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Diet, nutrition and education
The impact of diet on education - What research shows

A healthy, well-prepared brain is one of the first essentials for learning anything. Like any other complex machinery, your brain needs energy. Basically it gets it from the food you eat.
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Feed it a low-energy diet, and it won't perform well. Feed is a high-energy det, and your personal computer will work smoothly, efficiently.

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For energy it needs plenty of glucose. That's why fresh fruit and vegetables are so essential: they are rich in glucose.

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To learn effectively and for your mind and body to work effectively your brain sends millions of messages around the body every second: sometimes billions. These messages travel along "axons", the major pathways that link each of your 100 billion active brain cells to each others and to all parts of your body.

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Each axon is insulated by a myelin sheath, which acts as an insulator. The better the insulation, the more efficient the message is transmitted. And that transmission system is vitally affected by good diet.

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Your brain also needs the right type of energy to produce chemical-flows which impact on the electrical messages being transmitted around the brain and the body. Scientists call those chemical effects "neurotransmitters" (neuro meaning mind and transmit meaning to send). And these neurotransmitters in turn depend on a balanced diet, one that includes plenty of protein.

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Iron deficiency is a major cause of poor mental performance. And Brian and Roberta Morgan, in the excellent book Brain Food, recommend a diet rich in lecithin to help improve memory. Foods rich in lecithin include peanuts, soya beans and wheatgerm. Potassium is another highly important dietary ingredient, supplied by bananas, oranges, apricots, avocados, melons, nectarines and peaches.

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In the world's best-selling book in 1999 The Learning Revolution Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos include a major section on diet, at the end of their chapter entitled Meet Your Amazing Brain.


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