Feed Your Brain

Topics: Nutrition, Neuron, Brain Pages: 5 (1641 words) Published: July 17, 2013
Nutrition leads to Academic Success and better life.
All of us have an amazing gift, have you ever considered how incredible the human body is? Just look at what the brain is capable of doing and how it deals with our daily classroom requirements. Our brain needs several very important ingredients to make it more efficient with our academic success. Shockingly, fats are critical, our brains need good fats. We also need proteins, carbohydrates and water. These ingredients are really necessary for us to process information effectively. We will now look at the way our brains work. Within your brain, a biochemical process of learning is occurring, that parallels the classroom experience. Making connections, finding meaning, and solving problems are learning tasks that require lightning-fast electrical impulses between areas of the brain It's 5:30pm. You just arrived for your class after a long day at work.  You have prepared yourself for this learning experience of visual input, hands-on activities, reading and experimentation - to absorb as much as possible (Norman). You look around your class room, do you see bright eyes and positive, expectant expressions, or do you see squirming, sleeping, or distracted fellow students. Do you notice if your peers are stressed, depressed and anxious? According to experts, the internal environment of the brain is an integral part of learning, just as important as the classroom environment. You may find in some cases students are not able to learn due to poor nutrition or inadequate hydration (Norman). A balance diet is critical to health, and physicians are concerned about today’s increased marketing of junk food and fast food. A trend that so alarming that some have termed it the next “tobacco” (Jenkins). Within your brain, a biochemical process of learning is occurring, that parallels the classroom experience. Making connections, finding meaning, and solving problems are learning tasks that require lightning-fast electrical impulses between areas of the brain.  Formation of memory requires physical growth and reshaping of networks of brain cells.  So that wonderful experience - when the lights go on and you say, "I get it!" - is a neurochemical process as well as an academic one. By nourishing the brain with healthy food and water, you will optimize the internal environment, enabling you to truly engage in the classroom environment and achieve your potential by knowing what your brain needs (Norman). The nutrients that help our brains work well are found in high concentration in the Mediterranean diet (Jenkins). Place your two fists together, with your inner wrists touching.  Your brain is about this size and shape. Most of us have seen the rubbery pink models which aren’t a good representation; the brain is amazingly soft, composed primarily of fat and water. It is grayish and pudding-like - composed of 100 billion brain cells - called neurons that drive our thinking, learning, feeling and states of being.  Neurons need good fats, protein, complex carbohydrates, micronutrients - vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and water.  These nutrients are necessary to power the learning functions of neurons. It’s amazing how our neurons connect (Norman). Just imagine your neurons are shaped like an outstretched hand, with fingers spread.   Dendrites (fingers) receive information from other neurons, which is then sent through the axon (arm) to another neuron.  The connection between two cells is called a synapse, where the dendrite of one cell nearly touches the body or axon of another cell. Neurons can connect multiple times with the same cell; grow extensions to connect with distant cells, and connect with many different cells at once by growing more dendrites. The brain is dynamic, responsive, and efficient: new connections will be made to record and integrate new information learned.  Old, unused connections will be pruned away. This process of building and pruning is not...

Cited: Karren, Keith, N. Lee Smith, Brent Hafen, and Kathryn Jenkins. “Mind Body Health.” The Importance of Nutrition to Mind and Body Health. Copyright 2010: 485-503. Print.
Norman, Philippa, MD, MPH. “Healthy Brain for Life.” Feeding the Brain for Academic Success. http://www.healthybrainforlife.com/articles/school-health-and-nutrition. Copyright 2013. Web.
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