This is the longest section of the three parts on a single topic as it includes almost every single one of the other foods that hasn’t been mentioned yet. Our brain uses approximately 20% of all the energy our body uses at any given day. The amount of energy it consumes is tremendous, especially since it only takes up 2% of our total body mass. From this fact alone, you can see how much the food we eat can affect the brain.
The brain is picky about what it takes in, as it only uses certain nutrients. Brain cells, the primary component our brains are made out of, require what we call neurotransmitters to carry messages around. Proteins, vitamins and minerals are the building blocks needed to create new neurotransmitters. However, some can be consumed almost directly, and I will be talking about that just a little later in the post.
Eating enough of these foods will boost your ability to think faster, better and even raise your intelligence (IQ).
If you know what to eat, and what to not eat, your mental capabilities will skyrocket.
The 3 key neurotransmitters in our brain are Acetylcholine, Dopamine & Serotonin – each of which is responsible for certain functions.
Here is a list of foods that help boost Acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for memory, concentration and focus:
- Egg Yolks
- Meat – Chicken, Beef, Pork, Mutton
- Dairy Products – Milk and Cheese
- Vegetables – Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower have higher amounts
Dopamine is responsible for learning, a very important feature that helps boost intelligent memory, the memory that contributes to your overall intelligence. A list of foods that boost this particular neurotransmitter:
- All proteins – Meat, Milk products, Fish, Nuts, Beans, Soy products, etc.
Serotonin is also responsible for learning and memory. Carbohydrates are the primary foods that contain the building blocks for this neurotransmitter. Some foods to increase your serotonin levels are:
- Starchy Vegetables – Corn, Pumpkin, Peas, Yam, Sweet Potatoes
The three main components
As you might have noticed, meat was present in two of the lists above and the reason is simple – they have complete proteins. Complete proteins contain essential quantities of all 8 essential amino acids that are needed for the body to create these neurotransmitters. Other foods such as vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts contain incomplete proteins and only have some of the 8 essential amino acids, but they contain the vitamins, which I will talk about soon enough.
If you find times where there’s hardly any meat on the dining table or if you are vegetarian, there is no need to worry. Combinations of foods with incomplete proteins will allow you to obtain ALL of the essential ones you can find in meats; the most popular combination being rice and beans.
You probably find it hard to remember what to eat with all these facts bombarding you, but only do it with the meals you can decide and plan. Simply, just remember that your meals should have at least one meat dish containing meat (chicken, beef, pork or mutton), at least one with carbohydrates (rice, bread, potatoes) and at least one with green, leafy vegetables. If any single one of them is missing, try to buy or find a dish that contains the missing one.
Alternatively, you could print this page out and put it in your kitchen as a reminder and checklist you can use whenever you go shopping for groceries.