Picky Eater

March 2, 2008, 2:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The link between your brain function and the food you eat is paramount, however most people are not aware of that (maybe because of what they feed their brain? 😉
Currently I am investigating this link and it is amazing how important certain foods are for your brain.

The foods that tend to optimize brain performance are for instance, egg yolks, soybeans, cabbage, peanuts and cauliflower, fish, eggs and poultry. Magnesium-rich foods, such as wheat bran, nuts, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, milk, meat, beans and bananas are a fine place to start your meal planning.

The website, newscientist.com, suggests several foods that may improve brain function: whole-wheat toast with a bean spread for breakfast, a choline-rich lunch such as an omelet. Choline is known to improve memory because it assists in neurotransmitter function. Choline is found in beef, eggs, Navy beans, tofu, almonds and peanuts. Yogurt, which contains tyrosine (also essential for neurotransmitter function), also improves alertness and memory. Of course, fish is indisputably the best brain food, replete with Omega-3 fatty acids which are essential fats and the best ones for the brain.

Color is essential too. Nutritionist Carolyn O’Neil, M.S., R.D. and co-author of the book, “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous,” suggests that “the best sources for brain nutrients include deeply colored produce from blueberries to butternut squash. But, don’t underestimate the nutrient content of white vegetables such as cauliflower and parsnips—they are packed with phyto-nutrients, too.” And for added thought she advises, “Another thing to consider: being dehydrated affects mental function. Feeling a bit foggy or forgetful? Maybe you need to drink some water. Dehydration can cause headaches, irritability and loss of focus.”

The food on your plate should have lots of color, berries (especially strawberries and/or blueberries) and melons are a great source of ‘brain food,’ as are green, orange and red vegetables. O’Neil recommends that when you crave a snack, reach for a handful of peanuts or almonds, an apple, orange, banana, grapes or even a few squares of dark chocolate.”

An Intelligent Diet
Boost your brainpower by feeding your brain ‘brain foods’. Here are 4 tips for an intelligent diet from the thinkingbusiness website:

1. Balance your glucose – it provides fuel for your brain. Try to eat carbohydrate foods in the evening as it promotes relaxation and sleep.

2. Eat essential fats – ensure your diet is rich in omega-3 fats found in oily fish.

3. Include plenty of protein rich foods in your diet. Proteins are essential to make neurotransmitters which are vital for the thinking process. Try to eat a protein based lunch to optimise your mental performance and alertness throughout the day.

4. Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals to ‘fine tune’ your mind.

5. Drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day to keep your brain well hydrated.

6. Oxygenate your brain by exercising and eating little and often. Eat your main meal before 7pm.

In my next posts we’ll have a closer look at the other brainfoods like peanuts, eggs and avocados, and the key ingredients for a healthy brain: protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals.


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