Do you think your diet could make you smarter? You bet, it can. You are what you eat.
Within brains of students, there are many biochemical processes that are constructed for learning, reading, finding meaning, solving problems, etc. These tasks require healthy interactions of networks of brain cells.
Nourishing your brain with healthy food, you can optimise your brain to engage yourself in the classroom environment and achieve your career goals.
There are many super foods that are packed with nutrients and have properties which can enhance your brain function and boost your memory. Some foods may seem to provide a short term effect while there are foods, if included in your diet for long-term, would aid in boosting concentration and performance.
- Brain cannot work without energy. Steady supply of glucose to the brain improves concentration and focus.
- Sources: fiber-rich oatmeal, oat bran, brown rice, wheat bran, granary bread and brown pasta.
- These foods release glucose slowly into the blood, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day.
- Essential fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids are good for healthy brain and are believed to be necessary for transmitting signals between brain cells.
- They can be obtained through diet only.
- Omega-3 fatty acids occur naturally in oily fish which include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, etc. Other Sources: linseed (flaxseed) oil, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnut oil and soya beans.
- Studies say that consumption berries improve or delay short term memory loss.
- Berries are also rich in antioxidants, that protect your brain cells.
- They are believed to build healthy connection between brain cells.
- Moderate amount of caffeine can improve attention span, reaction time and other brain activities.
- Coffee is good in the short term.
- It can boost concentration, focus and also provide antioxidants to the brain.
- Studies suggests that intake of vitamin E can prevent memory loss particularly in the elderly people.
- Nuts are great source of vitamin E.
- Avocado, seeds and nuts are a rich source of vitamin E.
- Spinach is very high in magnesium and potassium content.
- These ions are said to maintain electrical conductivity of brain. They also boost memory and learning abilities.
- Spinach also has a high content of vitamin B6 and E, and folate.
- Deficiency of folate may cause memory loss and also lead to Alzheimer's.
- 85% of the brain is made of water. It is obvious that lack of water can lead to shrinkage of brain cells.
- Research tells that, dehydration of brain cells adversely affects concentration and memory.
- Throughout the day aim to sip about 6-8 glasses of water.
- Make your brain-boosting diet sweet with dark chocolate with atleast 70% cocoa.
- Cocoa contain flavonoids which are also antioxidants that keep your brain healthy.
- Other foods that are rich in flavonoids are apples, red and purple grapes, red wine, onions, tea, and beer.
- Milk is rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- All these nutrients are necessary to improve memory and cognitive functions.
- Milk protein (caesin) is said to improve brain performance in people who are vulnerable to stress.
Green leafy vegetables
- They are filled with antioxidants like vitamin C and compounds like carotenoids.
- They are powerful brain protectors.
- Sources are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts.
These foods provide the recommended nutrients when included as a part of balanced diet. The key to this is to pack your meals with nutrients to keep your brain cells healthy and to prevent any damage to brain tissues.