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Brain Food: Closing Shots

This entry is part of a series, Brain Food»


Time to close the Brain Food Series with some final thoughts…

Your brain is the biggest consumer of glucose you have. This is true even for many athletes. The brain needs just the right amount of glucose, though; not too little, which will drag you down, and not too much, which can interfere with you working and playing at your best. So manage your blood sugar, even if you’re not diabetic, if you want to be at your best.

One way to do this is to eat less, more often. Several smaller meals, rather than the usual two that most Americans indulge in, can help you avoid blood sugar peaks and valleys. Another way is to learn the glycemic index (or glycemic load) of various foods, and eat lower on the glycemic index.

What does that mean? Details are best described here, but in general, a GI less than 55 is low (and good), while a GL of 10 is low. The GI addresses how quickly a given food will release glucose into the blood. It doesn’t account for How Much glucose, though. The GL takes into account how much glucose is present in the food. So if both indices are high, then you can expect a big sugar rush. Other examples:

Spaghetti has a low GI, but a fairly high GL. That is, you get the glucose slowly, but you’ll get quite a bit. Good for athletes! Some gluten-free varieties are high in both indices, though; refer to the GI/GL database here.

Clockwork Head

Glucose isn’t the only thing to consider where your brain is concerned, of course. It needs vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and materials for making key brain chemicals (like serotonin). Choose your foods carefully and you can have a brain that’s the best it’s going to be. And who doesn’t want that, besides Homer Simpson

Enjoy the (Brain-Smart Eating) Heat!


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