Food that enhances intelligence between fact and myth

colors2022/12/21 20:15

Undoubtedly, foods, specifically those that affect the health of the mind and cognitive functions, called brain foods, constitute one of the most controversial aspects in the context of obtaining a healthy life, especially those associated with increasing the level of intelligence.

Undoubtedly, foods, specifically those that affect the health of the mind and cognitive functions, called brain foods, constitute one of the most controversial aspects in the context of obtaining a healthy life, especially those associated with increasing the level of intelligence.

Food nourishes the brain

The brain works all the time, controlling our movements and thoughts, breathing, heartbeat, senses.. Etc., And it does not stop working even during sleep, which of course means that it needs fuel to complete its work normally, and the source of this fuel is the food we eat, and simply the contents of this fuel have a direct impact on brain health.

This is an indisputable fact; Eating high-quality foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress caused by the buildup of waste products and toxins, called free radicals, that result from the body's use of oxygen and cause cell damage.

On the other hand, low-quality food has a negative effect on the brain, for example, the body's ability to get rid of free radicals is lower in those who follow a diet rich in refined sugars, which causes brain dysfunction, as well as other negative effects on the body.

The reader finds a lot of headlines promoting certain foods as foods that develop intelligence or, as already mentioned, under the name "brain foods", as well as a huge combination of contradictory studies and the endless change in nutritional advice that is given and heard from time to time, which makes staying constantly alert to health information a goal worth pursuing and requiring a lot of effort.

Foods that support intelligence between truth and myth

There is some truth in the Association of certain foods with positive effects on the brain, but to say that eating certain foods in themselves will clearly raise the level of intelligence is nothing more than promoting a false fact, and in fact most studies focus on the effect of brain foods on cognitive functions as well as reducing the chance of developing diseases associated with cognitive decline with age, such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and there is good evidence that what we eat can make a difference; for example, one study indicated that eating certain foods and avoiding other foods slows down brain aging by 7.5 years along with reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer's.

On the other hand, it should be emphasized that just as there are no magic pills to prevent cognitive decline, there is no food that can guarantee a sharp brain with age, and in this regard, nutritionists emphasize that the most important strategy is to follow a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, along with getting protein from plant sources and fish, and taking care to choose healthy fats such as olive oil instead of saturated fats during cooking.

According to Dr. Ronald Peterson, neurologist and director of the American Center for Alzheimer's research at the Mayo Clinic, good food for the heart is also good for the brain, referring to diets rich in heart-healthy components such as cholesterol in low proportions, omega-3 acids, salt, saturated fats and antioxidants.

Research shows that the best foods for the brain are the same ones that protect the heart and blood vessels, and nutrients such as vitamin K, lutein, folic acid and beta-carotene are good for the heart and brain as well, because they keep blood vessels healthy, help maintain good blood flow is extremely important for cognitive brain functions.

For example, black beans are good for the heart and mind at the same time, as well as their other benefits, as researchers specializing in diabetes indicate that the inclusion of legumes in the diet improves blood sugar control and reduces chronic heart disease, besides, black beans are a good source of magnesium that can help ward off dementia according to a different study.

Referring to scientific studies and research, we find that brain foods include many options such as: fatty fish, leafy vegetables , nuts , beans , berries of all kinds , whole grains , seeds , avocados , broccoli, eggs, black chocolate , coffee.

In a 20-year study of more than 16,000 older adults, those who ate more blueberries and strawberries had slower rates of brain cognitive decline, which researchers attributed to the high benefits of flavonoids found in berries.

Based on the above, it becomes clear that focusing on eating brain food will not turn us into geniuses in a matter of weeks, it is not about directly developing intelligence itself, it does not require buying some magical foods and being content with them as they are promoted, there are no unimportant nutrients, the chapter of the article on this topic is about maintaining brain health by eating foods that contain substances and elements important for its normal functioning and preventing a sharp decline, it is worth noting that any desired change takes some time and must be supported by a balanced diet, therein lies the true understanding of integrated health that does not pay attention to paying attention to one aspect and ignoring the rest.

Brain and baby foods

The brain foods offered to children receive special attention from moms and dads, especially with the numerous recommendations that emphasize the importance of feeding the child and how this will affect him in the future, considering that during the first thirty-six months of a child's life, his brain grows and is formed with him how to think, interact with the environment, how to solve problems, besides building eating habits that may accompany him throughout his life, it is really necessary to focus on the quality of the brain foods offered to the child, which are no different from the types of foods offered to adults, but the way they are offered to ensure his acceptance of them.

Two researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine point out in a study entitled: "The role of nutrition in brain development: the golden opportunity of the first thousand days" that three prominent factors have particularly profound effects on early brain development, namely: psychological stress, the presence of strong and healthy social support, and the provision of optimal nutrition.They also recommend paying close attention to the nutrition of the mother before and during pregnancy and lactation, besides emphasizing the importance of breastfeeding the baby during the first year, and although a significant amount of the structure and ability of the brain is formed early in life, the cognitive, social and emotional parts of the brain continue to develop throughout life.

Some brain foods may help improve a child's brain function, memory, and concentration , but this does not guarantee that the child will grow to be very smart , but making sure that he gets a lot of the essential nutrients found in brain foods is a smart start , taking care that he gets balanced nutrition.

And according to American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and nutritionist Bethany Thayer, "If you feed the body unhealthy food, the brain will suffer."

It would seem that failure to improve brain development early in a child's life has long-term consequences in terms of education, work potential, adult mental health, and it is possible to consider that these consequences are the final cost to society from the problems of children's early life.


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