Foods that make you smart - er
Diets high in B vitamins, vitamin C, monounsaturated and omega 3 fats may help boost your brainpower. Enjoy these smart foods and reap the benefits later!
Avocados have healthy monounsaturated fats, the kind of fat that’s good for both your heart and your brain. Monounsaturated fats are also found in nuts, olive and canola oil, fish and flax. As with any fat, you still have to watch your portions.
Always on the top of the nutrition charts, broccoli is a source of vitamin C that helps us manage stress, and it is also a source of antioxidants. Other foods packed in vitamin C include citrus fruit, spinach and tomatoes.
A high source of folate, which helps make red blood cells carry oxygen to your brain, cantaloupe can improve your ability to concentrate. Other foods high in folate are strawberries, grapefruit and dark green, leafy vegetables.
Legumes, as well as bananas, pork and chicken, are high in vitamin B6, which helps your body convert glycogen (stored carbohydrate) into glucose – energy your brain can use. If your glucose levels are low you may have difficulty concentrating and feel tired or hungry.
Milk is a naturally good source of zinc and vitamin B12, both of which are important ingredients in cognitive function.
Omega-3 fat sources such as salmon, flax, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are good for our heart, and new research indicates they may boost our brains as well. New products on the market are available to increase omega-3 fats, such as omega-3 fortified eggs, yogurt and milk.
For an individual nutrition appointment, call the Health Centre (SU 020) at 403-329-2484. Initial sessions are $40 for U of L students, staff and faculty.
Diane Britton is the University of Lethbridge’s registered dietitian