Our brains need a lot of energy to run. About 20% of our daily calorie intake to be exact. As its our brains, not our biceps, that are running the show, here are some tips to feed it better:
The brain is made up of about 85% water. When we don’t drink enough water, the brain cells shrink causing a lack of focus, fatigue, emotional instability, headaches and stress.
Tip: the brain is not designed to store the water we drink, so sipping on water throughout the day is better than consuming your daily intake in one sitting.
Our bodies are always accumulating toxins and free radicals from poor diet, pollution and high stress levels. Over time, these toxins prematurely age the brain. Blueberries, spinach, cranberries and strawberries contain high levels of antioxidants which reverse this damage.
Tip: include blueberries in your morning smoothie or on top of your cereal or toast.
- Fatty Fish
Approximately 8% of the brain’s weight is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a big role in brain function, attention, memory and mood. As we get older, omega-3 levels drop, leaving us more susceptible to dementia, depression and anxiety.
Tip: replace one of your meat dinners each week with fish night.
Nuts, particularly walnuts which contain lots of vitamin E, play an important role in preventing cognitive decline as we get older. Other foods which contain Vitamin E include olives, brown rice and eggs.
Tip: keep a container of walnuts at your desk for an easy between-meal snack.
- Green Vegetables
As well as containing antioxidants, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, bok choy, broccoli and kale contain high levels of B-vitamins and Vitamin K which improve memory and focus.
Tip: include dark green vegetables in your salad or stir-fry.