Traditionally, the New Year brings many resolutions regarding health. However, strict regimes and the stress involved with maintaining these all while keeping up with a hectic life, may over burden brain function.
Mental performance is powerfully influenced by diet. There are certain foods and or nutrients that make a huge difference in how we live and perform throughout our daily lives.
Carbohydrates – The brain relies solely on carbohydrates for energy. Memory and concentration will decline dramatically if the brain is starved of carbohydrates. Vegetables, fruit, legumes and grains are the best sources, as they will deliver a steady supply of energy.
Omega 3 fats – These fats make up the outer layer of all brain cells, therefore are critical for brain cell communication, and therefore intellectual performance. Also, as learning and memory create new connections between nerve cells, new membranes must be formed to contain these connections. Omega 3 fats provide the new cell connections. It has been found that people who eat diets high in saturated fats or trans-fatty acids can show signs of dementia earlier than people who consume omega 3 regularly.
Eggs – Egg yolks provide a nutrient called choline. Choline is directly used by the nervous system to make a substance which increases memory and reaction time.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants in the diet also can improve memory by decreasing the free radical damage that can occur with age. Foods highest in antioxidants include fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables. Some of the best antioxidants are found in berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries), spinach, brussel sprouts, plums, broccoli, beetroot, avocados, oranges, red capsicum and cherries. Eating many colours of fruits and vegetables ensures a wide variety of antioxidants to nourish and protect the brain.
New Years therefore may be a good time to think about what you can ADD to your diet, rather than SUBTRACT. This will equate to a fulfilling year!
The team at Vive Health wishes you a happy and healthy New Year!