Much of what I do is purely possible due to the brains incredible adaptive capability – it’s neuroplascitiy
The chemistry and structure of the human brain is constantly changing, with every thought and experience we have, forming new connections between brain cells, allowing those that are rarely used to just fade and wither away. It used to be believed that as we reached adulthood our brains lost the ability to change, like the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, well that could not be further from the truth! It is never too late to feed the brain with new skills, to change your thinking and to create new, better more positive outcomes in your life!
Our brain is the hub of our body, it is the captain of the ship and controls all functions, so it is crucial that we give our brains all the nutrition it needs to have optimal health. Choosing the right foods makes a really important difference to how well our brain operates, effecting not only the health and vitality of our body but also our moods and emotions.
So what foods are good for the brain?
Countless studies have shown that you can improve your concentration, memory, intelligence, alertness and your moods simply by the food that you choose to eat!
The brain places the highest energy demands of all of our organs and uses one fifth of all the blood pumped by your heart.
The best source of energy for our brain is complex carbohydrates more specifically whole grains. Whole grains provide us with better concentration and mental performance. Whole grain foods are lower GI which means they take longer to digest giving you a more stable blood sugar level throughout the day. A great source would be brown rice or oats.
Yes fat! Let’s get one thing clear fat does not make you fat and are not the demon that they have been made out to be. The ‘dry weight’ of the brain is about 60% fat, and 20% of this fat is made from the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. Essential fatty acids cannot be made by the body so they have to come from the diet. An insufficient level of omega-3 has also associated with a higher risk of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are found in equal amounts in the brain, so we should consume equal amounts of both, most of us naturally consume more omega 6 (found in poultry, eggs an avocado) but not as much Omega 3. Oily fish such as salmon is a great source of omega 3.
If you don’t like fish then walnuts are a brain power food with a balance of both omega 3 and 6 and you get a healthy dose or protein too!
The brain is about 80% water, so it is important for us to drink lots of fluids for it to function properly. We lose about 2.5 litres of water each day through our sweat, breath and urine
If we don’t get enough water this can have a huge impact on our overall health and concentration and mood.
Aim for 6-8 glasses a day, yes water is best but all fluids count, just try not to get all your fluid through caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee and of course avoid sugary drinks!