Food for thought

We are faced with many changes in university — one being our diet. Our cupboards at school become filled with processed food when we say goodbye to home-cooked meals.

However, there are some consistencies when it comes to being a post-secondary student — like the objective of an education.

Even though there are no foods that can necessarily make us smarter, there are some that can benefit our brains more than others.

Peter Tiidus, professor of kinesiology at Laurier, stated, ”The brain is made up of neurons and their development and health depends on the supply of appropriate fatty acids”.

He also added that “Omega 3 fatty acids in particular” are beneficial.

Those in abundance will allow the brain to appropriately function.

“[It’s] a molecule that is very important to making the signalling work well in the brain and is one of the things that our diet is rare in,” explained Rudy Eikelboom, chair of the psychology department, of Omega 3, which are found largely in fish and nuts.

Antioxidants are another source of benefit for the brain; they increase its longevity and are found abundantly in berries.

Tiidus explained that “oxygen is an oxidizing agent. It will react with cells and start to break them down… antioxidants prevent a lot of this damage.

Some of the things that may slow down the aging process would include eating fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants,” but to my surprise (and delight) other foods that are high in these molecules include chocolate and coffee.

Their advantages go further: “there are substances in chocolate and in caffeine that are stimulants and have the properties to bring you to a state of alertness” explained Eikelboom.

He goes on to say that “stimulation to a certain level is positive, but beyond that level it might become detrimental.”

Moderation is the key to keeping healthy in any sense.

In regards to what we eat, “Some of it is great and some of it is not so good,” said Eikelboom,

“And we may need to supplement some of what we get for that balanced diet we need to make the brain work well.”