Kids studying for their exams?
Or perhaps like me, you just want to ensure you and your family's minds are working at their best?
It’s not all about revision/work, it’s about looking after your body and mind as well.
Eating the right kind of foods can significantly improve
There has been a great deal of evidence from health professionals that certain foods can give your brain a boost.
You are more likely to be able to not only concentrate better, but also feel more energised, enthusiastic and have the ability to better retain information too!
Foods to keep you alert and focused:
Omega 3 (vegetarian source)/ Oily Fish 🍣
Scientifically proven to prevent the brain from aging, having plenty of fatty fish such as salmon and sardines as part of your diet is definitely a wise move.
Fatty fish such as these contain omega-3 fatty acids and DHA and NPA which are wonderful brain boosting supplements to help with concentration and improve memory function.
Choose whole-wheat bread and you'll have a healthy, long-lasting meal, combining complex carbohydrates, vitamins and protein.
Omega-3 fatty acids are readily available in a wide variety of plant foods. Sources include walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, edamame, seaweed, and algae.
We have all heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ well now it seems these easily accessible fruits are also fantastic for keeping your brain in tip top shape as well. Apples contain quercetin (particularly in the skins), which is an antioxidant which protects the brain cells against free radicals. This is important as free radicals can damage the outer lining of neurons around the brain and therefore cognitive function.
These lovely little berries are a powerful fruit jam packed with antioxidants and goodness too. Research has shown that eating one cup of blueberries every day can have a significant impact on your ability to learn and your memory. There are loads of ways to eat berries, put them in porridge or cereals for a breakfast boost or make them into smoothies for a healthy and delicious drink.
The humble tomato is another example of a fruit that is packed with nutrition and the antioxidant lycopene which strengthens cells helping them to remain unaffected by toxins. Tomatoes are great in salads, roasted in the oven, or simply as a healthy snack on their own.
Nuts and Seeds 🌰
Another handy snack, nuts and seeds are fantastic to boost energy levels as they release energy slowly and steadily over a period of time. Like fish they are also a brilliant source of ‘good fats’ and vitamin E which has been proven to enhance your ability to make decisions. There is a huge variety of nuts to choose from, so it is easy to find some to enjoy. Just remember that despite being powerfully good for you, nuts do contain very high levels of fat and calories so remember to eat them in moderation!
An important source of energy that keeps energy levels up during revision. Wholegrains provide a steady source of energy which is released slowly making them very effective. You can find whole grains in cereals, brown rice and pasta, and brown granary bread.
Who knew that this little herb could do so much? Studies have shown that sage can improve memory so simply sprinkle it on other foods for a quick and easy brain boost!
Chicken & Lean meats 🍗(Proteins)
Lean Meats are an excellent source of protein, go for organic free range chicken and you’ll also be stocking up on all important vitamins B3 and B6 which help convert carbohydrates into glucose which is great for energy levels. B3 is also excellent for reducing stress levels making them a wise choice of brain food for revision. Lean meats also contain Selenium which is great for boosting the immune system.
Dark Leafy greens 🥦
All dark greens are packed with vitamin K, which helps build pathways in the brain, as well as naturally occurring nitrates and antioxidants. You'll also get a healthy amount of B6 and B12 from some of these vegetables, which are associated with improvements in alertness and memory. Why not roast some broccoli or make a green smoothie.
Saving the best until last, the good news is that chocolate has many great health benefits. Studies have shown that not only can chocolate reduce your blood pressure, but it also keeps your brain alert and focussed and can prevent memory loss. The reason? The presence of polyphenols in cocoa increases blood flow to the brain.
These fantastic brain foods are sure to put students in the best possible shape and frame of mind to do well in their summer exams.
But exams or not, these foods will certainly aid your brain health and keep you cognitively fit and healthy.
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