What is brain food?
it is common knowledge that what we eat well affects our body. many are in fact the studies that show that the cause of many diseases such as coronary diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer are to be found in bad or poor diet. however, not too many know that what we eat may have even a more powerful influence on our brain, greatly affecting our mood, concentration, motivation, mental performance, memory, speed of reaction, balance, coordination, stress and even brain aging.
the brain is an extremely metabolically active organ, and a very hungry and picky one, too. even if it only represents 2% of the body's weight it uses a quite astonishing 20% of the energy produced by the body. but in contrast to our body our brain cannot store energy, which means we need to feed it regularly in order to keep it functioning. in doing so, and by selecting our foods properly, our brain can be as much as 20% more productive. instead of doping our brain artificially to better our mental performance we can easily relate on brain food.
for successful brainfeeding 3 are the steps to follow:
- selection of ingredients
- physical activity
what should we eat? eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy vegetables like kale, collards, cabbage and broccoli. all fruits are good, but blueberries, apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, kiwis, strawberries and papaya should be your top choice. they are full of vitamins (A, C, E) and minerals (magnesium, zinc, phosphor ). eat the right carbohydrate like quinoa, oatmeal, potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, barley and bulgur. they are full of fibre, loaded with minerals and vitamins and they are slow to digest. drink at least 2 L of water or unsweetened tea. proteins play a very important role in the brain activity, too. choose fish, low fat meat, legumes, milk and milk products if you want to keep focussed all day long.
as our brain has no ability to store energy we should feed it regularly. you should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as two light snacks - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. this is important in order to provide our brain the fuel to keep going. make sure to avoid all sorts of sausages, fatty creamy sauces and sugar.
in addition to the ingredients and the frequency of your meals, you should do some physical activity. the best thing you could do is to take a walk during your morning and afternoon break. get some fresh air before heading back to the office. have a little snack and at lunch take your time to eat. don't rush through your meal, find the pleasure for food and enjoy it.
My top 10 braingredients
Quinoa: is one of the most protein-rich foods we can it. it is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids. it contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains and also iron and lysin. furthermore quinoa is loaded with magnesium and B2 which improves energy metabolism within the brain.
Apples: are rich in vitamins A, B and C. apart from the numerous vitamins, apple has a tremendous repertoire of micro nutrients and minerals. it also has antiviral properties and can detoxify the body. the peel of the apple also includes a powerful antioxidant called quercetin that enhances memory function. An apple a day, does keep the doctor away!
Avocado: these buttery fruits are rich in monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow in the brain. they may also help lower blood pressure, which can reduce your risks for hypertension or a stroke that could permanently damage brain tissue.
Blueberries: recent studies in the United States suggests that the consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss and brain aging!
Nuts: are a good intake of vitamin E which might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains. SO GO NUTS!
Wholegrains: the brain cannot work without energy. the ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate and steady supply of energy. achieve this by choosing wholegrains which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. opt for 'brown' cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.
Wild salmon: is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring,
Water: When a person becomes dehydrated, their brain tissue actually shrinks. dnd several studies have shown that dehydration can affect cognitive function. dehydration can impair short-term memory, focus and decision making so drink about 3 L of water every day.
Beets: it has been determined that nitrates in beets can increase blood flow to the brain, thereby improving mental performance.
Sage: Sage contains compounds that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.