01 January 2009

Milk is Brain Food

You probably know you need dairy products for calcium, but did you know they can also boost mental energy?

Milk delivers tyrosine to the brain, triggering production of dopamine and norepinephrine, which stimulate quick thinking. That’s why the old remedy of hot milk at bedtime is a bad idea. Surprisingly, sugar is a much better sleep inducer. Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that sugar is tranquilizing rather than energizing. On this diet, you’ll get nonfattening skim milk in the morning and honey in soothing herbal tea before bed.

Fight fatigue with shellfish? You bet. Like milk, shellfish (and fish) contain tyrosine and have the same pickup effect on the brain. Shellfish, low in calories, is also one of the foods highest in protein. Animal foods are the longest-lasting source of energy, but complex carbohydrates are the fastest.

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