Living healthy means more than simply keeping your body free of illness. Keeping your brain healthy is every bit as important. What are some of the ways to ensure that your brain stays healthy? In our fourth and final part of the “Give Your Brain a Boost” series, we will examine the nutrients your brain requires, which includes not only what we eat but how we eat our food. We will teach you these and other little-known secrets to energize your brain and increase your memory power.


Of the three important elements, the most crucial is “how you eat.”

“At mealtime, the most important thing for giving your brain a boost is to chew your food well. As I mentioned earlier, moving the jaw send a great deal of stimuli to the brain, giving it a boost,” says Dr. Kiyoshi Oshima from Kyoto University. “People today are said to chew each mouthful a maximum of eight or nine times before swallowing. Some people chew only four or five times before gulping their food down. This is totally inadequate. Ideally, each mouthful should be chewed twenty to thirty times.

“Chewing produces saliva. If you chew your food thoroughly, you will produce about 1.5 liters of saliva each day. Saliva is not only important for boosting your brain, but plays a very important role in your health as well.

“Saliva is comprised of exocrine (secreted outside the body) and endocrine (secreted directly into the blood) components. Antibacterial and immunological properties of the exocrine components destroy viruses and harmful bacteria that enter the mouth, thus helping to keep us from catching a cold. One component in particular, lactoperoxidase, is claimed to reduce the effects of carcinogens,” explains Dr. Oshima.

Dr. Oshimna further notes the importance of managing what you eat as a way to give your brain a boost. Managing your diet includes the creative aspects of choosing and cooking your own foods. Have fun cooking and eating — they go hand in hand. It will stimulate your brain’s pleasure center and exercise your brain.

(Translated by Roy Mashima from Kokiku Magazine’s February 2003, volume 29, number 2 issue.)

(The information provided should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Consult your physician before attempting any new program. Readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of developing serious medical conditions.)


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