The brain is an incredible feat of engineering, it is essential to our survival. The brain controls almost every aspect of our being: thought, emotion, personality, voluntary movement and even involuntary movements such as breathing, regulating heart beat and blinking. In fact the brain is so busy it can produce 25 watts of energy in a day, that’s enough to power a light bulb. In order to keep that like burning bright you need to eat right.
Sweet like chocolate
In small quantities 70% or more cocoa can aid brain health. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which protect neurons, aid the brain’s ability to learn new information, improve memory and cognitive functioning.
Be a good egg
As well as being a good source of protein eggs are high in iron, vitamin B12 and iodine. Iron maintains healthy blood cells which carry oxygenated blood to the brain. Vitamin B12 aids the release of energy from food to increase alertness and iodine is required to make thyroid hormones which contribute to brain development.
The green eyed muncher
Leafy greens are high in antioxidants like vitamin A and C which reduce damage from free radicals that lead to oxidative stress. They also contain beta-carotene and folate, which improve memory and recall ability. A few options are: broccoli, kale and spinach.
Nuts and seeds are high in vitamin E which is believed to slow cognitive decline. Recent studies have suggested vitamin E could slow the development of dementia and in particular Alzheimer’s disease. Chose from: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter. Preferably, opt for unsalted nuts to lower your sodium intake.
Have a fish dish
The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish, particularly docosahexaenoic acid, prevent abnormal neuron function and improve daily brain functioning. For the best results aim to have oily fish twice a week, good choices include: mackerel, salmon and sardines.
Glucose from the food we eat is converted into energy. Low GI (glycemic index) whole grains provide a slow release of energy increasing the amount of time your brain is alert for.
Water it down
Technically water is not a food, but surprisingly the brain is 80% water. That percentage needs to be maintained for optimum brain function; therefore it is essential to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. It is recommended you aim for eight 250ml (2 litres) glasses of water a day.
By incorporating theses foods into your diet you shall be on your way to achieving an IQ that will rival that of Einstein’s.