Brain food


Have you ever wondered if there are certain foods that you can eat to help preserve your memory?!  I have.  We already know that food provides our bodies with energy and that there is always new research out about how healthy this or that is for you.  So, there has to be some foods that help with memory right?!  Whether you are looking for a short-term fix before an exam or thinking long term there are foods that have been proven to help.  Of course they are the healthier foods that I always preach about, just one more reason to eat healthy!

Brain food

Brain food

Everyone either has exams or meeting from time to time so what can you do to keep your mind focused, your energy level up, and your stomach from growling? The number one thing is to NOT SKIP BREAKFAST.  So many people say they are not a morning person and choose to sleep an extra 10 minutes instead of eat breakfast, but as you know it is the most important meal of the day.  Breakfast gets your body and mind going each day, so make sure you fuel it with something healthy.  However, timing is key!  Try to allow at least an hour between eating and taking a test or heading into an important meeting.  I’m sure you or your partner always gets tired after eating a meal, especially when sitting down or laying in front of the TV afterwards.  This is because the body is focusing on digestion which makes you tired.
Take a look at some of foods that will help save your memory (now and years down the road):

  • Foods high in vitamin E:
  • salad dressings that have a vegetable oil base
  • whole grains
  • peanuts and peanut butter
  • other nuts/seeds
  • avocados
  • Fish; which is high in omega 3
  • Dark leafy greens; which are also high in vitamin E, folic acid, and other useful memory savers
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, and acia berries)
  • Fiber rich whole grains (high in vitamin E and fiber, WIN-WIN!)

This means that if you have to go to the cafeteria or vending machine choose wisely.  I have patients who say “well a muffin is quick how about that?”  Yes they are quick but are they really the idea healthy snack?  What kind of muffin are you choosing?  Try to choose something that is on the healthier side if you just have to have a muffin.  This means, if you take the muffin and imagine it in a square or circular shape could you consider it a cookie or a cake?  Yes that means, double chocolate chip.  Try an oatmeal raisin or bran muffin instead.

Also try to avoid high sugar and carbohydrate snacks, they will provide you with a quick energy boost but it will also wear off quicker than other snacks.  Carbohydrates also stimulate a production in the body that gives your brain a feeling of relaxation.  This is just another reason people get so tired after a large meal, like pasta for example.

It is also very important to stay hydrated and be well rested.  Why is this is so important?  Staying hydrated helps the body maintain its chemical reactions, without proper hydration our brains speed is affected.  A lack of sleep will make you turn to those sugary, high calorie energy products that are taking over the shelves.  But, what if you can’t sleep?  Try an herbal tea or warm milk before bed, these have a natural sedative effect.  I know plenty of people who drink warm tea before bed for this sole purpose and it works.