FOOD FOR A HEALTHY MIND

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Variety - An­jalee Mukher­jee, nu­tri­tion­ist

Whether you need to be fo­cused for a busi­ness meet­ing, or calm your nerves af­ter a stress­ful day, food plays an im­por­tant role in help­ing you achieve that re­quired frame of mind. In turn, the way you feel can make a dif­fer­ence in how suc­cess­fully you work, study and in­ter­act with oth­ers. This hap­pens due to the hor­monal in­flu­ence that food has on our bod­ies. It in­flu­ences pro­duc­tion and func­tion­ing of chem­i­cals in the brain (neu­ro­trans­mit­ters) that in­flu­ence our be­hav­iour.

What to eat when you want to be alert

When you want to give an exam, make a pre­sen­ta­tion or crack a deal, you want to be at your sharpest best. To achieve this, you must eat at least two hours be­fore you per­form. Don’t drink any al­co­hol at least one day be­fore the D-day. The break­fast you eat should be low on fat. Fat takes longer to di­gest and slows you down men­tally. Eat good qual­ity pro­tein be­fore your per­for­mance, as it helps keep you full for a longer du­ra­tion and does not bring about un­nec­es­sary hunger pangs. Eat­ing pro­tein helps ty­ro­sine (an amino acid) reach your brain. Ty­ro­sine helps with the pro­duc­tion of the alert­ness chem­i­cal, dopamine, as well as nor­ep­i­neph­rine. When the brain pro­duces th­ese chem­i­cals, dis­tinct changes in your be­hav­iour take place; peo­ple tend to think more clearly, re­act pos­i­tively.

A good break­fast would ide­ally in­clude:

A bowl of par­tially-cooked sprouted moong mixed with a salad, and one cup low-fat curd. You can have your tea or cof­fee as usual.

A glass of tomato, car­rot and beet­root juice along with 10-15 al­monds, and a fruit.

A glass of car­rot and spinach juice, along with two egg whites and a toast (whole wheat bread).

A bowl of channa, ra­jma or chowli and a fruit. Eat­ing up to 3/4th of your daily ca­pac­ity pre­vents you from feel­ing sleepy and less alert. The trick is to eat low-fat light food and more pro­tein two hours be­fore you per­form. You could also take a B-com­plex tablet with a vi­ta­min C sup­ple­ment that morn­ing. B-com­plex helps con­vert food into en­ergy, and makes you feel ex­tremely mo­ti­vated and en­er­getic. Vi­ta­min C can help in stress­ful sit­u­a­tions, as it nul­li­fies the free rad­i­cals pro­duced as a re­sult of stress.

Th­ese strate­gies, how­ever, would not ap­ply to those with any se­ri­ous phys­i­cal or psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems.

PHOTO: IS­TOCK; FOR REP­RE­SEN­TA­TION ONLY

A healthy break­fast can in­clude a glass of car­rot and spinach juice

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