is an important aspect in people’s lives because through nutrition,the brain is in a position to function. Without proper nutrition, thebrain may be incapacitated to function, leading to failure of propercoordination within the body (Brown, 2005). It has been suggestedthat the functioning of the brain is influenced by the food that anindividual eats, which in turn influences the behavior of anindividual. For instance, the working of the serotonin in influencingbehavior is usually determined by the level of cholesterol that anindividual consumes. In this assignment, the role of nutrients ininfluencing behavior will be discussed. Besides, the week’sreadings will be related to the issue of nutrients and humanbehavior.
Thearticle “Serotonin selectively influences moral judgment andbehavior through effects on harm aversion” argues that theneurotransmitter serotonin has a direct effect of altering both moraljudgment and behavior by increasing subjects’ aversion topersonally harming others. This to indicate that serotonin promotespro-social behavior (Crockett et al., 2010).
Inverifying the information in the article, an experiment was conductedwhich involved thirty healthy subjects. This is an indication thatthe information provided in the article was not through guess work.Besides, the article provides the rationale for the relationship amidserotonin and pro-social behavior. According to the article, thisrelationship exists because serotonin has a role of promoting thedutiful control of aggressive impulses or down-regulation of arousingreactions to provocation. Support for the emotion regulation accountof serotonin in moral conduct is chiefly based on observations thatstrong emotions usually accompany the violent behavior, which occursin individuals having impaired serotonin function and whose brainregions are implicated in regulating and representing emotions. Inaddition, the article uses information from other sources forexample, it points out that recent study highlighting the involvementof serotonin in enhancing expectations of aversive outcomes indicatesthat serotonin amplifies the aversiveness of individually harmingothers and in doing so promotes pro-social behavior as antisocialbehavior becomes discouraged.
Iagree with the findings of the article. This is because studies havebeen done, which point out that hormones and brain chemicals have animpact in shaping social behavior. Neuromodulator serotonin has beenfound to have a role in the shaping of values associated with harmand fairness. Besides, I agree with the findings of the article sincethe information in the article was based on an experimental finding.Moreover, the findings of the article have been supported by otherresearch articles thus, the findings of the article were not inisolation to other findings from other studies. Therefore, I agreewith the findings.
Thearticle relates to the week’s readings because it brings out theconcept of brain relationship with behavior, and how nutrition caninfluence this behavior. The cholesterol-serotonin hypothesis isrelated to the article’s information. From the readings, decreasedlevels of cholesterol result in a decreased level of neurotransmitterserotonin (Worobey et al., 2006). As the levels of serotonindecrease, there is an increased impulsivity and aggression in anindividual. The article has discussed how serotonin plays an impactin influencing pro-social behavior in individuals. On the other hand,the week’s readings explain how the serotonin is influenced throughnutrition in order to influence behavior. Therefore, the article isrelated to the week’s readings.
Fromthe tracker, I did not meet the guidelines as provided. From the planthat I had, I need to improve on almost all the food groups. I canimprove the plan through various ways. For grains, I can improve thedaily plan by eating at least half of all the grains as whole grains.Also, I can improve the plan through checking product labels in orderto find out the foods having the label “whole grain”. When itcomes to vegetables, the daily plan can be improved through includingvegetables in meals as well as in snacks. This can be done withoutregard whether the vegetables are frozen, fresh, or canned. Besides,the vegetable daily plan can be enhanced through adding red, orange,and dark green vegetables to both main and side dishes. Dark leafygreens may be used in making salads. In the area of fruits, where Iperformed worst, the plan can be improved by using fruits as salads,snacks, or desserts. Also, the plan may be improved by maximizing thetaste and freshness through considering and adapting to the fruitsthat are in season. Furthermore, fruit plan can be improved throughconsidering the intake of fruits instead of juice. When choosingjuice, it should be ensured that 100% fruit juice is selected.Alternatively, dairy plan can be improved by ensuring that fat-freeand low-fat milk is consumed daily. Low-fat milk or yogurt should betaken more often than cheese. On the other hand, in order to improveoils plan, soft margarines having zero trans fats that are made fromliquid vegetable oil should be chosen.
Inorder to realize this plan, it is important to consider preparing aschedule that incorporates the foods that needs to be consumed at aparticular time. Keeping a schedule will be of critical importancesince it will help one in knowing the food groups that have beenignored. For example, if a daily schedule one has indicated thathe/she should eat three fruits and does not consume the fruits, theperson will be in a position to notice where he/she is going wrong interms of daily food intake. Making a list of the foods that would beincluded in a day’s meals would help in easing the struggle ofmeeting daily guidelines. Besides, in order to realize the plan, itis important to consider the types of food available and ones that aperson can afford. Affordability and availability of food types mayinfluence the daily intake or daily guidelines, but one shouldconsider keeping a schedule of the food types that are available andaffordable to him/her. This will aid in avoiding instances of failingto meet daily guidelines. Nevertheless, keeping the daily guidelinefood plan is not an easy task because of food availability,affordability, and schedules that people may have. Very fewindividuals would be capable of fully realizing the daily foodguidelines.
Breakfastis considered as one of the primary meal of the day that candetermine how an individual functions. The nutrients contained inbreakfast have been suggested by researchers to influence thecognitive function of an individual. Thus, breakfast emerges as animportant meal of the day to individuals nevertheless, the kinds offood consumed during the breakfast have been suggested to determinethe mood of individuals. In an attempt to determine whether the kindsof foods consumed in the breakfast have an effect in influencing themood, an experiment with three kinds of foods consumed during thebreakfast was carried out for three different days and the resultingmood after consuming the breakfast noted. The following are the foodsand the resultant moods noted.
Forday one, breakfast included milk and fruits
Daytwo breakfast included crisps, chocolate and biscuits
Breakfastfor day three included cereals, fruits, and milk
Afterconsuming breakfast for day one, it was noted that there was lowstress incidences. In day two, it was noted that there were highincidences of stress, while after consuming day three breakfast, itwas noted that the breakfast was associated with low incidences ofstress. Therefore, from the three breakfasts, the mood changeddepending with the kind of foods consumed.
Theresults from the experiment are reflective of the week’s readings.According to the week’s readings, it was pointed out that the foodsthat individuals consume can influence the mood that the individualswill have. The readings indicated that the level of serotonin caninfluence the mood of an individual. The level of serotonin isusually influenced by the cholesterol levels that an individualconsumes. From the readings, decreased levels of cholesterol resultin a decreased level of neurotransmitter serotonin. As the levels ofserotonin decrease, there is an increased impulsivity and aggressionin an individual. This is how the mood of an individual isinfluenced. From the experiment, the three breakfasts have differinglevels of cholesterol which implies that the level of serotonin willbe different in the three breakfasts. As noted, breakfast withincreased levels of cholesterol is likely to have an impact ofincreasing the serotonin level, which would have an impact ofdecreasing impulsivity and aggression in an individual (Worobey etal., 2006). Alternatively, breakfast having reduced levels ofcholesterol is likely to have an impact of decreasing the serotoninlevel, which would have an impact of decreasing impulsivity andaggression in an individual. Thus, this will have a role indetermining the mood that an individual would have. Hence, from thereadings, there is a connection between the food consumed and theworking of the brain in influencing human behavior.
Theportions of food that individuals consume do not always tend to gowith the recommended portions that should be consumed. This isparticularly due to ignorance. Individuals tend to ignore the labelsindicated for a particular food type on the basis that the food maybe seen to be sweeter or else one loves to eat to satisfaction. Mostindividuals like taking food until they become satisfied, which makethem ignore the right portions. In order to establish whether this isthe case, I conducted an experiment using five kinds of food in therefrigerator. The foods included pork sausages, baked beans, boiledeggs, fish, and Tofu. Upon checking the labels provided for thesefoods, it was discovered that I usually consume more than therequired portions. For pork sausages, the label indicated that oneshould consume 2 small links, but I usually consume three or fourlinks. In the case of baked beans, the label provided that one issupposed to take ½ cup per serving however, this was not the casesince I usually consume 1 cup or ¾ cup per serving. In the case ofboiled eggs, it is indicated that one should eat one egg per servingI noticed this was not the case since I could eat two eggs per asingle serving. Alternatively, one is supposed to consume threeounces of fish per serving, but I found out that I usually eat fishto satisfaction. On the other hand, it is indicated that one shouldeat two slices of Tofu per serving, but I usually consume about fourslices. This was really a surprise because I came to notice that I donot follow the right or recommended proportions. As a matter of fact,I noticed that I eat more than the required portions for all the fivekinds of food in the refrigerator. The recommended portions in thelabels differ significantly with the portions I have consuming forthese foods.
Fromthe analysis, it is evident that the kinds of food that an individualconsumes have an impact on the functioning of the brain ininfluencing behavior of an individual. The cholesterol-serotoninhypothesis argues that decreased levels of cholesterol result in adecreased level of neurotransmitter serotonin. As the levels ofserotonin decrease, there is an increased impulsivity and aggressionin an individual. An individual consuming reduced level ofcholesterol is likely to have an impact of decreasing the serotoninlevel, which would have an impact of decreasing impulsivity andaggression in an individual. Thus, this will have a role indetermining the mood that an individual would have.
Worobey,J., Tepper, B. J., & Kanarek, R. B. (2006). and behavior: A multidisciplinary approach.Cambridge, MA: CABI Pub.
Brown,J. E. (2005). now.Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Crockett,J.M., Clark, L., Hauser, D.M. & Robbins, W.T. (2010). Serotoninselectively influences moral judgment and behavior through effects onharm aversion. NationalInstitute for Mental Healthvol. 107 no. 40 pp 17433-17438.