Chapter 3 - Meet your Amazing Brain

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Meet your amazing brain

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UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

  1. Eat a good breakfast every morning, preferably with plenty of fresh fruit. Include half a banana for its potassium content - a whole one if you're pregnant - with an orange or kiwifruit for vitamin C, and any other fresh fruit in season. If you have children, make sure they do too.
  2. Eat a good lunch, preferably including a fresh vegetable salad.
  3. Make fish, nuts and vegetable "fats" key parts of your diet. Fish and vegetable oils have a vital role in nourishing the brain's billions of glial cells. And nuts and vegetable oils are major sources of that linoleic acid, which the brain needs to repair the myelin insulation around your brain's "message tracks".
  4. Exercise regularly to oxygenate the blood.
  5. Cleanse the toxins out of your body. One way to do that is to drink plenty of water. Too much coffee, tea or carbonated "soft drink" tends to dehydrate the body, and fresh water reactivates it.
  In a very real sense, you are what you eat. Knowing the correct "brain food" to fuel your brain is one of the first steps to better learning.

Your emotional intelligence is vital, too
 
  You are also greatly influenced by your emotions and what you think.
  In fact Daniel Goleman argues that "emotional intelligence" is of much greater importance than "academic intelligence" in developing a well-rounded person. He says that "at best, IQ contributes about 20 percent to the factors that determine life success, which leaves 80 percent to other forces". He summarizes these, in his best-selling book of the same name, as Emotional Intelligence.
   Positive and negative thoughts can also cause major changes in the way your brain processes, stores and retrieves information: changes, in fact, to your learning ability.
  Just as different foods can trigger your 70 neurotransmitters, so too can your "mental state". If you're on an emotional "high", for instance, your brain will release endorphins - those chemicals that are like natural opiates. These in turn trigger the flow of acetylcholine, the vital neuro-transmitter that orders new memories to be imprinted in various parts of the brain.
  Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Ronald Kotulak describes acetylcholine as "the oil that makes the memory machine function. When it dries up, the machine freezes."16 Not only is acetylcholine vital for

 

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