Nutrition and the Midbrain 

 

Claire Holt

The interaction between a good diet and healthy cognitive functions is gradually being understood more and more by scientists. Certain foods contain chemicals that are beneficial for mental functions, which can lead to improved concentration and better mental stamina. Although the aforementioned article gives examples of food that is good for the brain, it does not highlight why good nutrition is important, and the benefits that it leads to. The brain plays many important functions with regards to food. It signals to us when we are hungry, and for what type of food, as well as when we are thirsty. This is extremely important, as it shapes our diets and eating habits, therefore it is a two-way process. Our brain shapes the foods that we eat, but the foods that we eat also decides how effectively our brains work.

Concentration and memory

The midbrain area is vital for memory and concentration, with these processes taking place in this area of the brain. Perhaps then, this is why there is overlap between these two similar functions, but also why similar nutrients will improve both of these features. Within recent decades, scientists have been able to determine the role that fatty acids such as Omega 3 play, with this fatty acid being highlighted as a critical feature for good mental performance. These acids are found in oily fish, but are also available in supplement form. Essentially, Omega 3 acts as a building block for developments in concentration and memory to occur, therefore giving children a better chance of unlocking their full potential during MidBrain training courses. This is great for encouraging positive gains in the cognitive potential of children, but good nutrition is also important in ensuring more ominous mental activity does not arise.

Avoiding unwanted brain activity, through the use of a healthy diet

When people think of healthy diets, there is sometimes an emphasis placed upon avoiding fatty and salty foods. Whilst this is great, and absolutely essential, it also neglects the need to eat food that will promote a healthy brain and not just a healthy heart. Research has suggested that food supplements may be as effective as synthesized medications to treat psychiatric conditions. This is interesting, and especially relevant to the ambitions of MidBrain. The midbrain area of the brain also acts the 'rewards center' for the brain - it determines how certain actions make you feel. It is also in this area of the brain that addictive behavior can develop. This is especially troublesome if the brain forms habits relating to food, such as under or over eating. In turn, dietary related conditions and illnesses could develop, which can greatly influence a person's mood and well-being, and may even require specialist treatment. Obviously, this is a worst-case scenario, but it is good practice to get children eating the correct foods early on, not only due to the massive positive mental benefits that a good diet has, but also because of the fact it can minimize the chances or troublesome mental health issues emerging. These negative developments would greatly stifle a child's (or any individual, for that matter) creativity, which is the aspect that the MidBrain project aims to develop.

A well thought out and practiced diet has clear benefits. Primarily, it fuels the development of the midbrain region of the brain. A good diet also decreases the risk of food related mental illnesses developing, which also occur within the midbrain region. This is why the MidBrain project is extremely important. It aims to tap into hidden reservoirs of the brain that would not normally be accessed, and trains children how to utilize this area of their brains. By encouraging children to eat the correct, healthy foods, they are given the best chances for mental success - whilst on the MidBrain course, but in wider life too.

The mental development of children is an important issue, with it determining how they think and function for the rest of their lives. Therefore, if children are well equipped with the correct nutrients to be successful within the MidBrain program, the program can then equip them with the tools to creatively utilize their brains - a skill that is beneficial through their entire adult life.