Beauty and Lifestyle Expert
The right foods can fire up creativity, alertness and positivity in the brain. Emma Bangay finds out how, why and which you should eat!
“What we eat has an enormous impact on our brains,” says Cheree Sheldon of The Healthy Mummy. Brains start developing just three weeks after conception, so deficient levels of iron, zinc, choline, and fatty acids may result in babies with reduced brain function, concentration, memory, cognition, and motor skills. “As we grow up, these nutrients become important as we go to school, work, and grow older, as they may be protective against dementia,” she continues. “One of the recognizable causes of dementia is being deficient in B vitamins.”
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The Five Top Foods To Feed Your Brain:
Although Cheree insists it’s hard to pinpoint just five foods, here are her top picks:
1. Egg: “Not only does it contain great fats that will feed your brain, but it also contains the amino acid tyrosine, which helps brain fatigue,” she explains.
2. Broccoli: This power packed vegetable helps the liver function, assisting in the removal of toxins floating around that may inflame your brain. “It also contains the flavone Luteolin, which crosses the blood-brain barrier and reduces inflammation in the brain,” Cheree says.
3. Fatty Fish: A widely popular one, oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, cod and anchovies are rich in omega three fatty acids which are essential for brain boosting. They reduce inflammation in the brain and help behavior, mood, memory and sensory control (like eyesight and hearing).
4. Liver: “This amazing food also contains CoQ10, which acts as an antioxidant and increases brain mitochondria as well as protecting the brain from damage,” says Cheree.
5. Dark Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries enhance cognition as they are packed full of antioxidants, Cheree concludes.
Your Brainiest Day On A Plate:
Breakfast: “Remember our brain is fat, we have to feed it what it loves the best!” says Cheree, noting that omega fatty acids should be the order of the day first up. Broccoli Omelets, sprinkled with hemp seeds, with a side of Kim chi,” is the perfect dish to fire up your brain,” she says. “The eggs contain omega three fatty acids, and tyrosine to reduce brain fatigue, broccoli reduces inflammation, hemp seeds are another source of good fats and a fermented food like Kim chi can feed our gut bacteria, which – incredibly – talk to our brains!” she points out. “We have more brain cells in our guts than a cat!! So good gut health means a happier brain.”
Morning Tea: Try a protein shake with matcha green tea powder, cacao powder, banana, and berries, made with almond milk. “All of these foods do something wonderful for the brain,” explains Cheree. “Green tea and cacao powder give you more clarity and enhance cognition, berries are powerful antioxidants and almonds and bananas contain B vitamins. I have Bacopa in the garden and throw a bit of that in my smoothie as well to help with memory!” she says.
Lunch: Fresh beetroot salad with walnuts, baby spinach, and salmon is perfect as it ticks all the boxes including good fats, fresh folate and protein for brain structure. “Drizzle with olive oil and you’ve got a super brain salad!” Cheree enthuses.
Afternoon Tea: Liver pate with flaxseed crackers and carrot sticks are not only delicious but also superbly beneficial to beat the afternoon lag.
Dinner: “Chicken with a rainbow of vegies…and a glass of organic red wine!” she laughs. “Nice source of protein that is good for structures in the body (including the brain), a myriad of phytonutrients and antioxidants from vegies, and resveratrol in red wine, which is another powerful antioxidant.”
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