The brain is a very complex organ that requires its little army of nutrients! In this period of re-entry, the brain will be solicited for new functions, learning, and memorization. It also dictates our moods, our motivation thanks to hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
With age and bad eating habits, cognitive functions diminish. Don’t forget that the relationship between the intestine and the brain is no longer a secret and that we must take good care of both at the same time!
The brain needs to be nourished with glucose for energy, with omega 3 for the protection of these cells, and with a certain number of specific nutrients.
How can certain foods affect brain function?
Food has a fundamental function for the health of our brain, regardless of our age.
The role of neurotransmitters
These are molecules secreted in the brain that will act as messengers on many functions of the body, such as attention, arousal, aggressiveness, anxiety, sexuality, and many others.
Diet can modulate these chemical messengers.
Have you ever heard of acetylcholine?
It is a major neurotransmitter in our body that intervenes in the capacity of memorization, in particular, to retain information, store it and then reuse it at the right time.
Acetylcholine is therefore essential for optimal brain function.
How is acetylcholine synthesized in my body?
➔ It is made from choline and vitamin B5.
What is choline?
It is a phospholipid, which is a type of fat that is largely present in our cell membranes, i.e. what surrounds almost all of our cells.
Choline is :
– either provided by certain foods in our diet
– or made from DMAE (a natural substance) which is transformed into choline through the action of methionine (a molecule that makes up proteins).
Can we improve our acetylcholine levels?
Yes, this is possible with an adapted diet, that is to say :
➔ by optimizing the choline and DMAE intake via diet
➔ by optimizing the intake of methionine and vitamins B5 and B12 via the diet to boost the action of choline
So what foods should I include in my diet?
Rich in choline and DMAE
– whole eggs (especially the yolk)
– beef liver
– fatty fish (sardines, anchovies, salmon)
– legumes (lentils)
– whole milk
Rich in methionine
– meats (pork, beef, chicken, turkey)
– fish (cod, tuna)
– cheeses (parmesan, gruyère)
Rich in vitamin B5
– shiitake mushrooms
– liver (lamb, beef, chicken, veal, pork)
– kidneys (lamb, pork, beef)
– wheat bran
Rich in vitamin B12
– all meats
– crustaceans and mollusks
There is no miracle method, the best thing to do is:
– vary your diet to benefit from the benefits of each food
– drink enough water
– sleep well (7 to 8 hours minimum if possible)
– get some exercise every day, if only to walk a little.
As for food supplements, they can be useful in some cases, but they will not be effective if the rest is not respected.
The article was written by Yann, Sports Nutritionist for Foodvisor.