The lazy hazy days of summer are almost over and for many that means back to school, college or work. In other words it’s time to focus and work hard, something that can be a challenge at the best of times but especially hard when you and your brain have had weeks off.
The brain controls almost every aspect of our being: thought, emotion, personality, voluntary movement and even involuntary movements such as breathing, regulating heart beat and blinking. In fact, it’s such a busy bee it can produce 25 watts of energy in a single day, that’s enough to power a light bulb!
Like a light bulb needs electricity to shine, your brain needs the right nutrition to burn bright. To make sure you and your noggin are top of the class/in your boss’s good books, here are 7 foods to fuel your brain.
Leafy greens are high in antioxidants like vitamin A and C, these reduce damage from free radicals that lead to oxidative stress in the body. They also contain beta-carotene and folic acid which improve memory and recall ability, handy for exams and meetings.
Glucose in food is broken down and used for energy, low GI foods like whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat etc) provide slow release energy allowing your brain to be alert for longer.
As well as being a great source of protein, eggs are high in omega 3, iron, vitamin B12 and iodine. Omega 3 fatty acids are required for proper development and maintenance of brain cells. Iron maintains healthy blood cells which carry oxygenated blood to the brain. Vitamin B12 aids the release of energy from food to increase alertness and iodine is required to make thyroid hormones which contribute to brain development.
4.On the School
The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), prevent abnormal neuron behaviour and improve daily brain functioning. For the best results, aim to have oily fish twice a week, good choices include: salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines.
5.Seeds of Wisdom
Nuts and seeds are high in vitamin E which is believed to slow cognitive decline. Recent studies have suggested vitamin E could slow the development of dementia, and in particular Alzheimer’s disease.
Munch on almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or chia seeds, or unhydrogenated (unrefined) nut/seed butters.
6.Less Loco More Cocoa
As if you need a reason to eat chocolate. In small quantities 70% or more cocoa can aid brain health because it contains flavonoids which protect neurons, aid the brain’s ability to learn new information, improve memory and cognitive functioning. “Excuse me sir, i’m struggling with the maths here, I think chocolate will help.”
Okay so technically not a food but undeniably beneficial to brain and overall health.
Your brain is 80% water, a percentage that needs to be maintained for optimum cognitive function.
It’s essential to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, aim for eight 250ml glasses of water a day (2 litres). Fill up a big water bottle and keep it close to you as a reminder to hydrate and perform great.
✨BONUS. 3 meals & a sweet treat fit for a mastermind:
Mashed avocado on toast with wilted greens, mushrooms, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.
Leafy green brassicas bowl with eggs, avocado, hummus and seeds.
Veggie loaded pizza with a buckwheat base, spinach, rocket, tuna & cashew cheese.
And for pudding: raw vegan millionaire shortbread made with nuts, seeds, seed butter and cacao.
Incorporate theses foods into your diet and you’ll be on your way to achieving an IQ that rivals Einstein’s.