Foods that improve brain function
Eating to improve brain function involves a balance of important nutrients. Here's a sample daily diet plan.
"Carbohydrates are important for increasing serotonin levels, which are our 'happy hormone'," says Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson and accredited practising dietitian Melanie McGrice.
"Eaten throughout the day, small amounts of carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index help ensure longer-lasting energy. Omega-3 fatty acids, (particularly EPA omega 3) are also another important nutrient for good brain function.
Daily diet plan
½ cup cooked porridge topped with ½ cup mixed berries and ½ cup low fat milk and 1 small black coffee (no sugar)
2 slices multigrain toast spread with low fat ricotta and topped with sliced banana and 1 small black coffee (no sugar).
30g mixed nuts with 300ml water
30g of pepitas and 300ml water.
Baked bean toastie made with ½ cup baked beans on wholegrain bread, served with a side salad made from 1 cup of baby spinach leaves, 1 tbsp of dried cranberries, ½ cup low fat feta cheese, a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cucumber (sliced) and a small handful of chopped snow peas drizzled with a teaspoon of olive oil vinaigrette. 300ml water
Chick pea and brown rice salad made with ½ cup canned (drained) chickpeas, 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, 1 diced celery, ½ diced red capsicum, 1 cup rocket and 2 tbsp diced mushrooms, and 300ml water
200g low fat yoghurt or an apple and a small cup of green tea
300ml banana smoothie
120g salmon steak with ½ cup cooked brown rice, ½ cup of steamed baby carrots, ½ cup of steamed broccoli and ½ cup of steamed diced mushroom, and 300ml water
Kangaroo fillet 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato, 3 brussels sprouts and four to five steamed asparagus spears and 300ml of water.
Can sugar stop you thinking straight?
Sure you want that chocolate bar or sugar in your coffee? Research at the University of New South Wales suggests that high-sugar diets can lead to memory loss – in fact rats fed a high sugar diet suffered deterioration in memory and spatial recognition in less than one week. So don't go loading up on sucrose, glucose, fructose and maltose if you want to boost your brain power.