So it’s 2018, and whilst it’s now April, it’s still a fairly a new year – and possibly a new you. Needless to say, one of the most common things that people will commit to doing in a new year is becoming healthier or, in my case, staying healthy and maintaining my good eating habits. Most people say this with the intention of losing weight, making themselves feel better or exercising more – but often one of the other benefits of being healthy, if it’s done right, is forgotten: more brain power. Eating the right foods to power you and your brain – food that stimulates and increase cognitive function – can help you jump a whole grade. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3xdq6f)
Now I could just write an article about the types of food that help your brain functions, but that would be a bit of a cop-out. You can google it, as can I, and find a whole list of these foods on the internet. However, translating these foods into the right products, that are also tasty, can be difficult. That’s why today I’m going to share my favourite brain food products with you.
This is a painfully obvious one, but staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is so good for you. Beyond better skin and feeling better in yourself, staying hydrated can improve your brain function and can help you perform better in your exams and increase your general grades. Generally, I drink around 4-5 litres a day, and I have found this has benefited me in such a number of ways. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9211365/Taking-water-into-exams-could-boost-grades.html)
Strong Roots Kale and Quinoa Burgers
I picked these up from Waitrose a while ago, with no expectations, and let me tell you, they are absolutely delicious – and what’s more is that kale and quinoa are both great in helping your brain and studying. Kale is incredibly nutritious in a number of vitamins; It has high levels of vitamin C, which help to keep you positive and ward of depression. It has plenty of vitamin B, which is linked to cognitive function increases, in terms of increasing memory and remembering abilities – in fact, Kale has been linked to potentially slowing the effects of Alzheimer’s. As such, having a kale-based food can help to increase your memory and ability to retain information. Quinoa is a super-grain, and as such is high in protein and carbs, but low in fat, meaning it will help keep you fuller for longer and give you more energy, without depositing too much fat in your body and quell your hunger, thus stopping you from overeating.
Avocado Toast with Poached Egg
Anyone who knows me, or my Instagram, will know that this is a favourite of mine – that fact that both egg and avocado are great brain food is just a bonus. Eggs are high in B12, a vitamin B that is vital to concentration, focus and memory retention. Also, they contain high levels of choline, which produces acetylcholine, which is really important in your ability to learn and comprehend new information. Avocados also have a high choline count, and thus also help to produce a lot of acetylcholine, so combined, egg and avo are going to help your brain function massively. Avocados are also high in tyrosine, a chemical which helps us to stay motivated and engaged. Thus, you can see that together, Egg and Avocado will do a lot more than just look pretty on your Instagram feed.
Coconut oil is a funny one – it has pros and cons, but so long as your not eating it all day every day you should be fine. The cons are that it can be high in saturated fats, but like I said, as long as your not eating it all the time you’ll be fine. It has a high concentration of MCT’s, which when consumed get broken down and feed the brain directly. They way I make use of this is just by using is at a butter/olive oil substitute when frying or cooking anything in a frying pan or saucepan. Not only is it great for the brain but it’s also healthier than frying in say sunflower or olive oil.
Graze Veggie Protein Power
This one is great for snacking whilst working and helps to keep yourself away from unhealthy and sugary items. This is a packet with a collection of nuts, flavoured in spices, salt and pepper. There are a bunch of different nuts in here, but some of the best ones, for the brain, are almonds and walnuts. They help to feed the brain and your ability to retain information, whilst also keeping you full and delivering a plethora of other health benefits. For more information on the benefits of nuts, in regards to brain power, check out this link: https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-healthy-foods-nutrition/nuts-brain-health
Quaker Oats: Maple and Pecan Porridge
Oats are fantastic for your brain. Our brain is powered glucose, and the type that it runs on is rather abundant in the carbs that you find in oats – thus this makes porridge the perfect meal to start your day with, meaning both you and your brain will be energized and ready to take on the day. I like this brand and this flavour because, unlike others, it’s sweet enough, whilst still being healthy and keeping me full for longer, due to having slow release fibres. Also, this flavour contains pecans, which are high in magnesium and thus help to combat depression and anxiety, meaning that you start your day off on a positive high.
Hopefully, you found this list helpful and now have some great options for food to help you stay healthy and support your brain function. Start incorporating these into your diet and you could see you academics improve within months.