Food for thought

Scientists are reporting that high fat food makes you less intelligent.Fat does not mean stupid

But I’m not sure the findings (tests on rats) tell us anything we didn’t already know.  Feed seven people burgers and chips for a week and see if they feel like jogging round a maze or doing mental arithmetic… We all feel sluggish after eating lots of rich food, no news there. And just think of all the extra work your liver has to do getting nutrients out of that dodgy food! You’re bound to feel less energetic.

So what food make us smarter?

Thankfully, for those of us who’ve already had too many chips, it doesn’t take too much thinking about… The kind of foods you need are organic (preferably raw) fruit and veg, proteins, healthy oils (did you know the brain is about 60% fat?), a little salt and lots of water. Just lots of the good stuff.

One brain website gave a brilliant summary, so I copied it:

Essentially, fats build your brain, and proteins unite it. Carbohydrates fuel your brain, and micronutrients defend it.

Iron

Let’s start with vegetables. It’s not just the vitamins, eating dark leafy vegetables stop you being iron deficient. Iron aids your learning, memory and attention.

Protein

Avocados are great, we all know that, they contain lots of protein. Proteins = amino acids = neurotransmitters. They are also a good source of Omega 3 and 6 which enable brain growth.

Spinach, nuts and seeds are good sources of protein too, as are meat and dairy products of course. Eggs also carry choline, a type of B vitamin which keeps neurotransmitters healthy.

Nuts contain plenty of vitamin E (as well as protein and omega oils), which keeps your brains cells functioning. Seeds contain magnesium which supplies power for the brain.

Omega oils

The omega 3 oil found in fish oils like salmon will aid cognition and alertness, it reduces the risk of dementia, increases your memory and mood. Tuna contains lots of vitamin B which is good for calming your mood generally.

Fibre

Oats also have some Omega 3 but more importantly the fibre from oats helps your cardiovascular system which in turn benefits your brain. Beans are full of fibre too and, like oats, are good at slowly releasing energy for your brain. Another food which is good at releasing fibre to your body is, wait for it… coffee. Coffee contains more soluble fibre than orange juice.

Carbs

In the main carbohydrates, like brown rice, are excellent at providing glucose energy for your brain. Thinking takes a lot of energy.

Antioxidants

The antioxidants in blueberries help reduce stress and are thought to improve learning skills. Pomegranates do the same kind of job and supply a good amount of fibre too. Consider also pine bark, ginkgo and tumeric for foods which fight free radicals.

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3 thoughts on “Food for thought

  1. Of course, all of the food you mention is good for you. I’m not sure on the “organic” comment though, it’s not actually more nutritious, it’s just farmed differently.

    1. Yes, this needs more investigation. A lot of my research emphasised organic food as being more nutritious and less harmful to the body, but didn’t go into how the relates to improved thinking.

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