Eating Healthy

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Eating Healthy

Brain Structures and Functions associated with the Motivation of Eating Healthy

Table of Contents



Intrinsic Factors Relating to Eating Healthy3

Extrinsic Factors Relating to Eating Healthy6


Brain Structures and Functions associated with the motivation of Eating Healthy


Several structures of the brain influence the initiation and maintenance of the motivation required for engaging in healthy eating. To deny some of these reinforcing experiences, at least initially, there is often difficulty in maintaining changes in diet. Many intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence the implementation of new and behavior such as maintaining a healthy diet. Human food consumption implicates evolutionary factors such as the pleasurable reinforcement of endorphins and serotonin activity that produce a sense of fullness and well-being after eating. Ultimately, success has its roots in the individual's capacity to maintain continual motivation to engage in the chosen behavior. Many brain structures contribute to that capacity. In addition, certain nutrients have found in the scientific literature to support the structural and functional health of the brain. Adequate nutrition might even help protect against brain related diseases.


Intrinsic Factors Relating to Eating Healthy

Maintaining motivation for healthy eating partly depends on a set of structures of the limbic system that includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. These structures affect the formation of fresh memories and regulate emotions that contribute to maintaining a positive attitude about diet changes. Various past researchers found that reward strengthened motivation and helped new memory formation when dopamine is released in the hippocampus. In addition to this, in view of few researchers, the stimulation of the amygdala was critical in recalling improved learning and retaining different habits, such as engaging in healthy eating. The limbic system is connected to reward and motivation, which is a necessary factor in maintaining a new diet and feeling a sense of reward in its accomplishment (Alan, Rene and Joshua, 2004). The highly developed human prefrontal cortex exerts control over impulsive behavior and the ability to make good judgments regarding food choices.

In view of various past researchers, within brain structures, neurons send, receive, and transmit information through electrical and chemical stimulation. One of the chemical transmitters is dopamine, which is associated with reward and pleasurable sensations, and implicated in the satisfaction experienced by maintaining a healthy diet. Additional areas of the brain include the mesolimbic opioid and dopamine circuits implicated in abnormally increased appetite for and consumption of food (Alan, Rene and Joshua, 2004). Increased appetite ...
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