Brain Foods 101

Feed Your Brain

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We’ve all had days when feel a little fuzzy or super sharp and ready to take on any challenge, but did you know that what you eat or drink can affect how our brains perform lets say during a job interview, taking a test or just focusing on your list of things to do?
Here are some SMART ideas on what to eat to feel smarter!

Protein Throughout the Day- not just for dinnertime.

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While grabbing a biscuit or bagel might be easy choices for breakfast on the fly, nutrition scientists who study foods’ affect on the brain say eating nothing but carbs is a bad choice for a big day. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study compared two groups who ate either a high-protein or high-carbohydrate breakfast. Two hours later the carb group had levels of the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan that were four times higher than the protein group.

So make sure to add an egg to that breakfast biscuit or drink a glass of non fat milk and add some peanut butter or smoked salmon to a bagel to boost the protein power of your morning meal. Lean protein foods such as eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and beans help your brain stay alert by supporting the production of neurotransmitters needed to for smart thinking.

Brain cells crave choline

Eggs are a powerful little package to feed our brains. Egg yolks contain choline, a nutrient important for brain cell production and repair…so don’t skip the yolk!

 Found in egg yolks, peanuts, soybeans and flaxseeds the nutrient choline helps support the brain’s messenger service, called neurotransmitters. It’s also linked to new memory cell production. And chances are you’re not getting enough choline in your diet, especially if you’re an egg white omelet fan.

According to Boston based nutrition consultant and registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward, “It’s a nutrient that’s frequently under-consumed by those who need it most. In fact, fewer than ten percent of older children, men and women meet the recommended Adequate Intake for choline.” Ward says one egg which contains 125 milligrams of choline can help close the gap.

B Alert!

 B vitamins such as folic acid are important to the development of baby’s brains and our brains throughout life. Good sources include cantaloupe, orange juice, green leafy vegetables and enriched breads and cereals. If you’re going ‘low carb’ make sure to find your folic acid elsewhere.

Fish Oils Feed the Brain

The Omega 3 fish oils in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines – as well as Omega 3 fortified eggs and orange juice -are associated with improved cognitive function.

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SMART SALAD RECIPE:

The Classic Salad Nicoise with seared ahi sushi grade tuna, hard boiled egg, boiled new potatoes with green onions, olives, cherry tomatoes, green beans and capers.

Pay Attention with Tea

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Coffee may be the go-to beverage for most who want to add some pep to their step but, too much caffeine can cause nervous jitters- not a good look during a job interview. So maybe you should switch to tea today. Exciting new research on drinking tea actually focuses on its effect to calm us down so we can concentrate better and focus on the task at hand. John Foxe, Ph.D. Professor of Neuroscience, Biology and Psychology at City College of the City University of New York found that theanine, an amino acid present in the tea plant increases alpha brain-wave activity which induces a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind. Theanine is found in green, black and oolong teas.

Here’s the VIDEO of Brain Foods 101 from Atlanta & Company.

 

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