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Brain Food - HSN forum

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Brain Food


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#1 bred

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 07:57 PM

Your brain is the greediest organ in your body, with some quite specific dietary requirements. So it is hardly surprising that what you eat can affect how you think. If you believe the dietary supplement industry, you could become the next Einstein just by popping the right combination of pills. Look closer, however, and it isn't that simple. The savvy consumer should take talk of brain-boosting diets with a pinch of low-sodium salt. But if it is possible to eat your way to genius, it must surely be worth a try.

First, go to the top of the class by eating breakfast. The brain is best fuelled by a steady supply of glucose, and many studies have shown that skipping breakfast reduces people's performance at school and at work.

But it isn't simply a matter of getting some calories down. According to research published in 2003, kids breakfasting on fizzy drinks and sugary snacks performed at the level of an average 70-year-old in tests of memory and attention. Beans on toast is a far better combination, as Barbara Stewart from the University of Ulster, UK, discovered. Toast alone boosted children's scores on a variety of cognitive tests, but when the tests got tougher, the breakfast with the high-protein beans worked best. Beans are also a good source of fibre, and other research has shown a link between a high-fibre diet and improved cognition. If you can't stomach beans before midday, wholemeal toast with Marmite makes a great alternative. The yeast extract is packed with B vitamins, whose brain-boosting powers have been demonstrated in many studies.

A smart choice for lunch is omelette and salad. Eggs are rich in choline, which your body uses to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Researchers at Boston University found that when healthy young adults were given the drug scopolamine, which blocks acetylcholine receptors in the brain, it significantly reduced their ability to remember word pairs. Low levels of acetylcholine are also associated with Alzheimer's disease, and some studies suggest that boosting dietary intake may slow age-related memory loss.

A salad packed full of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, should also help keep an ageing brain in tip-top condition by helping to mop up damaging free radicals. Dwight Tapp and colleagues from the University of California at Irvine found that a diet high in antioxidants improved the cognitive skills of 39 ageing beagles - proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Round off lunch with a yogurt dessert, and you should be alert and ready to face the stresses of the afternoon. That's because yogurt contains the amino acid tyrosine, needed for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin, among others. Studies by the US military indicate that tyrosine becomes depleted when we are under stress and that supplementing your intake can improve alertness and memory.

Don't forget to snaffle a snack mid-afternoon, to maintain your glucose levels. Just make sure you avoid junk food, and especially highly processed goodies such as cakes, pastries and biscuits, which contain trans-fatty acids. These not only pile on the pounds, but are implicated in a slew of serious mental disorders, from dyslexia and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to autism. Hard evidence for this is still thin on the ground, but last year researchers at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, California, reported that rats and mice raised on the rodent equivalent of junk food struggled to find their way around a maze, and took longer to remember solutions to problems they had already solved.

It seems that some of the damage may be mediated through triglyceride, a cholesterol-like substance found at high levels in rodents fed on trans-fats. When the researchers gave these rats a drug to bring triglyceride levels down again, the animals' performance on the memory tasks improved.

Brains are around 60 per cent fat, so if trans-fats clog up the system, what should you eat to keep it well oiled? Evidence is mounting in favour of omega-3 fatty acids, in particular docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. In other words, your granny was right: fish is the best brain food. Not only will it feed and lubricate a developing brain, DHA also seems to help stave off dementia. Studies published last year reveal that older mice from a strain genetically altered to develop Alzheimer's had 70 per cent less of the amyloid plaques associated with the disease when fed on a high-DHA diet.

Finally, you could do worse than finish off your evening meal with strawberries and blueberries. Rats fed on these fruits have shown improved coordination, concentration and short-term memory. And even if they don't work such wonders in people, they still taste fantastic. So what have you got to lose?

Source: New Scientist
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#2 Shaun

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 08:59 PM

Good post Bred. I drink plenty of water (around 2 litres a day - has to be bottled - tap water tastes like metal tongue.gif). I eat lots of bananas which contain potassium which helps with your concentration. I take a multivitamin in the morning, along with Alpen or Bran Flakes. For lunch I have a sandwich on wholemeal bread with chicken or turkey or something. And for dinner I have a microwave meal lol usually Tesco's/ASDA healthy living or something, or generally a meal under 600 kcal. I don't eat after dinner (5pm onwards).

I am healthy!

#3 werlop

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:40 PM

QUOTE(bred @ May 26 2005, 08:57 PM)
Source: New Scientist

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Do you subscribe to New Scientist? I think it's an excellent magazine.
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If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

#4 dfx

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:41 PM

almonds..for some reason lol

#5 bred

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:44 PM

QUOTE(werlop @ May 26 2005, 10:40 PM)
QUOTE(bred @ May 26 2005, 08:57 PM)
Source: New Scientist

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Do you subscribe to New Scientist? I think it's an excellent magazine.

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No, I just read it on the website. I haven't really read many of their other articles.
Please vote for me! (Brendan Howard, 5th from bottom, only 1 vote required): http://answers.polld...m/poll/2330393/

#6 Shaun

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:45 PM

Is New Scientist good Werlop? I might pick up a copy along with my Star Trek magazine tomorrow tongue.gif.

Do you buy any other mags Werlop?

#7 werlop

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 09:47 PM

New Scientist is pretty good because they always make an effort to make the articles interesting, not just dry science all the way through. If you subscribe you get access to over 14 years worth of articles on their website. My dad subscribed me last year because I started reading lots of things like New Scientist, Scientific American, the British Medial Journal, etc for preparation for medical interviews.
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If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

#8 Gavers

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 04:27 PM

My guide - Eat. Excersise. Sleep. Drink water. Listen to music. Sleep. Revise a bit. Don't over-do it. Finally... RELAX..... It'll all be over shortly smile.gif (and sleep as well wink.gif )

#9 Floorball Maniac

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE(Gavers @ May 28 2005, 05:27 PM)
My guide - Eat. Excersise. Sleep. Drink water. Listen to music. Sleep. Revise a bit. Don't over-do it. Finally... RELAX..... It'll all be over shortly smile.gif (and sleep as well wink.gif )

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I think you are 100% right there! Have the balance.

#10 The Wedge Effect

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 02:09 PM

Can you only get New Scienctist by mail order? My mum won't let me use her credit card on the net. sad.gif If they have it in WHS, I'm buying a copy soon!

#11 TheMesiter

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 03:19 PM

fish and chips with extra batter and some brown sauce, salt and vinegar
and of course some lager
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#12 AppleCore

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 5 2005, 04:19 PM)
fish and chips with extra batter and some brown sauce, salt and vinegar
and of course some lager

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yeah! i can see that as a healty option!!

#13 TheMesiter

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 05:06 PM

QUOTE(itsmereally @ Jun 5 2005, 04:35 PM)
QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 5 2005, 04:19 PM)
fish and chips with extra batter and some brown sauce, salt and vinegar
and of course some lager

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yeah! i can see that as a healty option!!

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emm no u cant
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#14 The Wedge Effect

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 07:01 PM

QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 5 2005, 06:06 PM)
QUOTE(itsmereally @ Jun 5 2005, 04:35 PM)
QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 5 2005, 04:19 PM)
fish and chips with extra batter and some brown sauce, salt and vinegar
and of course some lager

View Post



yeah! i can see that as a healty option!!

View Post




emm no u cant

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Sarcasm gone right by you, I see. Hypocrite AND no sense of humour. Oh well.

#15 TheMesiter

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE(Wedge37 @ Jun 5 2005, 07:01 PM)
QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 5 2005, 06:06 PM)
QUOTE(itsmereally @ Jun 5 2005, 04:35 PM)
QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 5 2005, 04:19 PM)
fish and chips with extra batter and some brown sauce, salt and vinegar
and of course some lager

View Post



yeah! i can see that as a healty option!!

View Post




emm no u cant

View Post



Sarcasm gone right by you, I see. Hypocrite AND no sense of humour. Oh well.

View Post



i dont like jokes
i dont like fun

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#16 werlop

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 10:47 PM

QUOTE(Wedge37 @ May 31 2005, 03:09 PM)
Can you only get New Scienctist by mail order? My mum won't let me use her credit card on the net. sad.gif If they have it in WHS, I'm buying a copy soon!

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Most newsagents have it. If you get it via the mail you get a saving + an extra saving since you are student.
Click here to visit the Bearsden Academy Website
user posted image


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

#17 rustler

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 12:02 AM

biggrin.gif Hmmmmmmmm I think thats why I am doing badly, how does 2 bridies a cream finger, can of coke, 2 packets of space raiders and a mars big one sound!!!
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I'm Schizophrenic
So am I

#18 SoDraconian

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 05:40 PM

QUOTE(TheMesiter @ Jun 6 2005, 05:12 PM)

i dont like jokes
i dont like fun

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That made me laugh! Oh, the irony.

Don't forget the deep-fried Mars bars. And the Irn Bru. Ooh, yes...






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