Your brain only accounts for 2% of your weight, but it consumes a whopping 20% of your calorie intake. It stands to reason then, that feeding your brain is essential to keep it working at optimal levels. But what does your brain eat? Feeding your brain the right foods will keep you on your toes and ready to ace your mid-terms.
Your brain requires a constant supply of glucose or you will experience a lack of concentration and memory loss. Healthy glucose can be found in grains, fruits and vegetables. Too much glucose (the kind you find in candy, cakes and refined sugar products) negatively affects memory. Studying on cakes, candy or soda will impair your ability to remember what you are studying.
The most important foods to feed your brain are fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. Brains like iron which can be found in red meats, grains and dark-leaf vegetables like spinach. They also like vitamins from the B family with can be found in grains, wheat germ, eggs and nuts.
If you think you are too busy studying to make proper meals, don’t think vitamin supplements are a substitute for food. You need to eat to keep your blood sugar up. If you wait too long before meals, you blood sugar will drop and you will be asleep, drooling on your desk rather than studying. Keeping your blood sugar level is key; it’s better to eat 6 small meals than three big ones.
Take the time to have a good breakfast. This will get your juices flowing and provide your brain with the fuel it needs to jump start your day. Choose healthy cereals, eggs and fruit.
For lunches, have a healthy sandwich or soup. Avoid fatty meals that will leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
For dinner, enjoy lots of protein (fish if you can) and vegetables. If you get hungry, snack on nuts, fruit and rice cakes.
The top five foods to feed your brain:
1) Wild salmon: Contains tons of essential fatty acids (most notably Omega-3) and it is a good source of protein.
2) Akai berries and blueberries: These amazing berries are packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and protein. Akai berries even have omega-3 fatty acids.
3) Whole grains: bran, whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice and wheat germ all contain lots of vitamin B6 and folate which increases the flow of blood to the brain.
4) Green leafy veggies like spinach, kale and cabbage are packed with vitamins B6, B12, Iron and folate.
5) Seeds and nuts provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which lift your mood while their thiamine and magnesium improve your memory.
Green tea, especially if you can get the super-potent macha. This healthy tea contains anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.