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Food for the brain

Is it possible to eat wisdom? Are there foods that nourish our brain cells particularly well, making them more receptive or efficient? Are there nutrients that make us smarter? In short, does it make sense to cook or buy special food for the brain? 

Today, we know that our brain actually responds to what we eat and drink, and to a much greater extent than we think. It works much better when it is optimally supplied. However, caution must be exercised. As not everywhere where it says “brain food” is actually food for the brain contained. 

There is now a booming market for brain food. Advertising suggests that all you have to do is eat the right things, and intelligence and knowledge comes into play, almost by itself, as in the case of a bodybuilder who “trains” the muscles with protein drinks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that easy. Even bodybuilders still need to train their muscles when they take bodybuilding supplements. It is the same with food for the brain. It can only create the conditions for a better metabolism and a better supply of cells, which can lead to higher performance. Thus the interaction is crucial. Brain food and brain training – this seems to be a promising combination.

You can’t eat knowledge?

Brain-active nutrients are naturally found in our food – unfortunately, most people don’t know about them. We are all aware of the negative effects of food on our intellectual capacity: A heavy dinner that causes nightmares or a full stomach that makes us tired and sluggish. 

The brain consumes more than one-fifth of the daily energy requirements. In order for our brain cells to work efficiently, the body therefore needs sufficient proteins, complex carbohydrates and high-quality fats (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In addition, it is particularly important to drink enough water. Water increases alertness and mental performance!

Unfavourable eating habits can quickly lead to a deficiency of vital substances. In this case, the mental performance decreases, usually without first noticing it. 

Power for the brain

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in sea fish, walnuts and cold-pressed vegetable oils (linseed, rapeseed, hempseed, walnut oil), supply the body with energy and ensure optimal signal transmission between nerve cells. 

The brain alone consumes 20 percent of the energy supplied. Therefore, carbohydrates, as energy suppliers par excellence, should not be lacking. A continuous supply of energy is best provided by the complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, legumes and vegetables.

Proteins form the basis for hormones and messenger substances that are needed to build up certain neurotransmitters. Information transmitted in the nervous system can be retrieved faster if the brain is supplied with sufficient protein. Proteins that the brain can easily utilize are abundant, for example, in fish, meat, dairy products, oats, nuts and legumes.

In addition to the main components of our food, vitamins, minerals and trace elements are also essential for the brain. Especially some of the B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E as well as magnesium, iron, iodine and zinc are important for a well-functioning brain.


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