IELTSDaily

British Council Podcasts #2

Food

Listen to the podcast and answer the questions below:

Did the speaker feel interested in food when he was a child?

What experienced changed the speaker’s idea toward food?

how does caffeine affect our mood after a tough day?

What is suggested instead of chocolate when you are feeling down?

Which vitamin helps cognitive skills?

Complete the transcript:

Do we live to eat or eat to live? That is the question.

I remember as a child growing up in Britain having 1_________ or baked beans on toast at least twice a week on my lap while watching my favourite cartoon. Of course I enjoyed my food but it wasn’t something I 2_____ talked about. Now, I’m not blaming my culture for my lack of interest in food at an early age. Perhaps my silence was due to the fact that I didn’t know anything about food. How many children know that prawns only turn pink when they are cooked and that tuna does not come from a can? Now after having lived in Southern Europe, 3____ and Australia I find myself talking about food all the time. The world has seduced my 4_____ buds and opened my mouth.

Food that’s plain and simple is often the best but not always so. For many of us food is a need. For others, food is a 5_____. Yet to some others food is an enemy. Cravings grip us at all the wrong times while we 6______ to follow a strict diet that turned all our favourite desserts into mortal sins. There are others who 7______ food as an investment. To them, food has some kind of special powers that can control their lives, for better or for worse. If that’s the case, it’s time to change and make food work for 8____.

Let’s start by using food the way you would use a pencil or 9________. We begin using food as a tool. Like tools, some food works well for some tasks and some is specially designed to 10________ others.

Let’s say you’re feeling down. You had a tough day or a tiff with a best friend that drove you round the bend. You decide to treat 11_____ to a bar of chocolate –nothing like chocolate to perk you up. Unfortunately you’re setting yourself up for a higher dose of the blues. That’s because chocolate bars have a hefty amount of 12_______ – which takes a long time to digest and can draw energy away from your brain – and caffeine which will 13________ boost your mood and alertness but send you crashing back down as soon as its effect starts to wear off.

Does this mean snacking is a bad idea when you’re feeling down? Not at all. You just have to do it wisely. In place of a chocolate bar, have 14________ with chunky marmalade. Then instead of fat and caffeine you’ve just given yourself a dose of vitamin C that has been shown to fight depression. In addition, marmalade is loaded with the type of sugar that spurs the release of mood-lifting 15________ in the brain.

In fact you can manage your mood and boost your brainpower, 16_______, even your sex life, by eating the right food. Whatever your goals, you can custom-design a diet to help you meet them. Here’s how taking control of your food can help you take control of your life.

The next time you have an important meeting that requires mental processing, try some brain processing food that looks like this: tuna salad on 17________, green salad with tomatoes, a handful of nuts, bananas, a glass of 18______ milk. Tuna, bananas, nuts and whole wheat bread are high in vitamin B6, which has been scientifically proven to help preserve cognitive skills. Protein-rich food contains a nutrient called Tyrosine, which studies 19________, are linked to clear thinking and alertness. Greens such as broccoli and spinach naturally contain loads of vitamins and iron. Lack of these nutrients can lead to fatigue and difficulty in concentrating.

Having said all that, let’s not be too stressed about what we eat. Many scientists these days believe that indulging in 20______ little pleasures may actually help improve your health because of the psychological lift it gives you. There is a lot of truth in the old saying that ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’.