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Sunday, 17 October 2010

Food For Thought

Wanna starve?
The brain needs 500 calories per day but it also needs nutrients to make the right connections. if we dont get the calories and the nutrients, our capacity for learning diminishes and our capacity to make the right responses deflates. We become rigid and inflexible. We can't make good decisions.

So what does the brain need? Sugar first of all, we get that from carbohydrates like bread, rice and fruit.
It also needs water, and amino acids from proteins like meat, chicken and fish. These amino acids help the brain to make the transmitter chemicals that help us to be human, experiencing love, fear, excitement, motivation and connection. The brain also needs antioxidants like Vitamin C to protect the brain from the damage caused by all the work it does.

But the brain also needs fats in the form of essential omega fats, in particular omega 3s found in oily fish and seeds and some nuts. The only way of getting these fats is from our diet. Without these fats, the transmitter chemicals cannot "dock" into the receptors that are designed to  take them and so the brain cannot feel them and do its proper work.

Some of these transmitter chemicals control our appetite, so if the brain cannot feel these stop-eating messages you will continue to feel hungry even if you think you have eaten enough for now.

So, don't count calories, feed your brain and it will thank you in spades.

Have you seen our other eating disorder related articles?  Log onto our information page at  http://www.eating-disorders.org.uk/

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