Listen to your Brain

Your body needs macro nutrients namely carbohydrates, protein and fat along with micro nutrients  namely vitamins and minerals in order to survive. The absence of this plays out over the long term in the case of some and for some you can feel the impact fairly quickly. It is the balanced intake of micro and macro nutrients that keeps your healthy. Your brain is constantly signalling these requirements to your body. We commonly call it craving.

In several incidents reported of people lost, the brain has responded extremely well to help you figure out what you need to eat and in fact survive. In a famous incident, a person was lost at sea for over seventy days. He had an abundance of fish to eat and managed to keep himself full. However, over time his body began to feel the absence of critical elements in his food which prompted him to begin to eat parts of the fish that he would not normally have considered eating. These additional parts contained the macro and micro nutrients that his body needed. The question was – with out access to the Internet or some source of knowledge, how would his body know what he needed to eat and why. But he did as an outcome of his brain prompting him to seek the nutrition that his body required. He managed to survive for over two and a half months. Women who are carrying a baby know this feeling as they get cravings for certain food types – maybe something that has iron or magnesium or potassium.

In the same manner, in our everyday lives, our brain is telling us what we need to eat. However, because of the extra ordinary access to food that we have, for a large part of humanity, our brains have been numbed into signalling cravings for mostly salt or sugar. We tune out, unless in distress, our body signalling for vital needs, perhaps calcium. Also, most of us do not really understand the composition of the food we eat and what it contains in nutrition terms. We look at food not by what it contains but as names – pasta, bread, chips etc. The trick is to combine an understanding of food with the ability to tune into the signals from your body. Your brain really does know best only if you knew how to listen to it.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.