.
What nutrients does your brain need?
Because of its many crucial functions and its non-stop action, the brain is understandably one of the most nutritionally demanding organs of the body. Here are some of the nutrients most needed by your brain and what they do:
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Complex carbohydrates – The kind of sugars you find in vegetables such as yam, potatoes, beets, and carrots are used by your brain for energy. Neurons cannot store energy on their own, so a steady supply of carbs is needed. Refined sugars, however, are not recommended as they raise your blood sugar levels and may even shrink your brain as a result.
Protein – When you eat proteins, your body breaks this nutrient down into amino acids, which become components for neurotransmitters. These are chemicals needed by your neurons to communicate with each other.
Good fats – You can find these in sources like soy and olive oil. Good fats are known to promote healthy brain function and prevent the onset of disorders like depression. You may also consume avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish for their healthy fat content.
B-vitamins – These belong to a group of nutrients called micronutrients or those that your body needs in small doses. B-vitamins help regulate your mood and prevent a host of brain-related disorders, including memory loss and dementia.
Vitamin D – This micronutrient is produced in the body with exposure to sunlight, although you can also find it in certain foods. Adequate levels of vitamin D in the body help regulate mood and lowers your risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders.
Magnesium – This mineral has many benefits for the different parts of your body. It helps the brain by improving concentration and mood, as well as serving as protection from the harmful effects of stress. Having enough magnesium also helps you sleep better, which is something the brain needs a lot of.
Omega-3 fatty acids – These good fats are notable for their role in healthy brain function. They prevent memory loss and mood swings and lowers your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3 also improves cardiovascular function which, consequently, helps ensure that your brain receives the nutrients it needs. It is found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, and others), nuts, and seeds.
Antioxidants – Your brain uses a large percentage of your body’s oxygen supply, making it extra vulnerable to the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants protect your brain cells from damage, as well as neurodegenerative disorders. You will find plenty of them in fruits and vegetables.