When was the last time you really considered the impact that sneaky afternoon snack has on your ability to focus, concentrate and even come up with new ideas? If you’re like most people, your response to that question is probably not that often! After all, food is fuel, right – what else is there to know?
Well, actually, there are a few other tid bits that might attract your interest. The first of which is the fact that your brain requires double the amount of energy as the rest of your body’s cells. Interestingly, it’s also run solely on sugar and relies on your bloodstream for a steady supply. But before you reach for a chocolate bar from the vending machine, you should know that refined sugar-laden foods aren’t the weapon of choice your body, or brain, is craving.
To solve the brain food riddle, Paul E. Bendheim, neurologist, founder of BrainSavers and author of The Brain Training Revolution: A Proven Workout for Healthy Brain Aging, urges you to think of your brain as an engine that needs quality fuel to thrive.
But this isn’t a massive surprise, is it? Countless studies have revealed that nutritionally dense foods such as vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and fish (which can be classified as quality fuel for the brain) positively impact our overall health and wellness, including our brain power.
The key then? You have to actually consume these foods, rather than just taking them in supplement form. According to research, unlike supplements and vitamins, whole and unprocessed food can increase overall brain function while also protecting against gradual cognitive decline.
So what foods will incite your creative genius and nurture a healthy mind? While a balanced and nutritious diet of lean protein, veggies, fruits, fat and low GI carbs will keep your body humming along nicely, there are some nutritious goodies that are renowned for their brain-boosting abilities. They are:
1. Dark raw chocolate
2. Green tea
3. Brown rice
5. Mustard greens
6. Yam (Sweet Potato)
And as always, the secret is in consuming your foods in moderation and eating mindfully. By doing so, and by sprinkling some of the above foods into your meals, you’ll be firing on both cylinders in no time!