We recently posted on our Facebook page about how exercise, such as Me-Moving, can boost your brainpower. It does this by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. Physical exercise also has the potential to increase of BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) levels, which is shown to help build healthier nerve cells.
But exercise isn't everything, so we thought we'd share some foods you can use, in conjunction with exercise, to really support your brain to function optimally. Whether studying for exams, staying focused at work or trying to improve your memory, everyone can use a little boost!
Now, there is no one magic food that is going to turn you into a genius or prevent age-related disorders such as Alzheimers' or dementia, there is a range of foods that can help support healthy brain function and have been linked to better brain power.
Incorporating many of the below foods as part of a healthy diet on a regular basis can improve the health of your brain, which could in turn translate into better mental function.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Fatty Fish (Sardines, Mackarel, Cod & Salmon)
Nuts & Seeds (Flax, Pumpkin, Walnut & Hemp)
Below are two quick, simple and tasty recipes that include the above foods and make a perfect breakfast or lunch.
Avocado, Soft-Boiled Egg and Pinenuts on Rye
This recipe comes from The Healthy Employee who have a wide range of healthy recipes that can be easily customised to suit a busy lifestyle and different dietary requirements.
2 slices rye bread
Pine nuts, to garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Gently place the eggs into a pan of simmering water. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl of cold water to cool.
Halve the avocado and remove the stone. Scoop out the contents and cut into slices
Gently remove the shells from the eggs once cooled and cut in rounds
Place the soft boiled eggs and avocado onto the rye bread and serve immediately with a twist of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of pine nuts
TIP FOR EXTRA FLAVOUR: Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan for a couple minutes - just keep a close eye on them so they don't burn!
TIP FOR EXTRA BRAIN-BOOSTING GOODNESS: Put a layer of baby spinach or rocket on the bread before the avo and egg. Or serve with a leafy green side salad.
Red Raspberry Smoothie
This recipe comes courtesy of the book Eat Fat, Get Thin by Dr Mark Hyman and is packed full of healthy fats, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk
½ cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon pomegranate powder
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed. Blend until creamy and smooth.
TIP: If you don't have pomegranate powder, you can swap for fresh pomegranate, a few strawberries or even blueberries.