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Qué papel tiene la alimentación en nuestro cerebro

Advice prepared by Ametller Origen, a partner of the BBHI in the field of nutrition. 

Virginia Woolf, an English writer and leading figure of the 20th century, said that one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not had a good dinner. This statement leads us to think that there is a close relationship between food and the brain.

The brain is a very complex organ whose main function is to get messages from one place to another, and it does this thanks to a set of substances that either come directly from our diet (vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates) or are produced by us (substances that carry messages) thanks to what we eat.

Thus, a poorly planned and unbalanced diet can end up manifesting itself in feelings of tiredness, nervousness, moodiness, lack of concentration and even depression or sleep disorders.

We often read that certain foods are better than others, or that there is a food that can help us to have a better memory, etc. What the brain needs is a large number of nutrients and these can only be provided if we eat a varied diet, because, in short, there is no one food that provides everything.

 

If we take a look at some of these nutrients, we find that:

  • Glucose is the main source of energy and, therefore, we must remember that a good way to ensure this nutrient is through foods such as farinaceous foods (cereals, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, pulses) and fruit and vegetables.
  • Fats from the Omega-3 family, such as DHA, which is found mainly in fish and in greater quantities in oily fish (sardines, tuna, salmon, etc.) and which plays a key role in its ability to reduce the risk of cognitive deterioration, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Proteins also play a key role, because many of the signals that get information from one place to another are of a protein nature, so a diet deficient in these nutrients may be the origin of certain memory disorders. Remember that foods rich in protein are fish, meat, eggs, pulses and nuts.

 

All vitamins and minerals are also key elements, although some are needed more than others, but all are relevant for good functioning, hence the importance of a varied diet.

Finally, it is important not to forget water, an element that allows all the reactions that take place in the brain to take place. Good hydration involves drinking between 1.5 and 2 litres of water, depending on needs, which can be replaced by herbal teas, vegetable broths, but in no case by soft drinks with a high sugar content.

 

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