Broccoli - © 2008

Do you believe in ‘brain foods’?

Rarely does a week go by that one of my online subscription services doesn’t dump another ‘Eat Your Way Smarter’ or ‘Eat These Ten Foods to Enhance Your Brain Power’ story in my mailbox. I’m getting pretty tired of all the hype – so let’s deal with it…

Broccoli - © 2008 nymanfarms.comHow many heads of Broccoli do you have to eat a day to get a significant amount of
extra calcium in your diet? Bunches. And bunches, and bunches…

First of all, I don’t believe that any single food will ‘Boost Your Brain’. I agree that some foods bring us vitamins and minerals that have been shown to benefit the human body in many ways. But I don’t believe that any food consumed in normal amounts can directly affect your brain power, your cholesterol or your calcium deficiency. Or anything else, for that matter.

If your body isn’t processing the vitamins and minerals you’re taking in, that;s one sort of problem that can lead to deficiencies – some of them critical. And in that case, simply eating more of certain foods may help, But it’s more likely that your doctor will recommend – or prescribe – drugstore supplements, to ensure you’re getting the right amount of supplementation in a form you can digest.

But there’s another dimension to this issue that often escapes the consumer.

I’m talking about the matter of scale.

Have you seen the commercial where a product I won’t name shows, graphically, that you would have to eat huge amounts of fresh foods to get the same amount of calcium that it’s beverage product gives you in a couple of gulps?

And I vividly recall the medical school study that showed you’d have to eat a ridiculous amount of oat cereal – bushels of oats – for the fibre to materially lower your cholesterol.

But my late, great Dad gets the last word:

“If there was some food we could eat that would make us smarter, we’d all be eating it and we’d all be geniuses. You figure it out, genius!”

I miss you, Dad…

~ Maggie J.