By Anne Laing:
It is well known that people who do not feel good about themselves do not perform well.
So what will really boost your brainpower, and what will make you lose your mind?
We are currently in Singapore and Hong Kong at the moment where is it still normal for the indigenous people to eat small meals regularly throughout the working day, and rarely consume any less than six to seven vegetables a day. The rates of obesity here are low and they suffer considerably less incidences of heart disease, cancer, diabetes or dementia.
Many of the diet charts we see from western cultures have only one to two coloured vegetables a day, and often consumed in just one meal. Their food balance is made up of a variation of refined grains, oils, sugar, salt, caffeine, dairy and chemicals – those all too familiar culprits that are NO better for the brain than they are for the body.
Rats fed diets high in saturated fat and sugar under-performed on tests of learning and memory, and humans who live on such diets lacking essential nutrients have a decreased rate of energy and concentration – and an increase in stress, mood disorders and dementia.
A large variety of coloured vegetables and some fruits are brain super-foods. It doesn’t have to be the latest fad food, just foods that look like they have been grown on a farm.
These are high in antioxidants, which counteract atoms that damage brain cells. They also keep your body free from acute illness and disease. Researchers have found that high-antioxidant diets keep learning ability and memory sharp in aging rats and even reduce brain damage caused by strokes and diabetes.
Exercise is number two in importance to improve the brain’s functions (planning, organizing, multitasking, and more). Exercise is also well known for its mood-boosting effects, and people who exercise are far less likely to get memory loss and confusion as they age. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which also increases the delivery of oxygen, fuel and nutrients to neurons.
Research has shown that exercise increases the levels of a substance called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which encourages growth, communication and extends the survival rates of neurons.
To prevent burnout, operate at top performance, have better focus and more energy, it is worth ‘making the time’ to get this right!