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Heads up! If you’re looking to speed up your reflexes, you may want to add eggs and spinach to your daily diet.
Researchers at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam have concluded that the amino acid tyrosine, which is found in both of these foods, has a positive effect on our reflexes, giving us the ability to stop at super speed. During the experiment, psychologists asked study volunteers to take a computer test. They were instructed to stare at a computer screen and press a button the second a green arrow appeared, also making sure to choose a button that matched the direction of the arrow. When a red arrow would surface, they were instructed to take their hands off the keyboard ASAP.
These tasks were divided into two sessions. In one session, the participants were given orange juice that contained tyrosine, and in the other, the juice was spiked with a placebo. And as a result, the tyrosine beverage caused quicker on-the-spot reactions.
Lorenza Colzato, study author and cognitive psychologist at Leiden University, says this reflex research may promote a more accident-proof society (anything from road safety to catching someone in mid-fall), as well as provide us with additional brainpower. “'Tyrosine food supplements and tyrosine-rich food are a healthy and inexpensive way of improving our intellectual capabilities,” said Colzato, as reported by ScienceDaily. “This makes them preferable to Ritalin and Modafinil, products that students often reach for to improve their academic performance.”
Along with spinach and eggs, tyrosine can also be found in cottage cheese and soy-rich foods, like soybeans, tofu and soy milk.