Food for the brain WELL­NESS

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - An­jali Mukher­jee

The brain is the mas­ter con­troller of all the me­tab­o­lisms, thoughts, emo­tion and phys­i­cal state. Most of us tend to ig­nore the brain’s bi­o­log­i­cal needs. And as a re­sult as we grow older we face dif­fi­cul­ties in re­mem­ber­ing names and dates. Our level of men­tal alert­ness dips down.

To func­tion prop­erly, our brain needs oxy­gen, glu­cose and other nu­tri­ents. Lack of these lead to short-term mem­ory loss and men­tal fa­tigue. Some­times it can have se­ri­ous reper­cus­sions in the form of men­tal dis­eases that in­volve wide scale, per­ma­nent mem­ory loss such as Alzheimer’s dis­ease, se­nile de­men­tia and oth­ers.

Mem­ory loss pri­mar­ily hap­pens due to age­ing. Stress too can lead to for­get­ful­ness. In­suf­fi­cient blood sup­ply plays an enor­mous role. Cer­tain med­i­ca­tions have side ef­fects like men­tal fog­gi­ness and lack of con­cen­tra­tion. Dis­eases like Alzheimer’s dis­ease, de­men­tia, Parkin­son’s can also cause mem­ory dis­tur­bances. Nu­tri­tion can af­fect the brain’s work­ing. As we grow older or are more stressed, food can ei­ther ag­gra­vate our men­tal in­ef­fi­cien­cies or slow down the age­ing process to a re­mark­able ex­tent.

Ab­sent-mind­ed­ness, dis­trac­tion, lethargy, dizzi­ness, a ring­ing in the ears, headaches, emo­tional dis­tur­bances like para­noia, anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion are the other tell-tale signs. You don’t need med­i­cal treat­ment un­less the prob­lem is se­vere. Mem­ory loss due to age­ing or stress can be checked with a lit­tle more at­ten­tion to­wards nu­tri­tion. Lack of vi­ta­min C, E and be­tac­arotene can has­ten your ag­ing process. Add car­rots, cit­rus fruits, fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles to the diet. Bat­tle stress by cor­rect­ing your life­style, adopt­ing a reg­u­lar ex­er­cise regime and prac­tic­ing med­i­ta­tion tech­niques. Ad­e­quate sleep will help you recharge your brain.

Herbs like ginkgo and gin­seng im­prove over­all men­tal health. They im­prove de­ci­sion-mak­ing abil­i­ties, in­creases at­ten­tion span and mnemonic ca­pac­ity Acetyl-Lcar­ni­tine is an­other nu­tri­ent that helps peo­ple who have loss of mem­ory and de­clin­ing men­tal alert­ness due to age. It is known to im­prove mood, im­prove logic and rea­son­ing.


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