“You are what You eat”– Gillian McKeith
Often when we are studying, we forget about the importance of food. Improving our nutrition has the potential to positively influence our performance, increasing levels of focus, attention, and concentration.
There have been lots of studies over the years that show how nutritional needs can directly affect the mental capacity of students of all ages. For example, having an iron deficiency, even in early stages, can decrease the transmission of dopamine levels. Therefore negatively impacting cognitive functioning. In other words our ability to think, make decisions, working memory and even our ability to focus. Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, specifically thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B5, B6 and B12, and zinc, are also shown to inhibit cognitive abilities and concentration levels.
Additionally, Omega 3 fatty acids and carbohydrate supplementation can improve perception, problem solving and reasoning. There are also several studies showing that improvements in nutrient intake can influence the cognitive ability and intelligence levels of school-aged children significantly. Our fluid intake is vital too! A mere 2% decrease in hydration can affect study ability significantly, making us less able to focus and pay attention to tasks.
Therefore proper nutrition ensures better productivity in learning. It is because improving nutrition will also make us healthier. Studies have shown that malnutrition can lead to behavior problems, such as ADHA. Sugar has a negative impact not just on children but for us adults too! Given us a sudden release of energy followed by a crash! However, these effects can be counteracted when we consume a more balanced diet that includes fiber, carbohydrates, and protein.
So how does this apply to language learning? By eating a more balanced. A diet that contains thiamine, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B5, B6 and B12, zinc and omega-three fatty acids you are making your brain more efficient for learning new things.
Activity: Keep a food diary for the next 14 – 28 days to see what your eating patterns are like and what foods could be missing from your diet!
In conclusion, to be more successful in languages, you have to optimize your brain for learning.