Mental alertness is all about input versus output. Just think about the last time you really ate and drank everything you knew you shouldn’t have. It was fun while it lasted, but the next day your body and brain felt all fuzzy and dull.
Excess sugar and fat is not going to stimulate your brain to be alert and in top form, nor is it going to do anything beneficial for your body either. So be smart this Xmas season by combining good food and relaxation to recharge your system for next year’s challenges.
A good way to start the day would be with some oatmeal or whole-grain bread. Brown rice around dinner time or a handful of seeds over a colourful salad is not only delicious but also healthy.
For breakfast or cocktails: the antioxidants in pomegranate juice or citrus fruit will help protect your brain from the damage of free radicals.
Your brain is worth protecting and because it is so sensitive to potential free radical damage, it should be high on your list of priorities to supplement your daily intake with anti-oxidants.
Yummy ‘brain berries’ to protect your brain from oxidative stress and they could reduce the effects of age-related conditions. Blueberries have been shown to improve one’s learning capacity and reduce cognitive decline that comes with ageing.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds will help reduce cognitive decline as they are a good source of vitamin E. Have them as a healthy and delicious snack anytime during the day.
On par with blueberries in promoting brain health and contribute to healthy blood flow for good cognition and mental alertness. Avocados also lower blood pressure, which is a very good reason to keep them handy for adding to salads or mixing as a dip with fresh raw vegetables.
Any deep-water fish like salmon or sardines should be part of the daily menu as they are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which in turn is good for brain function.
Low GI food that helps stabilize blood sugar levels and provides a steady flow of fuel for the brain. Since the brain is dependent on glucose for fuel and cannot store it, stable blood sugar levels will ensure optimal brain function, beans can be used very creatively in a wide variety of recipes.
The British were right; a few cups of freshly brewed tea can solve the world’s problems. Tea is full of antioxidants which promotes healthy blood flow to the brain, which in turn enhances memory, focus and mood.
Great as a gift for the hostess and delicious when it slowly melts in your mouth at the end of the day! Chocolate rich in cocoa has antioxidant properties and contains caffeine, a natural stimulant to enhance focus and concentration and help improve your mood.
It’s great for your health as well as your taste buds!
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), the primary type of fat found within coconut oil, have been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders as serious as Alzheimer’s.
Except for the foods we eat, the daily stress you experienced during the past year could have influenced your brain, the way you process information and cope with daily activities. Long term effects can include anxiety, lack of motivation, sleeplessness and memory loss.