Our brain is an organ that’s connected with everything going on in our body. Our brain requires around 20% of the calories we consume and 20% of the oxygen we breathe in order to function. As the brain requires such a high amount of our daily calories to function, it’s crucial that we are feeding it with the appropriate types of foods and nutrients for it to be given the right fuel to perform at its’ best!
How can we ensure we are living and eating in a way which best serves the health of this incredibly vital organ?
Food, exercise, sleep, mental fitness, social interaction are all important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to brain health. When it comes to food, the majority of the population aren’t eating the right types of food and lack in important nutrients which are important for our brain health.
First of all, fat. The brain is the fattiest organ in the body and needs a consistent supply of healthy fats, in particular Omega-3 fatty acids, to keep the brain working as it should. Fatty fish including sardines, salmon and herring are great sources of omega-3 fats, as well as avocados, nuts and seeds. Walnuts in particular are great for brain health as they contain a very high concentration of Omega-3 fats as well as vitamin E and antioxidants.
Secondly, vegetables. We all know we should be eating a range of vegetables each day and they set the foundation of a healthy brain and healthy body. Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and dark leafy greens contain high levels of fibre which helps to balance our blood sugar levels and helps us feel full and satisfied. Not only this, but these vegetables contain folate which helps to reduce the deterioration of neurons in our brain.
Now let’s talk about protein. We’ve mentioned healthy fats and vegetables making up important aspects of our diet for the improvement of our brain health, so what about protein? In order to build muscle, we need around 30g of protein in each meal. When our muscle mass reduces, our brain health takes a hit! We want to be eating protein with every meal and good quality protein is ideal. Good quality protein includes lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds and starting each morning with a protein breakfast sets your brain and body up for the day!
So, supplements. What, when and why are common questions I get asked when suggesting certain supplements to my clients. We want to be making sure we are getting all our minerals and nutrients from the foods we are eating, but this is not always the case, especially if your diet consists of processed foods, conventional ready meals and junk food. These supplements are a great addition to your diet and help to feed the body and the brain.
Note: always choose quality supplements and make sure you do your research.
1. High quality multivitamin: A multivitamin contains the optimal levels of the full range of minerals and vitamins in their correct forms for what our body needs. They are a great way to get all the nutrients and minerals that you know your body and brain needs, and is so simple to take. The brand ‘We Are Feel’ is the best company I have used for my multi-vit, (contact me if you are interested in a discount with them)
2. Vitamin D: Particularly in the UK, taking a good quality Vitamin D supplement is so important for our brain and body health. A vitamin D deficiency contributes to a whole host of problems including dementia, and with the lack of sunlight in the UK, especially in winter, it’s really important we are supplementing with Vitamin D.
3. Probiotics: Gut health plays a pivotal role in brain health and we need to make sure that our gut bacteria is in balance. Getting a good quality probiotic is so important and helps to balance the good gut bacteria, reduce food allergies and reduce inflammation. Poor gut health can lead to brain fog, inflammation and even dementia.
Article written by Holly for YKDaily. Click here for the original article.