Clever choice of nutrition Can food increase your brain activity?
In every day life, on the job or in testing times: A clear head is always a clear advantage. Reduced concentration, on the other hand, can make tackling daily tasks more difficult. Can food help out in this situation? But what falls into the category of this famous brainfood? To what extent can brain performance be enhanced? You will find the answers to these questions here.
Never settle for having concentration problems. Your daily choice of foods has a considerable influence on brain performance. However, food is not a miracle pill. Only the regular consumption of specific nutrients increases brain activity. The good side: You are doing your entire body a favour and there is no need for expensive, and sometimes questionable, specialised products.
Optimal supply of oxygen for fresh thoughts
An essential element for a clear mind is sufficient oxygen to the brain. This is produced by good blood flow to the brain. Regular physical activity and a sufficient intake of fluids improve blood flow significantly. So here’s a good tip: Hydrate! The best options are water, unsweetened teas or fruit juices mixed with a good amount of sparkling water (twice as much water as juice). Make sure to drink one and a half to two litres of fluid over the course of a day.
Constant supply of energy instead of quick “kicks”
Blood doesn’t just transport oxygen, but also important nutrients. When the brain receives all the necessary nutrients, it benefits your mental performance, but also your physical well-being. First and foremost, the brain needs energy in the form of sugar. But take care. You are doing yourself no favours with dextrose, sweets or products made of white flour. These foods are not beneficial to long-term concentration. These carbohydrates raise the blood sugar level quickly, but it also drops just as abruptly. The brain then demands more and this can result in restlessness and diminished concentration.
For this reason, go for complex carbohydrates. Whether whole grains, fruit, vegetables, dried fruit, legumes or nuts: These foods release energy to the blood stream slowly so that the brain is supplied over a longer period of time. At the same time, the slow increase in blood sugar levels hinders a crash. This prevents sudden fatigue or snack attacks. As a result, you can go through your daily grind over a longer period of time without a growling tummy or lapses in energy.
The right nutrition for a clear head
It’s not just carbohydrates that positively affect our grey matter. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin can be produced in the body by consuming the proper amount of proteins. Foodstuffs that contain the amino acid tryptophan as a protein building block play a particularly important roll in the production of neurotransmitters. Serotonin has a positive effect on concentration and memory retention, and melatonin helps you sleep more peacefully. You can find good amounts of tryptophan in legumes, nuts, cheese, eggs, meat and fish, for example.
Healthy fatty acids are also essential for a fit brain. Polyunsaturated fats are a fundamental constituent of the fat structures of the brain. Even in the womb, the brain development of a foetus can be positively influenced by the targeted intake of omega-3 fatty acids compounds. As these unsaturated fats strengthen the walls of brain cells, they increase cell performance. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are, for example: nuts, linseed, walnut and rapeseed oil as well as fish and seafood.
Other nutrients for a happy brain
The intake of other nutrients is necessary for your brain. The trace element iron is a good example. That’s because: Iron is a component of red haemoglobin and binds with oxygen. Alongside physical activity and the intake of fluids, a constant high level of iron also contributes to a good supply of oxygen to the brain. Iron can be found in red meat but also in many plant-based foodstuffs. Whether legumes, oats, millet or whole grain bread: Combining them with vitamin C-rich fruits or vegetables improves the absorption of the iron in these foods.
Certain vitamins also make your brain happy. B vitamins, for example, aid in metabolism and are therefore important for the brain. High levels of B vitamins can be found in nuts, bananas, whole grains, legumes and in dairy products and fish. But overall, the interplay between all minerals, trace elements, vitamins and other substances such as antioxidants is decisive for physical and mental fitness. A balanced and varied diet, combined with physical activity, sufficient sleep and relaxation are the foundations for boosting health, well being and performance. All of the aforementioned, nutritious foods can be referred to as brainfood.
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