Food and Drink: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Brain Power
In today’s fast-paced high tech world where everything has to be delivered instantly, it is difficult to keep up with the demands of a busy life. When tiredness takes over, brain power diminishes very quickly, so what can you do to give it a much-needed boost?
Increase your mental alertness with food and drink:
Protein maximises brain power and mental alertness, and by including some protein with every meal or snack you can reduce the soporific after-effects of eating carbohydrates.
In practical terms this could mean:
- Eating meat with your pasta
- Enjoying chicken on your bread roll
- Opting for good quality fish with your chips
Protein also keeps you feeling full for longer so there will be less likelihood of reaching for a chocolate bar when hit by the mid-afternoon slump.
Good sources of protein include lean chicken, turkey and ham, fish, and eggs.
- Dietary boron
Boron is a trace mineral that appears to have an effect on cognitive performance, including long-term and short-term memory, research suggests. A deficiency of boron can result in slower reaction times, memory impairment and a general lack of mental awareness.
Boron is present in many fruits, vegetables and nuts:
- Fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, and grapes
- Leafy vegetables
- Nuts, including almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and cashew
- Oily fish
A great source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), oily fish such as salmon, kippers, pilchards and trout boost both memory and brain power. Results will not be noticed immediately, but if you regularly eat oily fish over a period of approximately 6 months, memory and mental alertness will improve.
Eating a 150g portion of salmon each week provides the recommended amount, so it will not be too hard on your wallet either.
White fish, although still a good source of protein, contains lower levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is concentrated in the brain, so for specific brain boosting power it is better to choose an oily fish for lunch or dinner.
For a quick fix in the morning or afternoon, a cup of coffee should wake you up and increase alertness. More than a couple of cups of coffees a day is not recommended, however, as caffeine is addictive and can do more harm than good if drunk excessively. If you are not a coffee drinker, caffeine can also be found in regular tea, green tea, cola, and energy drinks.
Research has found that around 200 milligrams of caffeine in a mug of coffee is enough to boost brain power and mental alertness. This means that only 2 mugs a day, 1 in the morning and 1 mid-afternoon, are all that are required to improve performance and reduce fatigue.
Purely and simply the easiest way to boost brain power is by drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Sluggishness, tiredness, a foggy brain and slow reactions are all signs of dehydration, so just go the tap, drink a glass of water and then take another glassful back to sip at your desk.
It has been said that if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, so the best way to keep up hydration levels is to drink between 4 and 8 glasses regularly throughout the day.
Also a mood enhancer, water is an easy choice for a quick brain booster if you have been deprived of sleep or just need a quick, healthy pick-me-up.
Some of these ideas not only have brain-boosting effects, they also offer several other health benefits. Try just 1 each week to see which works best for you and your lifestyle, or incorporate them all into your working week to have a quick and efficient brain that will be running on all cylinders.