Almost everyone is aware today, of the importance of protein in our diet. Protein directly affects our muscles, tissues and organs. It also directly effects the development of these organs, our brain included. What happens if we don’t get the necessary protein or any of the other many nutrients our body, not just our brain, needs to function correctly? It is through the use of our mind (or brain, whichever term you prefer) that we are able to absorb the necessary facts and figures and process it into useable pieces of information.
Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.
How do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs? That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about what our individual needs are, the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume. Once again, through the use of our minds, we are able to take the guidance provided by the USDA, develop a journal and establish what our daily requirements are, so that take care of our necessary nutritional needs.
According to the guides published by the USDA, calorie needs vary from one age group to another, one gender to another. So how do you determine what your individual needs are? You can setup a journal for recording your daily caloric intake for about a month. Make a note of your weight each day. If you don’t gain any weight during the course of that month, you’re eating your recommended calorie level in order to maintain your weight. Now, take that calorie information, check with a nutritionist about the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals that you need. Take both pieces of information, calorie intake and nutritional requirements, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve these recommended daily intakes, and still be enjoyable food. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan.
Over the course of absorbing the instructions for a healthy, well-balanced eating plan, we have used our mind through the whole process. Our ability to think and reason, our level of education, and the exposure we receive to outside input on a daily basis affects our entire environment, but especially our health. We make choices based on the information we have previously absorbed. Our food, exercise, and recreation choices are no exception. It just so happens that these choices can immediately affect our health.
Maybe now you have a clearer picture of the opportunities we have for our brain to affect our health. It is more than just conscious decisions. It is a result of brain development through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It is a result information we have previously absorbed, and input we will continue to receive.