Food for Thought: How to Eat to Boost Your Brain
Your brain accounts for less than 2% of your body’s overall weight, yet uses over 20% of it’s energy resources. To get the best from your brain you need to feed it regularly with slow-release, high quality nutrition.
Here are five quick and easy ways to nourish your noggin...
1. Breakfast Brain Boost
Here’s a quick, easy and high energy way to start the day.
Put 1 banana, half a cup of oats, and 1 cup of soya milk in a blender and blend until smooth. This takes about 1 minute and will keep you and your brain going until lunch.
For added fibre, add half a teaspoon of psyllium husks, but if you do, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the morning.
2. Cut the junk
Junk food is like the old saying about entering data into computers “garbage in, garbage out”. Junk food is packed with poor quality carbs and is low in vital energy and nutrition. Junk food makes the mind dull and the body sluggish.
3. Go Nuts!
Rather than eating quick fix high-sugar snacks on the go, try keeping a bag of nuts and dried fruit with you to nibble during the day. High in healthy monounsaturated fats, magnesium and vitamin E, a handful of nuts makes a great brain-boosting snack. Almonds are rich in B vitamins and known to be beneficial to the brain and nervous system.
Walnuts: many ancient health traditions looked to clues from nature when finding remedies and tonics for the body, both the Romans and the Ancient Chinese thought that since walnuts look like the brain, they must be good for the brain. Recent research shows them to be right.
Packed with vitamin E, and the all important essential fatty acid omega-3, walnuts can improve brain function, memory and even lift your mood.
For an easy boost without having to crack shells, try drizzling walnut oil on salads, or sauted vegetables.
4. Trypto what?
Nutritionists know that for the mind to feel happy and for the brain to be nourished a balanced diet rich in amino-acids, such as tryptophan is key. Many cultures have traditional meals that have this automatically sewn up. Mexican combinations of beans, rice and corn is a great way to give your brain a healthy and natural tryptophan boost, as is southern India’s traditional dahl, rice and chapatis.
Your brain loves tryptophan - here’s where you can get more:
Kidney beans, oats, lentils, chick peas, seeds, avocados, bananas and quinoa.
For day long energy and positivity favour fresh foods that nourish your brain and release their energy slowly and steadily. Using the examples above, will support your brain to run without low-energy blips and without the blues.
5. Bedtime Bliss
For a brain nourishing bedtime tonic put 3 dried dates and one cup of milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiled blend the dates into the milk and drink warm. It tastes delicious and is very soothing to the nervous system.
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