BLOG PAGE: A View from the Bridge
By Mr. Clayton
By Mr. Clayton
Food for thought - some ideas and tips for eating brain healthy.
There is a clear relationship that exists between diet and brain function. This is an area of much research in recent years and there are still some areas that are uncertain or undetermined, however, it is becoming even clearer that we are, indeed, what we eat! Here are some general bits of advice.
. Eat omega 3 fish oils-there are present in fatty fish like salmon and tuna-they fight attacks by free radicals and assist with the function and structure of brain cells. There is some tentative research that this may improve the learning performance of students with ADD, ADHD and dyslexia.
. Take care with certain types of vegetable oils-for the brain olive oil and canola oil are considered the best.
. Cut back on sugar especially fructose and sucrose. Blood sugar is vital to good brain function, but high sugar levels can lead to sugar spikes and things such as diabetes, strokes and arterial damage
. There are some great foods for taking which help attack free radicals. These free radicals can attack cells in the body. The best foods for help here are those high in anti-oxidants, these include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, garlic, strawberries, cranberries spinach and raspberries. You might also be pleased to learn that tea, tomato products and chocolate are good sources of anti-oxidants too-though careful with the chocolate!
. Avoid overdosing on caffeine. Caffeine can have its uses as a memory enhancer, but two cups a day is absolutely sufficient. Remember that caffeine is present in tea too. Take care too as obviously caffeine can cause sleeplessness which as we know impairs performance.
The jury is still out on whether taking vitamin supplements really works. It is better to take them in their natural form. B, C and E vitamins are all crucial as are the minerals selenium, which is present in tuna and brazil nuts and quite a few foods in low doses and chromium which is present in whole grains, nuts and broccoli.
. There are many herbal/natural supplements which seem to help brain performance and memory. However, again there appears to be some argument over their efficacy. Two of the most popular that seem to get the ‘best press’ are ginkgo biloba and ginseng, the benefits of which have long since been known about in this part of the world!
. Eat eggs in moderation as the egg yolks contain a B vitamin that helps with improved performance of blood vessels.
. Limit salt intake as this can boost blood pressure and make blood vessels less efficient.
A word of warning - research in this field is hotly contested with claims and counter claims. The recommendation would be to become an educated consumer of the research. Try and look for valid clinical tests and links to human trials.
Do you have any super foods you swear by? Did you realise there are over 100 million diabetics in China - what are the long-term implications? It was recently announced that for the first time there were more overweight people in the world than those were classed as starving, 1 billion overweight and 800 million starving,should we be rallying round to help them with charity records and awareness raising?