By Pallavi Sharma
Just like wearing the right kind of clothes for the appropriate kind of setting or event, food suprisingly works in the same way. Imagine you are invited to a night out at a country music bar and you walk into the bar clad in a cocktail dress. Now that’s what you call a fashion disaster! On similar lines if you are working towards this big presentation at work and you would want ideas to be coming to you at the speed of lightening, that bag of chips from the vending machine isn’t going to help you come up with a brilliant presentation. So let’s find out what type of food is going to help you at different emotional times in your life.
Protein for Alertness: Consuming food items with high protein content help release amino acids in the body. A specific amino acid called Tyrosine helps with the increased production of dopamine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters are known to increase alertness and energy in the body and a mental boost. Examples of high protein diet: meat, fish and eggs.
Carbohydrates for Relaxation: Eating foods rich in carbohydrates help with increased production of Insulin. Insulin clears out the amino acids (which causes increased alertness) from the blood stream except Tryptophan (which is also a type of amino acid). When Tryptophan flows into the brain, it gets converted to Serotonin. As we all know Serotonin helps in reducing pain, decreasing appetite and causes the mind to relax and be calm. Hence this is the reason why dieters feel depressed few days into a low-carb diet. Green tea consumption may help to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain. The active ingredient most likely responsible for this effect is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea that can cross the blood-brain barrier and may be able to get the brain to produce more serotonin.
Folic Acid Benefits: Folic acid intake greatly enhances Serotonin levels. As mentioned before, lack of Serotonin increases the risk of depression. Foods rich in folic acid are spinach and orange juice.
Selenium: Lack of selenium causes anxiety issues along with irritability and hostility in an individual. Taking Selenium in its right doze helps the brain in a similar way as carbohydrates. Food items rich in selenium are: Brazil nut, or tuna sandwich, sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals, or swordfish.
Eggs and Acetylinecholine: High cholestrol foods like eggs and liver are known to be rich in Acetylcholine. This element is known to enhance memory and concentration in an individual. People with Alzheimer’s disease are seen to have low levels of Choline in them. So all you students out there working towards a competitive exam, make sure sure to add eggs to your diet.
To read more about neurotransmitters in other food items, feel free to visit: http://www.livestrong.com/article/158334-neurotransmitter-foods-for-the-brain/