Eating well is not only good for your physical health but your mental health as well. The brain needs certain nutrients just like any other organ in your body. But which are these foods that can improve brainpower and, therefore, boost your learning abilities? Below is a rundown of the foods you can rely on to elevate your learning abilities and take you out of the rut if you are a writer experiencing writer block.
Whole grains are a source of energy as they slowly release glucose into the bloodstream, therefore, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. It is a trite fact that the ability to concentrate and focus emanates from a sufficient and steady supply of energy to the brain. This energy is usually in the form of blood glucose. Whole grains that can perform this job splendidly have a low glycemic index, meaning that they release glucose slowly into the bloodstream. They include granary bread, pasta, rice and ‘brown’ wholegrain cereals.
Your body cannot manufacture essential fatty acids- EFAs. That means you need to obtain them from an external source. The most potent omega-3 fats are derived from oily fish in the form of DHA and EPA. Apart from fish, these essential fats can also be sourced from soya beans, linseed, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds among others. The omega-3 fats are very important for an optimal brain function. They also good for the heart and joints as well as for your general wellbeing. Fish is preferred since it has the active form of the omega-3 fats- i.e. in the form of EPA and DHA- thus making their intake easier. The main sources of these fats include mackerel, trout, salmon, sardines, herring, kippers and pilchard fishes.
If you do not nourish your body with adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, then you risk developing Alzheimer’s disease in conjunction with a loss of memory. On the other hand, if you gorge yourself with foods that pack adequate amounts of omega-3 fats, then you’ll better manage your stress levels in addition to having sufficient amounts of the good mood brain chemical called serotonin. All these will invariably boost your brain power leading to improved learning abilities.
According to a study by Tufts University in the United States, the consumption of blueberries can effectively improve short-term memory and delay short term memory loss. Blueberries are readily available. They are fit for their purpose owing to the fact that they pack a protective compound called anthocyanin.
There is abundant evidence that lycopene, a very potent antioxidant that can be found in tomatoes, can help cushion you against free radical damage to brain cells that often heralds dementia.
Some B-vitamins- think B6, B12, and folic acid – reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine increase the risk of cognitive impairment, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. The foods to give you enough B-vitamins include leafy greens, eggs, fish, and chicken.
Vitamin C is believed to have the power to improve mental acuity and cushion against age-related brain degeneration such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Excellent sources of vitamin C include blackcurrants, red peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits.
Include the mentioned foods in your diet and your learning abilities will improve exponentially. If you are experiencing writer’s block, the foods will help you get out of the rut.
Jeremy Hopkins is a blogger, interested in medecine, art, science and essay