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Carbs boost brain power

HealthBy Sunday World
Carbs boost brain power

Carbs - we're told there's the 'good' kind and the 'bad' kind, but other than affecting your weight what else do they do?

They've been linked to how your brain works, with Sherry Ross, M.D., an ob-gyn at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, explaining that the type you eat determines what reaction it has.

"Not all carbs are created equal, especially when it comes to the brain," she told

So what are the positives of carbs when it comes to the brain?

A new study published in The Quarterly Review of Biology has linked eating carbs to intelligence. Researchers sieved through all sorts of data, from genetic to archaeological, to see how carbohydrate consumption has played a part in brain development over the last million years. Our ancestors tucked into grains, potatoes and other healthy starches, and lead author Karen Hardy, Ph.D., a researcher at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona says these helped give us our big brains.

They're still just as relevant to brain activity now.

"Starchy foods, or carbs, are the main energy source for the brain and the body," Karen added. "They should be included in the diet for maximum functioning of the brain and body."

Oats and walnuts are two foods you can incorporate into your meals, which have been proven to boost the brain.

While many people may cut carbs out while dieting, Sherry advises against it.

"Unequivocally, our brains need carbohydrates to function," she stated. "Over time, not getting enough carbs in your diet can increase problems with basic mental functioning."

The key is to eat the better options, as refined versions like junk food have been linked to depression. This was proven when a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who tucked into whole grains, vegetables and dietary fibre - packed full of whole, healthy carbs - had a more positive mindset compared to those who ate refined.

So if you can't get enough of the food type, this is a key factor to take into consideration when choosing what to eat. Get the benefits out of carbs and think more clearly rather than feeling sluggish and sad!

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