It’s no secret that eating well is good for your physical health; healthy carbs, wholegrains, lean proteins with plenty of fruit and vegetables leave us feeling great and energetic throughout the day, but did you know our brains like a good meal too? Scientific research has confirmed that particular foods and nutrients can have positive effects on the brain, keeping cells healthy and maintaining natural functions, including boosts to your overall wellbeing.
The best part is, you don’t need to head out to the pharmacy and start stocking up on supplements and vitamins; simple everyday foods can provide everything you need to give your brain what it needs to keep you feeling sharp. Here are some of our favourites!
Healthy natural oils
Essential Fatty Acids may not sound particularly healthy, but our brains love omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, all of which are not naturally made by the body. Enjoying foods such as linseed, oil, pumpkin seeds and soya beans is perfect for this!
Wholegrain is the best grain
Just like every other part of our body, our brains need energy to keep us going which is where wholegrains can play a great part. Foods such as brown bread, rice and wholegrain cereals are perfect sources of this energy and are great alternatives to their white counterparts. What’s more, wholegrains tend to have a lower GI, releasing their energy more steadily throughout the day.
Fruits and nuts!
A staple snack for any healthy eater, fruits and nuts not only provide essential fats and vitamins for our bodies, but our brains love them too! Containing lots of lovely natural protein, most types of nuts contain good doses of natural fats such as omega 3, and vitamins E and B6 which help to support a healthy nervous system. Fruits are good too - Blackberries, blueberries, apples and grapes are among just a few types that provide lots of vitamins and antioxidants which maintain healthy brain cells.
Here’s the reallygood news! Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and even a little bit of naturally-occurring caffeine which leaves us feeling healthy and alert. It also causes the release of a substance known as serotonin which is a short-term feeling of happiness and wellbeing. Of course this doesn't mean that you can enjoy all chocolate bars totally guilt-free, but as far as dark chocolate goes, enjoy in moderation!