Your brain chemical messengers such as adrenalin, dopamine and serotonin are made from nutrients derived from your diet. Out of sight, out of mind certainly applies as without the correct nutrients, your brain chemistry will be negatively affected! Boost your mental performance by eating some of the right stuff most of the time and taking good supplements.
Smart Food For The Brain
A smart brain supplement should provide a combination of the following:
• 5 HTP (5 – hydroxytryptophan) is a feel good and memory booster.
• Phosphatidyl Serine/Choline/acetylcholine are needed to boost memory. Also found in eggs and wheat germ which you can add to your breakfast cereal or smoothie.
• DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). Sardines and anchovies are a good source of DMAE as well as of omega 3 essential fats, so they make excellent brain food.
• Vitamin B Complex including folic Acid. The B-complex vitamins, a large group of water-soluble vitamins, all play a role in healthy nerve and brain function.
• Zinc – also found in fish, seafood, eggs and nuts.
• Antioxidants help combat the deterioration of the brain by free radical formation and oxidative stress from poor diet, stress and pollution. Antioxidants are found in fruit and vegetables. The deeper the colour, the more the antioxidants. Think blue berries, cranberries, beetroot, plums, kiwi fruit, rocket, spinach, broccoli etc. Aim to have more than 5 servings of fruit and/or vegetables every day.
• Omega 3: Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring – providing essential fatty acid omega 3 which is necessary for integrity of brain cell membranes and healthy neuron synapses for good message relaying.
• Ginkgo Biloba stimulates blood flow to the brain.
• Proteins and amino acids play an important role in normal brain function. If you are on a very low energy diet or are vegan then you may need to consider taking an amino acid supplement.
Great products currently available: Brain Food and Connect by Bioharmony, also check out www.metagenics.com and www.sportron.co.za.
A quick light meal that will feed your brain:
Smoked salmon skewers
Thread 2 – 4 thin slices of smoked salmon or trout alternatively onto a kebab skewer with two peeled and quartered kiwi fruits. Spread 1-2 T flavoured cream cheese onto a slice or two of low GI bread.
Top generously with rocket and mixed lettuce leaves, a few halved cherry tomatoes and some thin slices of cucumber.
Place the salmon and kiwi skewer(s) on top. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve or enjoy.
This one’s a no-brainer. Any physical exercise that gets your blood flowing, muscles pumping and your heart rate up will improve your mental performance! Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. Get moving and watch those feel good endorphins come out and play! Besides actual physical exercise, you can also do some brain gym to boost your memory and concentration . Visit www.lumosity.com, www.brainmetrix.com or www.brainpower.org for creativity and memory tests, IQ boosters, games and puzzles that will spark your brain power.