Whether you’re studying or taking exams or solving difficult problems, your brain will require an adequate amount of fuel in order to function effectively. Sources of fuel for the brain have come to be known as brain food.
While any type of healthy food may be classified as “brain food,” the fact remains that there are certain forms of sustenance provide more and better nutrients than others. Let’s take a look at some of them here.
Bloom where you’re Planted
I once thought that vegetarians were strange, yet now I understand the benefits of their lifestyle choice. While I’m not advocating a purely plant-based diet, the fact remains that fruits and vegetables are good for your health in more ways than one.
For instance, citrus fruits, green veggies, seeds, nuts, beans, herbs, whole grains and anything with organic and plant oils are all conducive to concentrated cognition. All the foods I’ve just mentioned contain much-sought-after nutrients like isoflavones, choline, folate, glucose, vitamins and minerals—all of which are essential for proper brain function.
As an aside, you may also want to include some sage and curry in your diet. The former aids in the breaking down of acetylcholine (another enzyme the brain needs to function at its best), while the curcumin found in the latter helps rid the brain of its own form of plaque.
Something Smells Fishy…
They may smell funny, but cold-water fish such as anchovies, tuna and salmon help your brain cells communicate better with one another. The key component here is Omega-3, a fatty acid which makes up one of the primary components of your brain.
Long story short, Omega-3 is bundled up in a package deal with memory power, problem-solving and learning. Alternatively, you could also take fish oil supplements, but they’re not quite as appetizing as, say, steamed salmon belly with garlic.
Life is Like a Box of…
Here’s a secret taken straight from prodigy Roselle Ambubuyog: one of her favorite techniques in school involved munching on chocolates while studying her lessons. Moderate amounts (and I do mean, moderate) of chocolate do boost your cognitive abilities.
Besides encouraging the production of feel-good endorphins, flavanols in chocolate ensure that the brain gets enough blood to work with. Go for the healthier, darker confection in this case, even if it’s not Valentine’s Day.
Some people prefer to drink coffee when they feel sluggish. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I personally recommend green tea. The catechines in the beverage will give your brain the Batman-like ability to be relaxed, yet alert and sharp at the same time.
And last, but not least, remember to drink lots of water. A former classmate made sure he had a good amount of the element that gives life, especially during those times when he had to burn the midnight oil. The reason: he wanted to avoid having his brain’s dendrites shrunk by cortisol, which is a product of dehydration. If that sounds like a good idea to you, then by all means, drink up.
Finally, I leave you with this: remember the old adage “garbage in, garbage out”? The same is true with what you eat and drink. Feed your brain with the nutrients it needs to function well, and it, in turn, will serve you well.