Neural circuit communication is very complex. As a matter of fact, several factors are occurring that make all messages, information, thoughts circulating in your brain. Then, you may have already wondered how a message in your brain is spreading through your neural circuit?
Formerly, the main neurotransmitter helping this process is glutamate. This neurotransmitter is hugely essential because it ensures the proper functioning of your whole neural circuit and messages spreading. But, it’s also helped by GABA. Both can’t function without each other.
Consequently, let’s see how glutamate and GABA are important and can change your life!
What is glutamate?
Like you’ve seen above, glutamate and Gaba are important and can change your life. Let’s focus firstly on glutamate. It’s the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in your neural circuit. And for good reason, it’s the most abundant and used neurotransmitter because the brain mostly releases glutamate to make messages spreading from a neuron to one another. Moreover, it’s hugely involved in learning and memory functions in your brain through glutamate receptors.
Glutamate is thus produced by your brain. Nonetheless, it’s often secreted in insufficient quantities, so it’s important to provide it through the diet. Even if glutamate is a neurotransmitter above all, it’s also a non-essential amino acid present in many foods. We’ll study the glutamate-rich diet more in-depth in the next paragraphs.
This balance of having the right number of glutamates – not too much, not too little – is helped by the GABA.
What is GABA?
As glutamate is the main brain’s excitatory neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the main brain’s inhibitory neurotransmitter. Inversely to the so-called excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, it plays a key role to balance the levels of both glutamates and GABA.
When there is too much glutamate – which is badly hurtful for your health – GABA is inhibitor and helps to slow down glutamate circulation in order not to lead your brain to diseases. GABA also helps to calm and relax your brain. Therefore, all messages, information, thoughts are properly circulating.
Briefly, when there is much glutamate, there are little GABA and vice versa. Hence, the necessity to have a great balance between both.
Furthermore, there are several ways to increase GABA levels. Firstly, physical activity is largely useful to increase GABA levels. In fact, the fact of moving make your heart beating and thus allow to increase GABA. Favour physical activity such as running or walking. Besides physical activities, yoga is a good option to make you calm, relax your whole body, improve your mood and, therefore, reduce stress and anxiety. Moreover, deep breathing and meditation are great ways to increase GABA levels. Secondly, a diet is very convenient to ensure high levels of GABA. Indeed, favour high-glutamic acid foods such as almonds and walnuts, broccoli, banana, oats, etc.
Glutamate and glutamic acids are closely related to amino acids. That why glutamate is often called glutamic acid.
The difference between both appears when regarding atom. Glutamic acid encompasses 20 amino acids in which there is glutamate. Glutamate is thus an atom that has seen the mineral ion attached to it. Moreover, glutamic acid is a non-essential acid that provides with protein. That’s why there are several ways, apart from the natural process of your body to have protein and thus glutamic acid.
How glutamate can help to make you feel better and healthier?
Glutamate has a major importance when it’s about intelligence. Indeed, the more you have glutamate in your brain, the more you’re intelligent. However, too much glutamate can be dangerous as well as too little glutamates are also delicate. An excess of glutamate can damage your nerve cells and lead to neurological and mental health disorders such as autism, Parkinson’s schizophrenia, insomnia, bipolarity, and also to hyperactivity, stress, anxiety, chronic pain and migraine, as well as inflammation and impair blood levels.
Nevertheless, glutamate is important thanks to many reasons. Indeed, it can improve and ensure the proper functioning of your brain and their different functions such as memory, thinking, learning, etc but also the other part of your body (bones, heart, lungs, immune system, kidney, etc). The excitatory neurotransmitter is also essential because it allows the production of GABA. GABA is as much important as glutamate to play an inhibitory role and help you relax and calm down and thus to reduce anxiety, stress and improve sleep.
However, it’s either important not to have too much glutamate or too little. It’s thus a delicate matter.
Moreover, people who are intelligent and have a big level of glutamate needs relaxation to have their levels balanced.
Foods with high glutamic acid
It exists foods that can play the role of glutamic acid for people who need more glutamic acid. If you need so, there are several foods that provide with you the right nutrients. High-glutamic acid foods contain protein in most of them.
Firstly, you can find a great idea in soy protein isolate. As its name suggests, it’s dry and has been isolated from all the other components of soybean. It’s thus a great source of glutamic acid because there is protein as its main component. Chicken is also a great high-glutamic acid food as it contains many proteins. Fish can be seen as a great option as a food with high glutamic acid. It’s recommended to favour lean fish which is far less caloric. Besides, we can find seeds, eggs, cheese and broccoli for the most important. Therefore, there are a lot of food choices that can fit with your desires.
Glutamate and GABA are important and can change your life as it brings many benefits.
In fact, you can largely ensure the proper functioning of your brain and its functions of memory, thinking, intelligence because it stimulates your nerve cells and helps to make messages circulating. Besides its stimulation in your nerve cells, it ensures the proper functioning of other parts of your body such as bones, kidney, heart, etc. Moreover, its importance is mainly helped and balanced with GABA. Both can’t live – and stimulate your neurons for glutamate or calm down for GABA – without each other.
Nonetheless, glutamate stimulation is quite complex because too much or too little glutamate in your body is problematic. That’s why you may lack glutamate. In this case, there are foods that can provide with these nutrients through a large content of protein including chicken, soy protein isolate, lean fish, etc.
Sources and further readings
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