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Brain Food

In order to keep your brain fuelled – it helps to know the 5 most important nutritional sources that the brain relies upon.

 

Carbohydrates

 

 

 

Sugar is your brain’s super fuel.  In our diet it is available in 2 forms, simple and complex carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are converted into sugar by the body.  The benefit of this type of carbohydrate is that they release a more sustained stream of sugar to your brain. Adding protein to your complex carbohydrate ensures that you feel full for longer and supports concentration. 

Sources: whole grain products – rolled oats, brown rice, rice and corn cakes, whole grain sourdough breads, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, legumes.

Simple carbohydrates are converted quickly into sugar by your body, increasing blood sugar levels.  They are found in processed foods like white bread, biscuits, white rice, pasta, crackers, cake, chocolate, lollies etc.  These should be avoided and eaten seldom. 

 

 

Fats – essential fats or “good fats”

 

 

60% of your brain is made of fat.  Your brain cells use this fat as insulation to promote proper delivery of messages within the brain and around the body. 

A deficiency in essential fats can lead to difficulty learning, a reduction in attention span and mood/ behavioural disorders.  We call these fats “essential” because your body requires a daily dose of them from the diet.

Sources: nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado oily fish – sardines, salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, herring,

 

 

Protein

 

 

Protein rich foods provide the building blocks to make the neurotransmitters that help to regulate your behaviour, mood, appetite and sleep patterns.

Sources: fish, chicken, lamb, beef, kangaroo, turkey, game meats, nuts and seeds, eggs, legumes, dairy foods, soy products.

 

 

Vitamins & Minerals

 

 

Required to maintain balance in the brain and ensure optimal performance.  

Sources: fruits and and all whole (unprocessed) foods – grains, meats, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds.  The key here is variety.

 

 

Water

 

 

Each brain cell stores a reserve of water.  It uses this reserve to maintain the tone of the membranes within the brain, enhance circulation of nutrients and removal of wastes.  Water also prevents the brain from overheating which may result in reduced cognition.

 

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