Food Science: How Our Eating Habits Directly Affect Our Brains

The phrase, “you are what you eat” may be as old as the hills, but it remains an accurate one. What we put into our bodies and filter through our system has a direct impact on how we feel and perform daily. As detailed in an article published on Harvard Medical School’s official blog, the brain is always handling a variety of tasks. Whether regulating breathing, heartbeat, sensory behaviour, or otherwise, it’s certainly a hard worker. 

The trouble is, workers need to be well-fed to maintain peak efficiency, and the human brain is no different! It’s high time to take a look at what’s in the food you eat – it may be helping or hindering your performance, mood, and more.

Its All About Serotonin Levels

Serotonin is naturally produced by the body, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Your mind relies on it to manage everything from sleep cycles and appetite to even pain tolerance. Therefore, if you ingest a lot of junk food – an accurate term if ever there was one – with fewer healthy nutrients, your serotonin buildup will suffer. This can be a problem as serotonin acts as a shield of sorts, helping you both absorb critical nutrients and protect against toxins. It’s also why nutritionists recommend focusing on good bacteria rather than empty carbs and factory-processed, genetically modified junk foods. 

Gut Instincts

While there’s normally not a need for an extreme diet such as Keto, being health-conscious about what you eat has never been more important. This need is amplified further while we’re working from home, isolating and living a life with limited social interactivity, which poses the risk of depression or social anxiety if we combine it with an unhealthy diet. 

You can’t simply quit cold turkey, however. The process of eating healthier is a gradual one, as it’s best to take baby steps so your body and mind can adjust. It’s similar to how a mountain climber needs to acclimate rather than rush to the top; introduce healthier options a little bit at a time, slowly swapping out poorer choices to gauge how much of an improvement each little change provides. Over time, you should feel more alert, awake and focused, and you’ll quite possibly develop a more positive and optimistic mindset to boot! 

All in all, yes, it’s generally worth it to spend that little bit more on healthier foods. You’re getting what you pay for, literally, and a more nutrient-rich diet is far likelier to pay you back!

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