Diet for an efficient mind – what is important?

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If you want to keep your brain in good shape you should take care of it – that is the idea of the MEMTRAIN project. You already know that it is important not only to train your memory using different games but also to stay physically active.

But there is more to it. Recent evidence suggests that also good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by dietary factors.

What should you avoid? 

East fewer high sugar foods and more wholegrain cereals, nuts, beans, lentils, fruit and vegetables.

Sugary foods are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. This may cause an initial ‘high’ or surge of energy that soon wears off as the body increases its insulin production, leaving you feeling tired and low.

What should you eat?

Wholegrain cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables are more filling and, because the sugar in these foods is absorbed more slowly, don’t cause mood swings. These foods are more nutritious as they contain thiamin (B1), a vitamin that has been associated with control of mood, and folate and zinc (supplements of these nutrients have been shown to improve the mood of people with depression in a small number of studies).

Other important minerals and vitamins that will help your brain:

  • Vitamines from B Group – they are responsible for proper functioning of the nervous system, improving mood and intellectual efficiency. They can be found in buckwheat, oatmeal, rice, nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame.
  • Lecithin – it mostly improves memory and occurs in peanuts, soy and wheat germ.
  • Iron – it’s responsible for transporting oxygen. We can find it in nuts, legumes, raisins, stone fruits and leafy vegetables.
  • Zinc – it defends us from cold and flu, strengthens hair and nails. It occurs in pumpkin seeds, buckwheat and dark chocolate.
  • Magnesium – it helps in the processing of neuromuscular impulses, improves the work of brain cells. We can find it in cocoa, dark chocolate and oatmeal.
  • Potassium – improves the oxygenation of the brain. It occurs in grapes, bananas, oranges, apricots, avocados, melons, nectarines, peaches, tomatoes and potatoes.
  • Phosphorus – it improves mood, increases intelligence, adds vitality. It’s necessary for our memory to not disappoint us. We can find it in fish and especially in sunflower seeds.
  • Linoleic acid – its lack results in reduced concentration, loss of memory. It is found in fish and vegetable fats.

Do you want to know more? You can find 5 Foods to Improve Mental Health in this article. And other 15 ingredients for your brain in this article. 5 more dishes and some other useful tips can be found here.

Enjoy your meal!