Our brain is responsible for managing just about everything in our body, from movement to focus and mood. A properly nourished brain can work wonders for our ability to concentrate, problem-solve, coordinate, balance, and regulate emotions. Because the brain plays such a vital role, it is important to fuel it with the best nutrients to optimize our performance. We’ve made a list of three simple things you can do today!
1) Drink Your H2O
Your brain has nowhere to store water, but it needs it in order to work at an optimal level – so drink up!
About 75% of the brain is made up of water, meaning it’s very important to stay hydrated all day long. When you are even slightly dehydrated, your memory, energy, ability to focus, and stress levels can all be affected. Staying hydrated is key to ensuring your brain can function efficiently and at its highest potential.
So, how much should you be drinking daily to stay hydrated?
- Kids: One 8-ounce cup of water for every year of their age up to 64 ounces. For example, a 5-year-old would require roughly 40 ounces, or nearly 1.2 litres each day.
- Adults: About half their body weight in ounces of water. For example, a 150lb person would need about 75 ounces, or just over 2.2 litres each day.
2) Make Friends with Fat!
In dry weight, the brain is made up of 60% fat, making it the fattiest organ in the body.
Incorporating healthy fats into meals and snacks throughout the day is a fantastic way to help boost the brain. Omega-3 is made up of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Both vital for proper brain development and function in all stages of life.
- Look for high-quality fish oil that has a high level of DHA.
- Salmon, sardines and herring are great food sources for DHA.
- For vegetarians, short-chain omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)) can be substituted. This is found in hemp, chia, and flax seeds, algae oil, and walnuts. It’s no coincidence that walnuts look like a brain!
- Avoid peanuts – they are technically not a nut and are actually an inflammatory.
3) Eat Your Blues
Blue foods such as blueberries are not only delicious but pack lots of brain-boosting benefits.
Blueberries have been shown to carry the potential to boost memory, improve neuroplasticity and slow ageing in the brain. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and help reduce DNA damage from free radicals in the brain – so eat up!
These are a few simple ways to ensure that your brain is receiving proper nourishment for optimal functioning. Everybody is different and it is important to eat in a way that works for you. Always consult a nutritionist or doctor to ensure that your body is getting the right nutrients.