The foods we eat can have a big impact on the structure and health of our brains. The brain is an energy-intensive organ, using around 20 percent of the body’s calories, so it needs plenty of good fuel to maintain concentration and focus throughout the day. Whether you want to optimize your nutrition during exams or simply want to be attentive in your next work meeting, paying attention to your diet can really pay off.
Which foods are particularly important to keep your grey matter happy and healthy?
- Walnuts: Walnuts are considered a powerful food for brain. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. On exams days children are mentally overloaded, so be sure to give them walnuts because they are excellent for fighting stress and maintaining concentration.
- Green Tea: A bitter tasting ingredient of green tea, polyphenols help in transmitting signals of ‘reward’ and‘motivation’ to the brain which can improve brain function and make you smarter. If you study late night, green tea is a must for you because the caffeine present in it also helps you stay awake and alert.
- Coffee: The caffeine in coffee can help to improve mental performance, especially with regards to attention and concentration. Only the smell can keep you up and awake through the day or night. Everyone who has studied for exams will definitely swear by this one!
- Granola Bars: Granola bars contain a potent energy-packed mixture of oats, nuts are berries that are a feast for the brain! The healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in them ensure that you and your brain have sufficient fuel to ace the day and stay energized.
- Oats Cereal: Oats are a “grain for the brain”. They are rich in fiber, and are also thought to keep the heart and brain arteries clear. So pick oats as your choice of breakfast to make sure you are charged up and ready to face the day.
- Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a great source of Vitamin E. It also contains thiamine which helps the brain and nervous system convert glucose to energy. It contains plenty of unsaturated fats and protein to keep a person’s energy levels up throughout the day. This upcoming exam season, make a PB&J as your preferred study snack!
- Dark Chocolate: The flavonoids in chocolate have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain in young and old alike. This blood flow boosts memory retention by 30%. Thus, they enhance your cognitive skills. It also boosts the production of feel-good chemicals which help you stay happy.
- Mixed Nuts: Nuts have been associated with improvements in brain function by up to 60%! Healthy unsaturated fats in nuts are a good source of energy and the perfect brain food for students during exams.
The nutrient requirements of the brain are different as compared to other organs of the body. Some specific compounds are required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and the cell membrane of neurons. Other nutrients prevent damage to the brain cells and delay the onset of some harmful diseases. Thus, including these in your diet can go a long way in ensuring a healthy and alert mind.
You can support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet!