Benefits of GABA


Recently, I always keep one bag on my desk at work.

I previously posted an entry about germinating brown rice, in which I talked about how enzymes in brown rice become activated during a process of being germinated while being cooked. I also pointed out that brown rice contains lots of GABA and what its health effects as well. By the way, don’t you hear about the term “GABA” quite often? I’ve recognized not only supplementary tablets, but also some soft drinks or chocolates contain “GABA” as it’s printed on their packages. So I did a little research on GABA.

First of all, what is GABA? GABA is one type of natural amino acids that is produced in brains and spines of the mammals and works as a chemical messenger. It affects on our parasympathetic nervous system and calms us down, leads us to a relaxing state, and regulates our autonomic balance. Also, it takes away pains, stress, and fear as well as controls our moods. GABA gets synthesized in the brain when we are asleep at night as it promotes hormone productions and provides us with good sleep.

In other words, if GABA decreases, we are more likely to become irritated, short-tempered, and emotionally unbalanced. All of these traits could result in poor sleep leading to sleep shortage which eventually causes GABA to decrease more.  

GABA is very helpful in preventing high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, heart diseases, brain strokes and other serious diseases. GABA is also effective in suppressing hyper-tension and behaviors of children and in improving symptoms of those being depressed.

Considering above, GABA is an inevitable element for us to remain healthy mentally and physically. Desirable amount to take depends on individual’s health and mental conditions; but in general, it’s 10mg~20/30mg per day. GABA can be found in various kinds of food. For example, in grains. Especially, germinating brown rice contains 10mg GABA per 100g. This is almost 10 times more than white rice. That means if we eat one serving of brown rice for one meal a day, we can take the minimum amount of GABA per day. In addition to GABA, brown rice should be referred as a superfood that can enrich us with abundant nutrition.

Other foods containing GABA are fermented products such as tsukemono, fermented fresh vegetables, miso, or natto, vegetables like tomatoes and sprouts, and dried small fish. Seeing this food list tells us that the basic Japanese food consisting of rice, soups with three side dishes is such an ideal healthy food.

Now that it is changing seasons when the fiscal year switching, whoever is suffering from nonsense irritation, fatigue, or unclear mind should review their diet. Be conscious to take GABA on a daily basis. It shall develop our night sleep and eventually encourage us to become more active during daytime.