Eat Your Way to a Better Brain
When you think of getting smarter, you probably think about studying, doing lots of math and generally putting in time and effort. But what if I told you that you could get smarter by eating?
We all love eating (I know I do), so in theory this should be easy as pie (insert your groan here). But if you choose your foods wisely, you’ll find what you eat can make a significant difference in brain function and overall mental performance…
So, let’s talk top brain foods…
Oily fish such as herring (bloater, kipper and hilsa are types of herring), salmon, sardines, trout and mackerel are crucial for optimum brain health because they contain Omega 3 fatty acid. This benefits our brain in two ways.
Firstly, omega 3 fatty acid can be used to build cell walls. It is incorporated into their formulation, which means that lesser materials get replaced. In turn, this creates brain cells that are more flexible, more fluid and less likely to become damaged. This also increases ‘cell membrane permeability’. In simple words, this means that neurotransmitters, nutrients and important signals will pass through the cell walls more easily, allowing for speedier transmissions and improved communication across synapses (thinking fast and such).
On top of all this, Omega 3 fatty acid also fights inflammation. Inflammation a big deal everywhere in the body, but especially in the brain, where pro-inflammatory cytokines can cause serious damage if left to do their own thing. Brain inflammation is likely responsible for brain fog as well as linked to cognitive degenerative diseases, so this is a quick and effective brain upgrade.
Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids that humans need to thrive. This means that they contain all the proteins that are used to build muscle, skin, bone and neurochemicals.
But what eggs also contain is choline. Choline is a chemical precursor to acetylcholine, meaning that it is what the brain uses in order to put acetylcholine to work. This is important for us because acetylcholine is the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain alongside glutamate. This means it is used in many important operations, especially when it comes to memory!
Avocado is a healthy saturated fat, which is important because the brain is largely made from fat. It’s also another source of Omega 3 fatty acid. But what is most exciting of all, besides guacamole, is that it contains lutein – a carotenoid that used to be known primarily for its eye-health benefits but has since been identified as a powerful cognitive enhancer and energy booster!
So the next time you’re offered scrambled eggs with lox and avocado toast at brunch, don’t be a dummy, eat up!