Your brain, like any organ in your body needs a constant supply of energy to keep sharp. This energy comes from the food you eat in the form of starchy carbohydrates. The first three years of life are particularly important, as this is when the rate of brain growth is at its peak.
Wholegrain varieties of starchy foods also contain B vitamins. These can help with your memory. Wholegrain's are found in certain breakfast cereals, oats, granary and wholemeal breads, brown rice and quinoa as examples. Popcorn, would you believe, is also a wholegrain. Great for a quick snack and super healthy and delicious if eaten plain. Many wholegrain cereals are also fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Starting the day with breakfast is key to get the energy buzzing through your body and brain cells. Did you know that eating breakfast has been shown to help with alertness, memory, and concentration?
A couple of snacks a day as well as your three meals can help ensure your brain has the fuel it needs to function at its optimum level.
Fact: your brain is about 60% fat. This fat is made up of omega-3 fatty acids and your brain needs a regular supply. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, pilchards, kippers and trout and it is recommended to eat a couple of portions a week.
And for those who may not eat meat, omega-3 fatty acids are also found in avocados; nuts such as walnuts and almonds and seeds such as flax, sesame and pumpkin. Try sprinkling pumpkin seeds on cereals and make flapjacks with walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds. Avocados are delicious mashed on granary toast for a brain buzzing breakfast.
Don’t forget plenty of exercise and a good nights sleep can all help your brainpower as well as keeping hydrated!
Angharad Banner, RD
Move, Laugh & Learn Dietician