Your brain, like the rest of your body, needs important nutrients to build and maintain its structure, so it can function at its best and avoid premature ageing. A well-fed brain will influence how you think and feel. The following foods help keep your mind in tip-top condition so try to include them in your diet on a daily basis.
Your brain needs a constant supply of glucose, even at night. That’s why it’s important to start your day with breakfast. Include low-glycaemic (GI) carbohydrates such as wholegrain cereal or toast and this will ensure a slow but regular supply of glucose to your brain.
The human brain contains more fat than any other organ in the body. Fat is the architect of the brain cells, with polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids being the primary foundation. Omega-3 fats cannot be made by the body, therefore you need to get them from foods. Feed your brain with oily fish including salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines two or three times per week. Flaxseed (linseed) and its oil, pumpkin seeds, lean meat and eggs also contain omega-3.
Essential amino acids
The building blocks of protein, amino acids are essential for sending messages (neurotransmitters) from the brain to other parts of the body. Dietary deficiency of amino acids can lead to a lack of motivation, poor concentration and depression. Include a source of protein at each meal: low-fat milk with cereal for breakfast, tuna or bean salad for lunch and lean red meat for dinner.
B vitamins help the brain to use glucose for work and without them your thinking can be altered. Beta-carotene (converted to vitamin A by the body) and vitamins C and E are antioxidants that can help slow the signs of age-related memory loss. To meet your daily vitamin needs, eat two serves of fruit, five serves of vegetables, a handful of seeds and at least two serves of wholegrains every day.