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BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER WITH NUTRITION!

by Aneequa Godart DipCNM


Did you know that our brain cells require twice the amount of energy than the other

cells of the body? To stay focused and efficient all day long, this energy level

needs to be maintained. Luckily for us, simple tweaks to your daily diet can help

to boost those little grey cells and keep the mind sharp!


Breakfast:

We’re often told that this is the most important meal of the day, but not

everyone likes to face food first thing in the morning. Research actually shows that

eating a nourishing breakfast can give you a mental edge and by keeping your

blood sugar levels steady, it helps improve focus and attention span as well as

boosting short-term memory and creativity. Porridge with blueberries and a dollop of

almond butter releases energy slowly so it will keep your brain fuelled for optimal

performance, or for you non-breakfast types why not try a simple mid-morning

smoothie with almond milk, berries, cherries and flaxseed?

Many of us need that cup of coffee in the morning before we can face the world

and it’s no surprise- that morning cup has been shown to improve memory and

cognitive function whilst boosting energy and alertness. Do bear in mind,

more than 2 cups might keep you from sleeping at night and can also take a toll

on your adrenal glands.


Lunch:

To keep feeding the brain the energy it needs throughout the day, opt for a slow

releasing ‘healthier’ carbs such as wholegrain bread for your sandwich. Eggs

are a good shout as they contain vitamins B6 and B12 which reduce homocysteine

in the blood. High levels of homocysteine have been associated with stroke,

cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s. Choline found in egg yolk is also a great

memory booster.

If you’re more of a salad fan, bulk up on your leafy green veg such as spinach

and kale, with avocado, seeds and tomatoes. Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc

which enhances memory skills, and are also full of stress-busting magnesium.


Dinner:

Salmon is one of the best brain food options for dinner because fish is high in

Omega 3 fatty acids (one of the so-called ‘good fats’) and amongst other wonderful

uses they help to build cell membranes throughout the body including the brain.

Omega 3 also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which can slow down

deterioration of the brain.

Simple to cook, simply squeeze some lemon juice and black pepper on a fillet, wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven for around 10 minutes at 200c. Serve with a side of green veg such as broccoli which is a source of two crucial nutrients that help brain function. Vitamin K helps strengthen cognitive abilities and choline, our memory booster.


Snacks:

Walnuts are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, and may also improve

memory. A 2015 study from UCLA linked higher walnut consumption to improved

cognitive test scores. Flavonoids in blueberries (the pigment that gives berries

their colour), also help improve memory, research shows.


In a 2012 study published in Annals of Neurology, researchers at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital found that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed memory decline by nearly 3 years.

Supplements:

If you don’t eat fish, try a good quality Omega 3 supplement such as one from

the Biocare or Solgar ranges. Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid produced

naturally in your body that plays an important role in your metabolism,

particularly in energy production. Taking acetyl-L-carnitine has been claimed to

make you feel more alert, improve memory and slow down age-related

memory loss!


Hydrate:

As well as food, staying hydrated helps to keep our brain in check too. Do you drink

your 6-8 glasses of water a day? Keeping a full reusable drinks bottle with you at all

times, on your desk and in your bag, is a great way of keeping on top of your

consumption. If you find water boring, add a refreshing twist with some lime or

cucumber slices.

Green tea has also been shown to induce mental alertness and counts as your daily

liquid intake, but be mindful that some teas can still be caffeinated and keep you up

at night.


So there you have it. After reading this you may already realise that your current

nutrition is lacking in brain boosting foods, so why not give these easy hacks a go!


Aneequa is based in between Lisbon and London. She addresses specific health

concerns by giving her clients tailored nutritional strategies based on their health

goals, ranging from weight management, improved energy levels to better

quality skin, hair and nails.


If you're interested in a nutritional consultation, contact Aneequa directly on hello@aneequagodart.com to book an appointment or visit her website www.aneequagodart.com

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