Wellbeing Blog

Brainfood

Posted by MCI Mentor on Oct 28, 2021 1:59:40 PM

Welcome to your MCI Wellbeing Blog for November!

This month we are talking about Brainfood.

Brains are the hardest workers in our body. Think about it - your brain is always “on.” It is taking care of our thoughts, movements, breathing, heartbeat, and senses, even when we are sleeping. They work 24/7, which means they need a constant supply of fuel.
We know that our diet directly affects our bodily health. Just like our bodies, our brain's function can alter depending on what fuel we are giving it. Studies have shown that poor quality diets are a strong factor in impaired brain function, and contribute to stress, mood disorders (e.g., depression), poor sleep health and trouble focusing.

Eating high quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will nourish the brain and improve our cognitive function – which means more effective studying!

Have a look below to see what the best ‘brainfoods’ are, some recipes to try and some resources to visit if you would like to know more!

 

10 FOODS TO BOOST YOUR BRAINPOWER 

  1.  

See the source image1. Oranges

  1. Can reduce anxiety and stress! 

Vitamin C is known to have power to increase mental agilityResearch suggests that a deficiency could link to age-related brain degeneration including dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies also demonstrate that vitamin C is helpful managing anxiety and stress. One of the best sources of this vital vitamin are oranges. Others include red peppersbroccoli & blackcurrants.

 

 

 

2. Pumpkin seedsSee the source image

Can enhance memory and boost mood!

Pumpkin seeds are an incredibly reliable source of zinc. Zinc is a valuable mineral which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Other useful food sources to enhance your memory & mood includebeef, oysters, chickpeas, andnutsincluding cashews and almonds. 

 

 

 

  1. 3. BroccoliA bowl filled with broccoli florets
  2.  
  3. Can improve brainpower! 
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  5. If you are battling forgetfulness and absent mindedness dailyyou should try eating some broccoliThis green veggie is known to have Anti amnesic properties, which work towards preserving your memory. Broccoli is also a major source of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. 

 

 

  1. A sage plant
  2. 4. Sage
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  4. Can boost memory and concentration!
  5.  
  6. Sageis known for improving memory and concentration. Although moststudiesfocus on sage as an essential oil, you can easily add fresh sage to your diet too - you could add some crispy sage to any homemade soup! 

 

 

  1.  
  2.  
  3. 5. Mixed nutsA selection of mixed nuts in a bowl on a table
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  5. Can help protect healthy brain function!
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  7. Nuts are full of vitamin E which helps to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts make a convenient, portable snack on their own. Avoid brands with unhealthy additives, like sugar and salt – these add calories and sodium. The best nuts to include in your diet for brain health are raw or dry roasted. 

 

 

6. Wholegrains

A selection of wholegrain foods including wholemeal bread, spelt and wholemeal pasta

Can improve concentration and focus! 

Like everything else in your body, the brain needs energy to function. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from an adequate and steady supply of energy (usually from the glucose in our blood). You can achieve this by choosing wholegrains which have a low-GI - this means they release their energy slowly into the bloodstream, which keeps you mentally alert throughout the day. Not eating enough healthy carbs like wholegrains, can lead to brain fog and irritability. We suggest choosing ‘brown’ wholegrains – like granary bread, brown rice, and brown pasta. 

 

 

 

  1. 7. Oily fish

Can promote healthy brain function! A fillet of salmon on a chopping board with other cooking ingredients

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body which means they must be obtained through food. The most effective are omega-3 fats that occur naturally in oily fish. These fats are important for healthy brain function, the heart, joints, and our general well-being.  

If you arevegetarianorvegan, you may want to consider a plant-based omega-3 supplement, especially those who expecting or breast feeding - as omega-3 fats play an especially significant role in the development of the central nervous system of your baby. 

 

 

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  2. 8. BlueberriesFresh blueberries

Can boost short-term memory! 

The consumption of blueberries can be effective in improving or delaying short-term memory loss. Other dark red and purple fruits, like blackberries, and vegetables like red cabbage, also hold the same benefits as blueberries this is because they all contain the same protective compounds called anthocyanins. 

 

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  1. 9. TomatoesFresh, ripe tomatoes on a table

Can prevent free radical damage! 

There is a lot of evidence out there that suggests lycopene - a powerful antioxidant is found intomatoesLycopene, could help protect damage to cells linked to the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Other foods supplying this include - papaya, watermelon, and pink grapefruit. 

 

 

 

  1. 10. EggsTwo eggs cracked into a bowl and whisked

Can delay brain shrinkage! 

Eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins,including B6,B12and folic acid. These are known to reduce levels of a compound called homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with the increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease.  

Other B-rich foods include, chicken, fish, leafy greens, and dairy. If you are vegan, look for fortified foods - including plant milks and breakfast cereals. Other useful vegan sources of B vitamins, include nutritional yeast, avocado, soya, nuts, and seeds. 

 

 

See the source image

BRAIN BOOSTING RECIPES 

 ‘The super breakfast smoothie’  

Ingredients:
(2 servings) 
X1 small handful of oats 
X1 cup frozen blueberries 
X1 frozen banana 
Approx. 5 pitted dates 
A big dollop of Greek yoghurt 
Squeeze of honey 
1 teaspoon of natural nut butter (we suggest almond!) 
Coconut Water  
Few chia seeds to garnish!  

Method: 
Pop all ingredients into a blender, blend & enjoy!

 

‘The super boost salad’

Ingredients:
(3 – 4 servings) 
250g baby spinach 
A handful of fresh strawberries (hulled and sliced) 
100g crumbled feta cheese 
X 1 small red onion - thinly sliced 
X 1 cup of nuts – (we recommend walnuts or pecans!) 
 ‘Our super boost dressing’ 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegarAn overhead shot of a Strawberry Spinach Salad on a plate with chopped pecans
1/2 cup olive oil 
Tbsp dijon mustard 
1 Tbsp honey 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Method: 
For the ‘Super salad dressing’ -  Add vinegar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil until reduced by half.
Pour into a bowl - add olive oil, dijon mustard & honey - whisk to blend while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. 
Thin with a little water if desired.
Set aside. 

For the salad: 

  • In a large bowl toss together spinach, strawberries, half of the feta, red onion, and nuts. 
  • Drizzle about 1/3 of the dressing over salad. 
  • Plate up and drizzle remaining dressing over individual portions. 
  • Top with remaining feta. 
  • Serve & enjoy! 
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RESOURCES FOR MORE INFO: 

  1. 1. How the food you eat affects your brain - YouTubeMia Nacamulli 
  1. 2. Brain Food: How to Eat Smart and Sharpen Your Mind - eBook - Mosconi, Lisa: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store 
  1. 3. Medical Medium Cleanse to Heal: Healing Plans for Sufferers of Anxiety, Depression, Acne, Eczema, Lyme, Gut Problems, Brain Fog, Weight Issues, ... Fibroids, UTI, Endometriosis & Autoimmune - Book - William, Anthony: Amazon.com.au: Books 
  1. 4. Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food - Harvard Health 
  1. 5. Power Foods for the Brain - YouTube Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck

 

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All the best!