Food has a tremendous impact on your brain and how it functions. The individual cells in your brain are called neurons and we have about 80-100 billion of them. Each neuron has about 2000 connections with other neurons, which creates trillions of links (called synapses) between brain cells. These connections are what enables us to think, learn, create, solve problems and build memories. When the neurons of a particular part of the brain are activated, a given synapse can fire up to 200 times per second! That’s a whole lot of energy getting consumed.
With all that activity, quality food is critical to achieve optimal brain function. To perform at your absolute best mentally – and to be uber healthy so that you can go after your passion and purpose – you need to eat as well as you can.
- You need slow-digesting complex carbohydrates to provide a steady source of glucose, which is the fuel your brain uses for thinking, solving problems, being creative and instilling memories.
- You need high-quality fats, because fats are used to build the structures in your nerves like cell membranes and the myelin sheath that protects the nerve and speeds communication between neurons.
- You need healthy proteins to provide the amino acids that are the precursors for the neurotransmitters used to communicate between nerve cells.
- You need vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables for the intracellular processes that enable the nerves to function and even prolong the survival of individual nerve fibres.
Guess what you should be eating to fuel your thinking, creativity, problem solving and memory? That’s right – whole, fresh, unprocessed foods. Cold-water fatty wild fish. Fruits and veggies. Raw nuts and seeds. Olive oil. Coffee, green tea and black tea are all good options.
So keep thinking about what you’re eating and making good choices at school and at home. After all, school is all about building a better brain. You want to do well on assignments, remember what you studied last month, and deepen your knowledge every day. Use food as brain fuel.
Today's POWER-UP: The Brain Power Smoothie
ONE WAY TO PACK BETTER BRAIN FOODS INTO YOUR DAY IS THROUGH A MORNING BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE. HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF ONE THAT IS BRILLIANT FOR YOUR BRAIN:
2 HANDFULS OF SPINACH OR KALE
1 TABLESPOON OF GROUND FLAX SEED
1 TEASPOON GRATED GINGER
ABOUT ½ TEASPOON OF TURMERIC ROOT
ABOUT ¾ CUP OF ALMOND MILK (A LITTLE MORE OR LESS DEPENDING ON YOUR PREFERRED THICKNESS)
ADD A SCOOP OF YOUR DESIRED PROTEIN POWDER. LIVING FUEL AND VEGA MAKE GREAT PLANT BASED PROTEINS.
ADD ALL INGREDIENTS TO A BLENDER AND BLEND ON HIGH FOR 60 SECONDS.