If you are not as sharp as you would like to be then sometimes addressing your diet can be a good place to start.
Menopause definitely seems to see an increase in ‘brain fog’ and for that bioidentical progesterone can certainly help, but why not maximise your memory cells as much as you can?
The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add “smart” foods and drinks to your diet.
Caffeine Can Make You More Alert
There’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter — but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate.
Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term.
And more is often less as if you overdo it on caffeine it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.
Sugar Can Enhance Alertness
Sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source BUT not refined sugar, but glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat.
That’s why a glass of fruit juice can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking, and mental ability.
Have too much, though, and memory can be impaired and so can the rest of you.
Go easy on sugar itself, and sweeteners are no better, as they have been linked to heart disease and other conditions.
Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain
We just don’t always feel like eating breakfast but studies have found that eating then may improve short-term memory and attention.
Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t and top of the brain-fuel list are high-fibre whole grains, dairy, and fruit.
Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration so save that ‘full English’ just for a weekend treat.
Fish Really is Brain Food
A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power.
A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.
For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate
Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which has been linked in some studies to less cognitive decline as you age.
Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties, and it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus.
Before you reach for that handful of nuts and large bar of chocolate, the recommended amount is up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate. That means you get all the benefits you need with a minimum of excess calories, fat, or sugar.
Add Avocados and Whole Grains
Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. A diet high in whole grains and avocados can cut the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol.
This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow, and whole grains also contribute dietary fibre and vitamin E.
Though avocados have fat, it’s the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that helps with healthy blood flow so no wonder cafes now offer ‘smashed avocado’ as a breakfast option on healthy sourdough or wholewheat toast.
Blueberries Are Super Nutritious
Research in animals shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Vitamin C, vitamin A, and the various phytonutrients in blueberries function as powerful antioxidants that may help protect cells against damage from disease-linked free radicals. …
Blueberries also contain folate, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet
If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can hurt your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your focus.
A heavy meal may make you feel tired, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs.
If you want to supplement your diet further then vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium may be helpful.
Some researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain,
Best ways to boost your brain every day
Want to power up your ability to concentrate? Start with a fruit juice or smoothie (no sugar), a slice of wholemeal or sourdough toast with salmon and avocado, and one cup of coffee.
What also helps is keeping hydrated, brain exercises like crosswords, jigsaws and sudoko , meditation and getting a good night’s sleep.
There is no doubt we can get more forgetful at menopause and your hormone balance may be a factor too. Progesterone is known to help and these articles may give you some more tips too.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by life, it may not be something you are doing but that you are being affected by without knowing. Let Nutritionist Patrick Holford explain more.
Worried about brain fog at menopause? Exercise is known to help but what is best for your brain as well as your body?