Food cravings come from the brain
Nataliya Arzamasova/Shutterstock For anyone who’s ever indulged in comfort food or “emotional eating,” it’s clear that the brain has something to do with the foods we crave. But, it may be more chemical in nature than we realize. “Certain amino acids are responsible for the creation of neurotransmitters in the brain, which impact mood,” Palinski-Wade says. “A depressed mood or high stress levels may trigger your brain to ‘crave’ foods that can produce feel-good chemicals such as serotonin to elevate mood, such as chocolate.” But, cravings may also have psychological ties—other research has found that the pleasant memories and feel-good hormones produced by “comfort foods” leads to a conditioned response of craving them.
Helmets don’t prevent concussions
Foryoui3/Shutterstock According to the Weill Cornell Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic, helmets don’t actually stop the brain from banging around inside your skull, which is the cause of a concussion. But many people don’t realize this—one survey found that only a quarter of Americans understand that helmets can’t prevent concussions. Although studies show that football helmets aren’t very effective at reducing concussion rates, some companies are designing new ones they say work better. As for right now, what is the point of wearing one? Helmets prevent skull fractures, which injure your brain as well.Here are more concussion myths every parent must know.
Brain health may start in the gut
Purino/Shutterstock Science is uncovering more and more info about how the bacteria in our gut, known as the microbiome, affects the brain. “Although we still have much to learn about the microbiome, animal studies indicate that gut bacteria may impact everything from mood to anxiety levels and even impact our response to stress,” Palinski-Wade says. “Since diet has a direct impact on gut bacteria, a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics may help to alter gut health to favorably impact mood and fight against depression and anxiety.” Chemicals in gut bacteria may even have an influence on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, according to research. Learn the signs you have an unhealthy gut.