If you are racing against a deadline, fatigued after a long week or facing a stint of writers block or lack of creative flare, your first thought may not be food related. However, many studies have been done on the link between nutrition and the functioning of the brain, looking specifically how certain foods can improve mood, concentration, memory and learning ability as well as reduce stress.
The brain, as the primary survival organ, is also the body’s greediest organ, and when well nourished, it will allow the rest of the body to flourish too. A malnourished brain will always have difficulty in functioning and decision making, therefore a hungry brain will lead to a poor quality of life on many different levels.
The right fats are critical for optimal brain health, seeing as the brain itself is made up of 60% fat at its dry weight. A large percentage of this fat is made up of specialised omega-3 and -6 fats. Organic nuts and seeds, undamaged oils, as well as lots of leafy greens can supply the brain with a great source of both omega-3 and omega-6.
Keep in mind that your breakfast will also determine how your brain will function during the day. Focus, memory and mood can all be influenced negatively by a lack of breakfast.
Chia seeds are known to be a good plant source of Omega 3. Omega 3’s may help to enhance cognitive performance, may aid in the reduction of high cholesterol, reduce inflammation and nourish healthy skin, hair and nails.
Unlike other sources of this important Essential Fatty Acid such as flax or fish oil, it is in a highly stable form in chia seeds due to their naturally occurring antioxidants.
Flax seeds (also called linseeds) may provide a source of micronutrients, dietary fibre, manganesium, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.
Other plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are Walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Next time you’re in store, try stocking up on chia seeds, linseeds, and pumpkin seeds and try adding some of these great foods to your breakfast daily. You can add chia seeds or linseeds to a smoothie, try making a chia seed pudding, or add some walnuts and pumpkin seeds to your morning oatmeal.