Rachel Page

Food for the brain

August 18, 2022

It is a big day for many young people today with the announcement of A level results and the subsequent decisions on next steps of the education journey.  One of the most important things we can do to help support our young people as they get back to studying in the next few weeks is get their diet back on track if it has been a bit too high on the pizza and ice-cream over the summer. Increasing certain key nutrients can help keep young (and not so young) brains in tip top shape.  Try these ideas to help them with their studies, keep your own focus levels high and even help to prevent long term cognitive issues such as dementia.  

Get plenty of brightly coloured vegetables, berries and other fruit to get good levels of beneficial antioxidants that help to protect the brain.

Eat oily fish twice a week and eat flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds daily to increase omega-3 levels.  This improves the structure of the brain cells and supports cognitive function.

Low levels of B vitamins are linked to mental health issues including depression and dementia.  Luckily, they are found in a wide variety of foods including meat, grains, eggs, fish, beans, dairy products, leafy greens and yeast extract so having a varied diet will keep the B vitamins topped up.

Low vitamin D is linked to teenage mental health conditions and behavioural issues so considering a supplement might be useful if this is a concern.

Also keeping active is very important as this helps to stimulate the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in learning.

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