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The best brain foods are those that contain essential fatty acids.
Yes! Brain foods do exist and they can help improve our mental
performance. While this doesn't mean if we stick to eating spinach,
walnuts and olive oil we'll turn into geniuses overnight, it does mean
we can give ourselves a boost in the brain department just by making
slight changes to our diets. And who wouldn't want a mental boost when
studying for uni or TAFE courses?
Healthy food, healthy mind
Scientists are hard at work trying to figure out what certain foods
do for our bodies, and the general consensus is that the best brain
foods are those that contain essential fatty acids. That includes,
oily fish like salmon and sardines, as well as avocados, walnuts and
Walnuts actually help increase blood flow to the brain – can't argue
with that, but perhaps the most important substance of all is simple
H2O. Without water, our brains become dehydrated and it becomes
impossible to function properly, so before you think about what you're
eating, think first about making sure you're drinking at least 1.5
litres of water a day, if not more.
Thankfully, there's also proof that chocolate (at least the dark kind
– 80% cacao or more) is good for you. Not only does it contain
caffeine, which helps you focus, it also contains flavonoids – a type
of antioxidant that boosts blood flow and lowers blood pressure.
Veggies are essential
Leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli have been proven to
support cognitive function. Broccoli is packed full of vitamin K,
while the herb sage, according to old wives' tales, improves memory.
Another vegetable that has been shown to have brain-enhancing powers
is the humble tomato, which contains an antioxidant that may protect
the body from free radicals that can cause things like dementia in old age.
It's not just what we eat though, it's how much we eat and when. Meal
timing is a crucial factor in performance. For example, breakfast is
indeed the most important meal of the day, so be sure to eat a good
breakfast every morning (avoiding sugary cereals that will make you
crash and burn mid-morning and opting instead for whole grains, which
release energy slowly) as this will help improve memory – perfect for
when you have a big day of studying ahead.
about the science to studying.