TOMATOES which are rich in lycopene that possess potent anti-oxidant properties that may help fight the development of dementia.25
WHOLEGRAINS rich in phytonutrients and B group vitamin,25-27 are a great energy source needed for maintaining concentration throughout the day and improving memory.
There are some foods that you should be cautious and aware of that act as brain drainers.
Foods and substances such as sugar,28 alcohol,29 nicotine,30 as well as high fat diets,28 have been known to hinder brain function. In addition, high carbohydrate meals loaded with refined food, sugar or junk can decrease mental performance.31
Neurotransmitters are chemicals released in the brain that affect our anxiety and moods.
See diagram on the opposite page to understand how the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine affect our behaviours.
Tryptophan is an amino acid which helps produce serotonin, and tyrosine is another amino acid that is linked to norepinephrine and dopamine.
Good food sources of these include pumpkin and chia seeds, seaweed, lentils, nuts, eggs, tofu and sun-dried tomatoes.19,32-36
OMEGA-3 is a vital nutrient for mind health. In fact, deficiency is one of the most common contributing factors to mental disease.37
It is an effective memory booster,38 and important for cognitive performance.39
Foods high in omega-3 include fish (salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, tuna), flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, canola oil and green soybeans.19,40