Several Ways To Keep Your Memory Sharp and On Point No Matter Your Age!

Main complications of persistent high blood pr...
Main complications of persistent high blood pressure. Sources are found in main article: Wikipedia:Hypertension#Complications. To discuss image, please see Template_talk:Häggström diagrams. To edit, please use the svg version, convert to png and update both versions online. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many reasons you should to hold onto your memory.

First, keep your attention focused on the information that will be stored in your memory bank. Even with distractions around you, stay focused on the subject. The more concentrated you are on the information you’re taking in, the better the chances of retaining it in your memory.

Preserving the memory is an essential part of the brain’s functionality.

Often, our actions definitely depend on the info we have collected in our memory bank. This information is classified as either short term or long term. Although long-term memory may come automatically without too much effort when the need arises, short-term memory requires recalling information from the accumulation of things stored in our memory.

Utilize the most ideal sense or senses when gathering the information.

This what we call acuity in sensing our environment. Be aware of the color or details of a picture, or the particular sound or smell of the thing involved. All our bodily senses are attuned to collect information depending on the circumstance at hand. While our sense of vision may be the most used in gathering information, our senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch are equally important and helpful in remembering things, situations, and information about something or someone.

Take Notes

When you’re not sure if the information you are about to take in will be retained by your brain, then its a good practice to write the information. Writing notes is especially effective in pulling together long, tedious information such as lectures or interview notes.

Maintain a balance diet.

A well-proportioned diet will result to a conditioned memory. Excessive oily foods may block the memory, studies show. If you cannot eliminate a bad diet, gradually cut down your intake of these memory-inhibiting foods. This is not only beneficial to the memory, but it changing your diet to a balancing one will lead to a more fulfilling life too.

WATER.

Drinking lots of water brings so many advantages to your overall health, especially since the body is mostly made up of water anyway. Think of waters effect on your brain like this: The brains texture is soft and fleshy right? But what would happen if you didn’t drink the right amount of water overtime? Your brain may not have the same softness perhaps, and who wants a hard brain with no moisture in it? lol. I don’t know about you but it doesn’t sound to healthy to me.

Love your sleep.

Make sure you get some sleep. Getting adequate sleep does not cause laziness; but over sleeping does. Never feel guilty laying back or sleeping as long as it is not excessive you’re doing what’s natural to stay healthy. Get regular sleep to keep you recharged daily.

Relax.

Breathe deeply. Organize your thoughts before moving on them. Just say no to stress and anxiety. It may be impossible to completely eliminate stress since it is part of our challenging generation, but try to keep it down as much as possible. Stress may bring your memory into its inefficient level. Avoid saying to yourself: You might forget things, because you don’t have to. Forgetting is often a choice. There’s no need to assume you will forget anything. You just have to give your brain what it needs.

Stay positive, creative, and energetic.

Your memory needs to be within a circle of various creative things. Things that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors can motivate your creativity. This is a positive way of discovering your surroundings in all its variations and diversities. Get out and get some fresh air! Get off the bench. Build your memory through constant interactions with good people.

Learn from the children

The very best way to improve your memory is between infancy and adolescent. As we grow old, memory starts to fail if you don’t work to keep your brain working efficiently. But a strong memory can develop during the prime years of our lives too. This can be done by continuously exercising our memory through reading and other cognitive activities like solving crossword puzzles. The more you do brain power exercises, the better memory retention is developed.

Keep your health up

High blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart ailments. Blood pressure problems can also lead to poor retention of memory. Its a well known fact that your memory function declines when blood pressure is high. Health officials have discovered that middle-aged people with a balanced blood pressure, experience higher cognitive functions.

Health is wealth!

It’s important to remember that whatever is healthy for the body, also nourishes the brain and in turn preserves the memory too. Your memory can stay with you forever with the right combination of exercise, nutrition, meditation and reading for instance, honestly anything is possible. Things such as: concentration, decision-making, and remembering functions fall short as a result of high blood pressure. Balance is the key to keeping your memory sharp well into old age!

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Taurine : The amino acid that is Is needed for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, the control of cholesterol serum levels in the body, maintaining cell membrane integrity.

Taurine, a nonessential amino acid, is found in high concentrations in the white blood cells, skeletal muscles, central nervous system as well as the heart muscles. It is a building block of all the other amino acids as well as a key component of bile, which is needed for the digestion of fats, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and the control of serum cholesterol levels. In adults, but not children, this nutrient can be manufactured from methionine in the body and from cysteine in the liver. Vitamin B6 must be present for these processes to be successful.

It is a key ingredient of bile, which in turn is needed for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins as well as the control of cholesterol serum levels in the body. (It is incorporated in the bile acid chenodeoxychloic acid, which emulsify the dietary fats). This nutrient is also used in the proper use of potassium, calcium, as well as sodium in the body, and for maintaining cell membrane integrity. It is thought to be helpful with anxiety, hyperactivity, poor brain function and epilepsy as well as hydrating the brain. Taurine, together with zinc, is also required for proper eye health and vision.

Function and Benefits of Taurine

  • It is vital for the proper utilization of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and it has been shown to play a particular role in sparing the loss of potassium from the heart muscle. This helps to prevent the development of potentially dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
  • It is a building block of all the other amino acids as well as a key component of bile, which is needed for the digestion of fats, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and the control of serum cholesterol levels.
  • Taurine has a protective effect on the brain, particularly if the brain is dehydrated. It is used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, hyperactivity, poor brain function, and seizures.
  • Taurine is found in concentrations up to four times greater in the brains of children than in those of adults. It may be that a deficiency of taurine in the developing brain is involved in seizures.
  • Taurine supplementation may benefit children with Down syndrome and muscular dystrophy.
  • This amino acid is also used in some clinics for breast cancer treatment.
  • Taurine is a nonessential amino acid, which means that it is manufactured from other amino acids in the liver; it does not have to be obtained directly through the diet. High concentrations of taurine are found in the heart muscle, white blood cells, skeletal muscle, and central nervous system.
  • Is needed for fat digestion, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, the control of cholesterol serum levels in the body, maintaining cell membrane integrity.

Deficiency Symptoms of Taurine

Zinc deficiency also is commonly found in people with epilepsy, and this may play a part in the deficiency of taurine. Taurine is also associated with zinc in maintaining eye function; a deficiency of both may impair vision.

Rich Food Sources of Taurine

  • Taurine is found in eggs, fish, meat, and milk, but not in vegetable proteins.
  •  It can be synthesized from cysteine in the liver and from methionine elsewhere in the body, as long as sufficient quantities of vitamin B6 are present.
  • For individuals with genetic or metabolic disorders that prevent the synthesis of taurine, taurine supplementation is required.
  • Taurine is not consumed in any significant quantity by vegans – who are vegetarians without dairy products or eggs in the diet. However, even vegans synthesize enough taurine in the body to avoid a deficiency of the compound in the body.

Myth
Some people mistakenly believe that the taurine in energy drinks, such as Red Bull, comes from the testicles of a bull. That myth might be rooted in the origins of the word taurine. The Vanderbilt University Psychology Department notes that the word taurine has it roots in the Latin word “taurus,” which means bull. It was found originally in the bile of an ox, or castrated bull, and can be found in the urine of female cattle. However, taurine used in today’s energy drinks is made synthetically.

Histidine : The essential amino acid that is significant in the growth and repair of tissues.

Histidine is called a semi-essential amino acid (protein building block) because adults generally produce adequate amounts but children may not. Histidine is also a precursor of histamine, a compound released by immune system cells during an allergic reaction.

Histidine is an essential amino acid that is significant in the growth and repair of tissues. Histamine, an important immune system chemical, is derived from histidine. Histamine aids in sexual arousal. Because the availability of histidine influences histamine production, taking supplemental histidine-together with vitamins B3 (niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine), which are required for the transformation from histidine to histamine may help improve sexual functioning and pleasure.

 

 

Histidine is one of the basic (with reference to pH) amino acids due to its aromatic nitrogen-heterocyclic imidazole side chain. This amino acid is biochemically metabolized into the neurotransmitter histamine and the set of genes that produce the enzymes responsible for histidine biosynthesis are controlled by the well-studied histidine operon. The disruption of histidine biosynthesis in bacteria is the basis for the famous Ames test, used to determine the mutagenability of various chemicals. Histidine is incorporated into proteins and enzymes at a molar percentage of 2.1 compared to the other amino acids.

 

 

 

 

Uses and Benefits of Histidine

 

  • Histidine is important for the maintenance of the myelin sheaths, which protect nerve cells, and is needed for the production of both red and white blood cells.
  • In the lungs histamine causes bronchoconstriction to a slight extent in normal person but markedly in asthmatic patients.
  •  Histidine also protects the body from radiation damage, helps lower blood pressure, aids in removing heavy metals from the system, and may help in the prevention of AIDS.
  • Histamine acts directly on the cardiac pacemaker and this causes increase in heart rate. Increase in heart rate also occurs due to reflex response of hypotension.
  • In the gastrointestinal tract histamine causes intense stimulation of gastric hydrochloric acid secretion through H2 receptors
  • Because histamine also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, histidine may be helpful for people with indigestion resulting from a lack of stomach acid.

Rich Food Sources of Histidine

  • Natural sources of histidine include rice, green vegetables,bananas, wheat, and rye.
  • Animal sources: Meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products like milk, cheese etc

 

Deficiency Symptoms of Histidine

  • None known, but it is reported that histidine can cause pain in the bony joints.
  • Inadequate levels of histidine may contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and may be associated with nerve deafness.
  • Methionine has the ability to lower histidine levels.

Gamma -Aminobutyric Acid : The powerful amino acid that function as the most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

Vegetables and fruitsGABA, or Gamma-Aminobutryic Acid, is a powerful amino acid that was first discovered in 1883 in Berlin. It is actually classified as a nearuotransmitter, which means it helps nerve impulses cross the synapses (gaps) and communicate better. GABA has a great number of positive effects on the nervous system. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is essential for brain metabolism, aiding in proper brain function. GABA is formed in the body from another amino acid, glutamic acid.

Its function is to decrease neuron activity and inhibit nerve cells from over firing. Together with niacinamide and inositol, it prevents anxiety and stress related messages from reaching the motor centers of the brain by occupying their receptor sites.  GABA works by lowering brain activity and helps you feel calm. People who lost their job can be a great factor to be stressed, or people who are overly anxious or easily overwhelmed may suffer from the reduced production of GABA in the brain. If the production of GABA is sufficient or healthy, this can aid you in sleep, blood pressure, and relieve pain. To test your GABA levels, a simple urine or saliva test can determine the levels. This test will also determine whether an increased GABA production is needed.

page 214 Nervous System
page 214 Nervous System (Photo credit: perpetualplum)

Uses and Benefits of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

  • GABA can be taken to calm the body in much the same way as diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), and other tranquilizers, but without the fear of addiction.
  • GABA has been used in the treatment of epilepsy and hypertension. It is good for depressed sex drive because of its ability as a relaxant.
  •  It is also useful for enlarged prostate, probably because it plays a role in the mechanism regulating the release of sex hormones.
  • GABA is effective in treating attention deficit disorder and may reduce cravings for alcohol. It is also thought to promote growth hormone secretion.
  •  GABA may also be effective in treating PMS in women.
  • GABA is an excellent substitute for growth hormone and several clinical studies have found that ingestion of GABA, especially after exercise, stimulates the pituitary to secrete growth hormone.
  •  As GABA stimulates the secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary, it can help to increase lean body mass.
  • GABA is found in large amounts in the hypothalamus, this implies that the amino acid has a fundamental role in hypothalamic-pituitary function, and thus neuroendocrine metabolism. The hypothalamus is a region of the brain, which regulates the autonomous functions, such as sleep, body temperature and the activity of the pituitary gland

Deficiency Symptoms of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

Deficiency symptoms of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) may cause panic attacks, since an intake of tranquilizers can increase the level of GABA in the body. A deficiency of GABA has also been linked to depression.

Main pathway in growth regulation by the endoc...
Main pathway in growth regulation by the endocrine system, mediated by growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). (See Wikipedia:Growth hormone#Functions of GH). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rich Food Sources of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

  • Food sources of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) are fish (especially mackerel),  wheat bran,eans, brewer’s yeast, dairy products, eggs, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, seafood, seeds, soy and whey.
  •  Foods that are high in glutamine acid can assist in GABA production. Some very helpful foods are beef liver, citrus, broccoli, halibut and lentils. As much as possible, include this in your daily diet with at least one to two servings every time you eat.
  •  Foods rich in L-theanine such as oats, spinach, whole grains can also assist in the production of GABA
  • Food sources such as beef, beans, chicken, fish that contain high levels of glutamine are also good ways to increase GABA. Foods like bell peppers, tuna, garlic, mustard greens and turkey are all high in vitamin B6 that can help improve your GABA levels.

Methionine : The essential amino acid which assists with metabolic function, breaks down fat, and is the primary source of sulfur in the body.

Methionine is one of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), meaning that it cannot be produced by the body, and must be provided by the diet. It supplies sulfur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Methionine also belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics, or chemicals that help the liver process fats (lipids). Others in this group include choline, inositol, and betaine (trimethylglycine). Methionine was first isolated in 1922 from casein and belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics – the others in this group include choline , inositol , and betaine. It is important in the process of methylation where methyl is added to compounds as well as being a precursor to the amino acids cystine and cysteine.

Methionine is an essential amino acid that assists in the breakdown of fats, thus helping to prevent a buildup of fat in the liver and arteries that might obstruct blood flow to the brain, heart, and kidneys.  Methionine helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver’s production of lecithin; reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys. It regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine which reduces bladder irritation. Additionally, the DSIB indicates that studies have shown methionine to help reduce histamine levels, which are amino acids that control dilation of blood vessels and influence brain function

Function and Benefits of Methionine

  • Supplies sulfur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Improves memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.
  • Methionine amino acid helps the digestive system; helps to detoxify harmful agents such as lead and other heavy metals; helps diminish muscle weakness, prevent brittle hair, and protect against radiation; and is beneficial for people with osteoporosis or chemical allergies.
  • People with AIDS have low levels of methionine. Some researchers suggest this may explain some aspects of the disease process, especially the deterioration that occurs in the nervous system that can cause symptoms, including dementia. A preliminary study has suggested that methionine (6 grams per day) may improve memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.
  • It is also good for people with Gilbert’s syndrome, an anomaly of liver function, and is required for the synthesis of nucleic acids, collagen, and proteins found in every cell of the body.
  • It is beneficial for women who take oral contraceptives because it promotes the excretion of estrogen.
  • It reduces the level of histamine in the body, which can be useful for people with schizophrenia, whose histamine levels are typically higher than normal.
  • As levels of toxic substances in the body increase, the need for methionine increases. The body can convert methionine into the amino acid cysteine, a precursor of glutathione
  • Methionine  protects glutathione; it helps to prevent glutathione depletion if the body is overloaded with toxins. Since glutathione is a key neutralizer of toxins in the liver, this protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic compounds.
  • It has also been found to act as an antioxidant as its sulfur group removes the free radicals which are harmful to our various organs.
  • Methionine along with other amino acid also forms creatine which is an important constituent of the muscles and provide them strength.

Deficiency Symptoms of Methionine

Severe deficiency may manifest in dementia, while lesser deficiencies may be known by symptoms like fatty liver, slow growth, weakness, edema and skin lesions.

Food Sources of Methionine
  • Good food sources of methionine include:  Almonds, brazil nuts, broccoli, chickpea, beans, eggs, fish, garlic, lentils, meat, oats, onions, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soyabeans, seeds, and yogurt.
  • Because the body uses methionine to derive a brain food called choline, it is wise to supplement the diet with choline or lecithin (which is high in choline) to ensure that the supply of methionine is not depleted.
  •  Most fruits and vegetables contain very little of it.  Also in Sea vegetable like laver and spirulina

Brain Food: Foods that help you to concentrate, increase memory, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, speed up your reaction time, control stress, and even slow down the aging of brain cells!

The brain requires more food nourishment than the rest of the body combined. Did you know that once the brain cells die, they cannot be replenished, unlike the cells of the rest of the body? Did you know that the higher the quality of whole food nourishment that is taken in by the body, the greater the whole food nourishment fed to the brain. Did did you know that the whole food nourishment fed to the brain, the longer the cell life expectancy and greater the quality of thoughts and reasoning regarding whole life matters?

In our recent article we talk about Foods to Add to the Brain!! Eating Plans to Help Improve Brain Function(https://blissreturned.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/foods-to-add-to-the-brain-eating-plans-to-help-improve-brain-function/).

Food is an easy way to improve brain function because you can build up the nutrients and chemicals needed for your brain to operate at maximum efficiency while also enhancing your overall health. Have you ever noticed if you skip a meal or two you have difficulty concentrating, or perhaps you become a little irritable? That’s your brain telling you it needs a new supply of nutrition to operate properly.

Essential fatty acids- many people are led to believe that dietary fats are bad. However certain fats obtained from foods are critical for optimal brain health. Your brain cells depend on fats for construction, repair, and ongoing communication.

Unsaturated fats are those that must be obtained from diet because the body cannot create them. Among the most important of these are unsaturated omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acids are plentiful in the typical American diet, it’s the omega-3 fatty acids that are less plentiful in our diet.

Our focus here is on those particular nutrients found in foods that enhance neuron firing and cross-linking in the brain. The foods listed below can help you: concentrate, increase memory, tune sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated, speed up your reaction time, control stress, and even slow down the aging of brain cells! So here is a list of 20 different food types that we can add to our diet, their effects, and how they function:

1. Wholegrain Foods

Whole grain is a great brain stimulator because it contains high percentage of folate. Make sure you’re eating a diet rich in whole grain breads, cereals, barley, popcorn, etc., because they can boost your blood flow to the brain. Every organ in the body is dependent on blood flow… especially the brain.
Wholegrain breads and cereals are rich in Vitamin B6, an important brain vitamin. Wheat germ additionally contains memory-improving thiamine.
Nuts

Everything from the most common nuts — such as walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds — to the more exotic seeds and nuts can clear up that “brain fog” and enable you to think clearer and are positive mood enhancers.
2. Walnuts
Both literally and figuratively speaking, walnuts are “brain food”. Physically the walnut looks a lot like the human brain. The thin, outer green cover that is taken out before the walnuts are sold is similar to the scalp. The hard shell of a walnut is like a skull. The thin sheet inside, with its paper-like partitions between the two halves of the walnut, is like the membrane. The shape of the walnut itself represents the human brain’s two hemispheres.
Walnuts are made up of 15 to 20 percent protein and contain linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids) and alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin E and vitamin B6, making them an excellent source of nourishment for your nervous system.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in walnuts are especially helpful in brain function. Our brain is more than 60% structural fat which needs to be primarily omega-3 fats, found in walnuts and flaxseed, for its cell membranes to function properly. Cell membranes, primarily composed of fats, are the gatekeepers of the cell. Omega-3 fats, flexible and fluid by nature, make it easy for nutrients to pass thru the outer membrane of the cell and also helps remove waste efficiently. Definitely worth it when the cell belongs to your brain, don’t you think?
Walnuts may also help correct the human brain’s seratonin levels. Seratonin is an important brain chemical that controls both our moods and appetite. Walnuts may be able to relieve disorders like insomnia, depression, overeating and other compulsive behavior, commonly treated with antidepressant drugs like Prozac, without the dangerous side effects.
3. Cashews
While you’re in the nut aisle shopping for walnuts be sure to pick up some cashews, almonds, pecans and peanuts too. Each nut can enhance your mental health in its own way. Cashews are high in magnesium, known to open up the blood vessels in your body. More oxygen-rich blood = better brain function.
4. Almonds
Phenylalanine, found in almonds, can do wonders for your mental and neurological health. Phenylalanine has the rare ability to cross the blood-brain barrier where it stimulates the brain to generate natural mood-boosting neurotransmitters called dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Additionally, almonds are high in riboflavin which is known to boost memory.
5. Pecans
Pecans and peanuts provide choline, another important nutrient for optimal brain function. Choline aids in both memory and brain development.
Berries

6. Blueberries
Eating blueberries and a diet rich in deep pigment from fruits and vegetables helps preserve the brain machinery and boost the potency of neuron signals. Blueberries literally strengthen the brain. They have compounds that turn on key systems in the brain enable other proteins to help with memory or other cognitive skills.
In one recent study, subjects who ate one cup of blueberries a day for two weeks showed an increased birth rate of brain cells in the hippocampus (region responsible for memory), and scored significantly higher in classroom tests than those subjects who did not.
Blueberries are also known to protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. In addition, blueberries also contain ellagic acid, another phytochemical that has been shown to prevent cell damage.
7. Strawberries


Antioxidant-rich strawberries can prevent age-related neurological declines by improving brain cell abilities to send and receive the ‘signaling’ molecules. The brain uses these signaling molecules to communicate.
Remarkably, these same studies showed that the powerful antioxidants in strawberries, spinach and blueberries can improve the ability to communicate even among brain cells already showing signs of age-related damage.
8. Blackberries
Blackberries contain an amazing class of nutrients called anthocyanins. Our brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage but anthocyanins help protect our brain from oxidation stress, which in turn fights degenerative brain diseases.
One study even found anthocyanin-rich supplements to reverse age-related neurological deficits in subjects.
Seeds

9. Sunflower Seeds
Like nuts, many seeds and nuts can boost your mood and brainpower. Sunflower seeds contain tryptophan, an important amino acid that the brain converts to seratonin, which is a natural way to relieve mild depression and insomnia. Additionally, sunflower seeds are high in thiamine, an important B vitamin, which increases memory and cognitive function.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Amazingly, the most powerful part of the pumpkin lies in its least used part. The seeds of the pumpkin are a power food, rich in many nutrients including: Zinc, Vitamin A and E, and the precious Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The Zinc found in pumpkin seeds plays a vital role in enhancing memory and thinking skills.
11. Green Tea

Green tea is a wonderful beverage, and when freshly brewed, it enhances memory and focus and fights mental fatigue. Green tea contains catechines, which help you relax mentally, yet also keeps your wits sharpened.
Green Tea also helps maintain positive mood states and fights against many brain disorders. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants found in green tea that can boost the availability of the important signaling brain substance dopamine in brain circuits. Dopamine is vital in creating positive mood states.
Polyphenols also help the brain and body run smoothly by maintaining a steady supply of our body’s primary fuel: glucose. These powerful polyphenols also help prevent cancer and heart attacks.
12. Eggs
Eggs indeed offer a very impressive nutritional profile for their 70 calories. They are a precious source of high-quality proteins and rich in vitamins and minerals. But there’s more!
Nutrient called choline, found in eggs, can help boost the memory center in the brain. Researchers have found choline to increase the size of neurons, which helps them fire electrical signals more strongly and rebound faster between firings.
Two antioxidants found in egg yolk called lutein and zeaxanthin help prevent the risk of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the most prevalent age-related eye conditions.
Remember this the next time you open the fridge door. The amazing egg: naturally good.
13. Avocados

For brain health, avocados are nearly as good as blueberries. Avocados contain mono-unsaturated fats, which contribute to healthy blood flow, the main requirement for a healthy brain.
To include avocados to your diet, add 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado to one meal daily as a side dish.
14. Tomatoes
Lycopene, an amazing antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against free-radical damage to cells, which is believed to be a primary factor in cases of Dementia, and particularly, Alzheimer’s disease.
15. Broccoli
Broccoli is labeled as superfood due to its high overall nutrient content. It is a great source of vitamin K, which enhances cognitive function and improves brainpower.
16. Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is full of an antioxidant called polyphenol. Polyphenols reduce brain cell damage and is especially helpful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimers’ disease.
17. Eggplant
Eggplant skin contains a nutrient called nasunin which keeps our brain sharp by enhancing communication between our brain cells and messenger molecules. Remembering to use the skin pays tremendous benefits in vastly improved focus.
18. Spinach
Spinach slows down the effects of age-related declines in brain function and helps protect the brain from oxidative stress. Researchers suggest that a diet rich in spinach can significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills.
19. Yogurt

Calcium rich foods such as yogurt, milk and cheese improve nerve function. Yogurt contains an amino acid called tyrosine which is responsible for producing the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin. In short, yogurt helps improve alertness and memory.
20. Chocolate!!!

What better to end with? It’s hard to believe that anything as incredibly delicious as chocolate can actually be incredibly good for you as well. Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants which increase the production of endorphins while enhancing focus and concentration. The stimulants found in dark chocolate also improve mood. It has high content of flavanols that facilitate blood supply to the brain and enhance cognitive skills.
Milk chocolate jump starts impulse control and reaction time. It has also been known to improve visual and verbal memory.
More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to chocolate. This is, unfortunately, one superfood that you have to indulge in in moderation.
Conclusion
Our brain is the greediest organ in the body, but its proper nourishment is vital to creative thought, positive mood, memory, and good overall health. It’s no surprise that what you eat affects how you think, feel, remember, and potentially even increase intelligence.
If it’s possible to eat your way to genius, who wouldn’t want to?

Source: http://leftofzen.com/brain-food/2008/01/04/

Tryptophan: The essential amino acid that is needed to maintain optimum health.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and is needed to maintain optimum health. Tryptophan must be obtained from the diet. The unusual indole side chain of tryptophan is also the nucleus of the important neurotransmitter serotonin, which is biosynthesized from tryptophan.  The aromatic portion of tryptophan also serves as an ultraviolet marker for detection of this amino acid either separately, or incorporated into proteins and enzymes, via ultraviolet spectrophotometry. Tryptophan is incorporated into proteins and enzymes at the molar rate of 1.1 percent compared to other amino acids, making it the rarest amino acid found in proteins.

Tryptophan is required for the production of niacin (vitamin B3). It is used by the human body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is important for normal nerve and brain function. Serotonin is important in sleep, stabilizing emotional moods, pain control, inflammation, intestinal peristalsis, etc.

It is further important in controlling hyperactivity in children, assists in alleviating stress, helps with weight loss and reducing appetite. It has been found that people suffering from migraine headaches have abnormal levels of tryptophan. In this case, supplementation may be helpful.

Function and Benefits of Tryptophan

  • Tryptophan is essential for the production of the B vitamin, niacin, which is vital for the brain to manufacture the key neurotransmitter, serotonin.
  • It enhances the release of growth hormones, and suppresses the appetite.
  • It is used by the brain to produce serotonin, a necessary neurotransmitter that transfers nerve impulses from one cell to another and is responsible for normal sleep. Consequently, tryptophan helps to depression and insomnia and to stabilize moods.
  •  It helps to control hyperactivity in children, alleviates stress, is good for the heart, aids in weight control by reducing appetite, and enhances the release of growth hormone.
  •  It is good for migraine headaches and may reduce , some of the effects of nicotine.
  • Sufficient amounts of vitamins B6 (pyridoxine) and C, folate, and magnesium are necessary for the formation of tryptophan, which, in turn, is required for the formation of serotonin.
  • A study reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that women with a history of bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder, experienced relapses after they took an amino acid mixture lacking tryptophan.
  • A shortage of tryptophan, combined with a shortage of magnesium, may be a contributing factor to heart artery spasms.

Deficiency Symptoms of Tryptophan

Deficiency Symptoms of Tryptophan are dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and digestion problems.

Rich Food Sources of Tryptophan

  • Tryptophan is a routine constituent of most protein-based foods or dietary proteins.
  • It is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, corn, spirulina, bananas, and peanuts.
  • Asparagus, beet greens, broccoli raab, raw [broccoli rabe, rapini],  mushrooms, watercress, amaranth leaves, chicory greens, parsley, radishes, ginger root, winter squash, endive, kale, swiss chard, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, sea vegetable, etc.
  • Despite popular belief that turkey has a particularly high amount of tryptophan, the amount of tryptophan in turkey is typical of most poultry.

More inforamtion on Tryptophan

Most tryptophan was banned from sale in the US in 1991, and other countries followed suit. Tryptophan from one manufacturer, of six, continued to be sold for manufacture of baby formulas. At the time of the ban, the FDA did not know, or did not indicate, that EMS was caused by a contaminated batch, and yet, even when the contamination was discovered and the purification process fixed, the FDA maintained that L-tryptophan is unsafe. In February 2001, the FDA loosened the restrictions on marketing (though not on importation), but still expressed the following concern: “Based on the scientific evidence that is available at the present time, we cannot determine with certainty that the occurrence of EMS in susceptible persons consuming L-tryptophan supplements derives from the content of L-tryptophan, an impurity contained in the L-tryptophan, or a combination of the two in association with other, as yet unknown, external factors.” Since 2002, L-tryptophan has been sold in the U.S. in its original form. Several high-quality sources of L-tryptophan do exist, and are sold in many of the largest healthfood stores nationwide. Indeed, tryptophan has continued to be used in clinical and experimental studies employing human patients and subjects. In recent years in the U.S., compounding pharmacies and some mail-order supplement retailers have begun selling tryptophan to the general public. Tryptophan has also remained on the market as a prescription drug (Tryptan), which some psychiatrists continue to prescribe, in particular as an augmenting agent for people unresponsive to antidepressant drugs

Boron : The trace mineral that is needed for the proper functioning of brain and healthy bones.

Boron helps to regulate the level of various other salt such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, as these salts are necessary for bone health. Boron helps in repairing calcium of brittle bones hence preventing them from getting fractured.  Boron also plays a vital role in preventing osteoporosis.

Boron plays a major role in preventing osteoporosis by reducing the loss of calcium and magnesium in urine, as these are responsible for building and maintaining strong bones. Boron elevates the level of serum, estrogen and calcium especially in women suffering from osteoporosis. It is essential for maintaining cells for the normal functioning of cell. It has been studied that deficiency of boron causes impair mental functioning and depressed mental alertness.

 

 

 

 

Boron is also important in the function of repairing joints and hence in prevention of arthritis. It also helps in prevention from tooth decay. It functions to regulate the level of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous not only helps in maintaining strong bones but also in keeping teeth strong.

Boron is also involved in body metabolism which helps to regulate hormones. It regulates the level of testosterone in men which helps in maintaining muscle. It regulates the level of estrogen by converting it into vitamin D which in turn increases calcium absorption. It is required to strengthen bones and prevention from fractures. Boron also affects memory and brain function so that proper transfer of nutrient can take place throughout the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Boron

  • Build and maintain healthy bones.
  • It is also necessary for the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
  • Elevates levels of serum estrogen and ionized calcium.
  • Boron benefits include proper brain functioning.
  • Promotes alertness
  • Used to help with menopausal symptoms as well as maintaining healthy bones, hence its affinity to calcium and magnesium

Deficiency symptoms of Boron

  • As boron is required in various body processes thus deficiency of it may result in various health problems.
  • Arthritis
  • Memory loss
  • Brittle bones
  • Muscle pain
  • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Receding gums
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Weak cartilage
  • Loss of libido

Food Sources of Boron

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Chickpeas
  • Dates
  • Fruits (other than citrus)
  • Grains
  • Grapes
  • Greens
  • Hazelnuts
  • Kiwi,
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Raisin
  • Red grapes
  • Tomatoes.
  • Vegetables

Choline : Essential for proper liver function, metabolism of fats and proteins and nerve functions

English: Drawing comparing how a brain of an A...
Image via Wikipedia

Choline is a chemical similar to the B-vitamins, and is often lumped in with them, is necessary for proper liver function, metabolism of fats and proteins and nerve functions.  It was only relatively recently that choline was officially classified as a vitamin and an essential nutrient. Its RDA was established for the first time in 1998.  However, its key benefits have been known since the 1930s, when it was found to prevent fatty build up in the liver.

Choline is also good for the brain.  It has been established that choline is necessary for optimal cognitive function.  It is a basic nutrient needed for the production of acetylcholine, the signaling molecule or neurotransmitter that is essential for many brain and nerve functions.  Choline is extremely important in brain and memory function, and is helpful in treating Alzheimer’s. Choline prevents gallstone formation, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, kidney damage, nephritis, glaucoma, and myasthenia gravis. It is also used in the treatment of bipolar depression (manic depression).

CHOLINE BENEFITS & FUNCTIONS

  • constituent of lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), a key building block of cell membranes, important for cell formation and tissue growth and repair
  • needed for proper functioning of cell membranes, to allow passage of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells
  • needed for production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical that is vital for many brain and nerve functions; is being experimented with for improving neuromuscular function in Alzheimer’s disease
  • essential for optimal brain functioning, learning and memory
  • needed for nerves to interact with muscles
  •  may help nervous system disorders like epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease
  • regulates the gallbladder and helps prevent gallstones
  •  regulates liver function, helps eliminate toxins, and is beneficial for liver damage related to hepatitis and cirrhosis
  • for fat and cholesterol transport and metabolism as an energy source
  •  natural lipotropic agent that minimizes excess fat in the liver
  • converts homocysteine in the blood to other substances, which lowers its level and helps prevent cardiovascular problems
  •  preliminary research shows that, in combination with betaine, may help reduce chronic inflammation linked to disorders such as osteoporosis, heart disease, brain decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and type II diabetes

Deficiency Symptoms

  • impaired fat metabolism and transport, which hinders fat from being an energy source, and is symptomized by decrease in blood levels of VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) which the liver uses to transport fats
  •  fatty build-up in the liver, which may lead to fatty degeneration of the liver, cirrhosis, and liver damage
  • raised levels of cholesterol or triglyceride (a type of fats)
  •  high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • high levels of homocysteine in blood, leading to risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular and circulatory problems
  •  respiratory distress in newborns or nerve degeneration or nerve-muscle imbalances due to insufficient acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that cannot be made without choline
  • anemia arising from lack of red blood cell formation, as a cell membrane component, phosphatidylcholine, needs choline for its production
  •  kidney hemorrhage or kidneys unable to concentrate urine, due to insufficient phosphatidylcholine
  •  abnormal bone formation
  •  impaired growth in newborns
  •  fatigue
  •  insomnia
  • infertility
  •  as choline is critical for brain function and intake decreases with age, deficiency might lead to impaired memory or brain function or senile dementia (shortage of acetylcholine in the brain has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease)
Choline Foods sources
banana, cauliflower, flax seed, leafy green vegetable, legumes, nuts,  oranges, peanuts,   potatoes , seeds, tomatoes, vegetable oils and whole grains
Choline is  found abundantly in lecithin , egg yolks are equally rich. Blackstrap molasses is also a rich source of choline.  Lecithin (usually derived from soybeans) ·soybeans and soybean products.  Sunflower lecithin contain 25% more lecithin than soy lecithin.
 Lecithin helps the body digest absorb, and carry fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the bloodstream. It helps less fat and cholesterol to be deposited in the arteries and liver. Without it, the arteries become clogged, leading to hypertension and cardiac problems. Lecithin is not only essential for fat metabolism, but is needed for the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).
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You Thought You Knew Your Body: 11 Crazy Features Of Human Anatomy

What an amazing creation the human body is. This week i have learned so many new details about the body. We have so much to learn. I know i’m not the only one. Take a look at this article. This is very educational. Interesting stuff. Enjoy!

The truth about the normal human body can be stranger than fiction.

To prove it, here are 11 weird facts about the body you thought you knew.

1. Your Tongue

1. Your Tongue

What does your tongue have in common with an octopus’ tentacle and an elephant’s trunk? All three are examples of a unique structure called the “muscular hydrostat,” a bundle of muscles that work without the assistance of bones. Like anything made mostly of water, the hydrostat has a constant volume, so when certain cells contract, the whole thing has to expand somewhere else. The result is a body part that is both strong and flexible. If your tongue were as big as an elephant’s trunk, it could uproot trees too.

2. Your Hyoid Bone

This wee, horseshoe-shaped bone will never appear in the song by James Weldon Johnson, as it’s connected to…no bones at all, in a meaningful sense; its job is independent of the rest of the skeleton. Also known as the lingual bone, the hyoid bone sits atop the larynx, providing an anchor for the muscles on the floor of the mouth, the tongue. Don’t worry: you’re not likely to break this bone, unless someone starts choking you to death. At that point, you’ve got bigger problems.

3. Your Philtrum

3. Your Philtrum

No, that little indent under your nose isn’t there to make it difficult to apply lipstick in the dark, but it doesn’t serve any other purpose either. The indent, called the philtrum, is just a residual reminder of your time in the womb: in utero, the two sides of your face develop independent of one another, then join at the middle. When the two sides fail to fuse properly, the result is a cleft palate, which occurs in about 1 of every 750 births. Ancient Romans found the philtrum erotic, and named that lipstick-thwarting dip in the upper lip “Cupid’s Bow.” In fact, the word philtrum comes from a Greek term meaning “love potion.”

4. Your Hair

Chelsa Skees via flickr

People love tossing around hair facts. That old wives tale about it growing after you’re dead? A fun fallacy. After you die, your hair and nails don’t continue growing, but the skin retreats as it dehydrates, causing that creepy illusion of ghoulish growth.

In truth, hair is a weird combination of living and dead. The living hair follicle pushes out the hair, which is made up of different kinds of non-living yet protective cells made of keratin — the same keratin that’s on your top (dead) layer of skin, in the lenses of your eyes, and your nails. When your hair turns grey, it means your pigment cells are dying. Yet another hairy reminder of your own mortality.

5. Your Nails

Ever notice how your toenails grow more slowly than your fingernails? That’s because there’s an evolutionary correlation between the length of your “terminal phalanges” (the outer-most bones in your toes and finger-tips) and the rate at which your nails grow. The tips of your toes are shorter than your fingertips, so your toenails don’t grow as fast. In the same way, the nail on your middle finger will grow faster than the nail on your pinky. The seemingly random correlation has to do with the lessening necessity of claws through human evolution. If your fingernails are thick and grow quickly, ask yourself the question: “Should I be digging more?”

6. Your Bioluminescence

6. Your Bioluminescence

Fireflies and jellyfish glow, but humans? Believe it. The phenomenon is a natural byproduct of the metabolic process, and scientists have long been aware of the presence of bioluminescence in most living creatures. But it wasn’t until 2009, when a team of Japanese researchers developed camera 1000 times more sensitive than the human eye, that human bioluminescence was captured on film. The light show apparently works on a 24-hour cycle — brightest in the late afternoon and on the cheeks, forehead and neck. Next time someone tells you “you’re glowing,” you can take it literally.

7. Your Walking Proteins

Of the microscopic menagerie that is your cell biology, the most bizarre member is perhaps the kinesin protein, a “motor” protein whose job it is to deliver important molecules to their necessary cellular destinations. What’s most remarkable is the kinesin’s mode of transportation: It “walks” along its micro-pathway using two structures at its base commonly referred to as “feet.” Though scientists disagree as to exactly how these feet were “made for walking,” there’s no denying that the mode of transportation closely resembles that of the humans they assist.

8. Your Sonic Hedgehog

8. Your Sonic Hedgehog

What’s more complex than cell biology? Cell biology in your infinitely complex brain. In 1993, scientists discovered a protein in the hippocampus instrumental in developing a variety of neural traits. Isolated in fruit flies, the protein causes spines to grow on the back, so the scientists named it “Sonic” after the spiny Sega Genesis character. Similar proteins are named and desert hedgehog and Indian hedgehog. Who says scientists don’t have fun?

9. Your Liver

The lumpy, lobey, unwieldy liver gets a bad rap, but if you didn’t have it in there cleaning out your system, you’d be looking pretty bad yourself. Lucky for you, the liver is perhaps the most resilient of the major organs: it can regenerate from only 25% of its tissue mass. You wouldn’t vote it the cutest kid in school, but “Most Likely to Succeed”? Maybe.

10. Your Vomeronasal Organ

There are important organs, and there are ones just along for the ride. As far as useless leftover body parts, you’ve probably heard about about the tailbone, the appendix, even the little toe (wee wee wee all the way home). But you may not have heard of the “vomeronasal organ,” located unglamorously inside the nose.

Back in the day, the little guy used to aid in detecting subtle airborne information, most importantly, pheromones from a member of the opposite sex. In the age of modern man, the vomeronasal organ doesn’t appear to be doing much — it doesn’t even have nerves connecting it to the brain. Still, scientists continue to argue about the potential chemical messages it might be sending, titillating that part of us that is still animal.

11. Your Sexy Bits

And speaking of pheromones and vestigial organs…

Men and women have more in common “down there” then you might think. Because the sex organs of a fetus don’t develop until about five months into development, males and females have remnants of the opposite sexual organs — and some are more useful than others. While the penis is basically an enlarged version of a lady’s clitoris, the male remnant of the lower vagina is less useful. Called the prostatic utricle (Latin for “pouch of the prostate”), the little-discussed fleshy sac just kind of hangs out near the prostate gland, leading nowhere. In the 1800s, the structure was more commonly called the vagina masculina, which requires no translation.

Source: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/113299#ixzz1jgxqqHFg