Fuel Your Brain – With Carbs

Why Carbs Are Important to Fuel our Brains

There has been so much literature on the news and in the papers about carbohydrates. Some say they are bad, some say they are good, but all they are really doing is confusing us all. What is the truth about carbs and how does it affect the brain?

Have you ever felt sluggish, foggy-headed, confused or irritable? All of these conditions can be attributed to a brain that doesn’t have enough power to work well. Brain power is not just important to do school work or your job, but also to help your body to function as it should. After all, the brain controls much of the functioning of the human body.

So, here are a few facts to digest. The body uses carbohydrates for fuel. The brain needs a lot of fuel. Actually, it needs about twice as much energy as the rest of your body. That energy comes from carbs being used to maintain certain levels of glucose in the blood. It is the glucose that is used by the body as fuel.

So, where do these carbs come from? They come from food sources. You get carbs from whole grains, a variety of vegetables and anything made from grains.

You can get carbs from a candy bar and also from a plate of leafy green vegetables, but they won’t necessarily function the same way in the body. Simple carbs are like the sugars found in sweet snacks. These carbs are rapidly absorbed by the body which leads to a spike in your blood sugar.

We’ve all experienced such a spike. For about an hour you feel like the Bionic Man but afterwards, you are moving slower than a turtle. To get more energy you eat more sweets and then the cycle begins again.

When you get your carbs from healthier food sources like green vegetables and whole grains, you are eating complex carbohydrates. This includes your whole grains and fruits and vegetables. These carbohydrates are broken down over time, keeping your glucose levels steady so the body gets a constant supply of energy throughout the day.

The way to break that cycle is by eating the right types of carbohydrates. Oh, yes, there are right and not-so-right types of carbs. One way that you can tell the difference is by the glycemic index. This measures the ability of a carbohydrate to affect the blood sugar. Carbs that are low on the glycemic index are complex carbs. Those that are higher are simple carbs that will cause major shifts in the blood sugar levels and your energy.

Many fad diets advocate high carb or low carb consumption. The fact of the matter is that if you don’t eat enough carbs in your daily diet, your body your body will start using muscle to create glucose and depleting the liver of its glycogen (broken down into glucose).

When the brain is deprived, you may feel lack of co-ordination, dizzy, tired and not in a good mood. Eat your carbohydrates every day, just make sure they are the best kind to keep your brain sharp as cheddar and the body is tiptop shape.