Brain boosting foods for creative folks

Working in the creative industry can be taxing on the body and brain. When you're tired and stressed, it can be easy to mistake what your feeling with hunger, causing us to overeat (hello 3pm slump!).

If you’re like me a love a coffee break, you need to stay on top of your hydration so you don’t fall victim to the sugary snacks.

I spoke to Mel from Nutri-licious to get some tips on how to keep the brain juices (ew!) flowing. Good news, there’s dark chocolate involved….read on!

chocolate_coffee.jpg

What are some of the best foods to give your brain a boost?

When it comes to brain health, healthy fats and anti-oxidant rich foods are the way to go.

Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, eggs and extra virgin olive oil are delicious and versatile that can be used in any meal of the day.

Omega 3 fatty acids are really important for brain function; however deficiency is common, especially for those who don’t eat oily fish. If salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and anchovies aren’t your thing, plant sources such as chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts can assist in boosting your daily intake.

Anti-oxidant rich foods assist in fighting inflammation to keep your brain sharp. Opt for berries, dark chocolate (at least 70%), green tea and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or rocket.

A healthy and well-fed brain can assist with memory, focus, cognition and mood.

If you experience feelings of brain fog, I suggest paying attention to your body when you eat to identify what is leading to brain drain.

Are there any foods which can have a negative impact on your brain?

What we eat can most definitely affect our brain in a negative way. One of the most common reasons people struggle with cloudy thoughts can be unbalanced blood sugar levels. Eating refined or sugary foods can create surges and then slumps in blood sugar levels which can lead to crashes in energy, focus and mood.

Also avoid overeating or having big, heavy meals. Digestion uses large amounts of energy; if you over-burden your digestive system it can leave you feeling tired, rather than energised.

Other things to consider are food sensitivities and dehydration. If you experience feelings of brain fog, I suggest paying attention to your body when you eat to identify what is leading to brain drain.

By afternoon, dehydration can set in, you will be amazed at how some water can boost your energy.

When three-pm-itis hits, what’s the best food to reach for to give yourself a boost?

When it comes to afternoon energy slumps it is best to look at setting yourself up for good blood glucose regulation across the whole day rather than turning to food which is often high in sugar.

Take a look at your breakfast and lunch to make sure you are not filling up on sugary and processed foods that will take you on that roller coaster of energy surges and slumps. Include your healthy fats and protein with meals to fuel your body and provide satiety.

If you are still getting to the afternoon and having a dip in energy or concentration, consider your water intake. By afternoon, dehydration can set in, you will be amazed at how some water can boost your energy.

My other go-to pick me up after spending the day in front of my computer is to get outside. Getting some sun on your skin, especially if you can include it with some movement, even if it’s only 10 minutes of light walking is great to re-charge and boost productivity.

For an afternoon snack, a handful (30g) of nuts such as almonds, walnuts and macadamias with a couple of squares of dark chocolate provides those healthy fats and anti-oxidants for your brain.

Follow Nutri-licious on Facebook for concise tips on the complex world of nutrition.