Foods for your Brain

Today marks International Literacy Day, a day that not only celebrates literacy, but also raises awareness about those who still lack literacy skills. In fact, a staggering 67.4 million children around the world are still illiterate because of various factors. As such, this post highlights the importance of food for the brain for better learning and concentration. While many still lack literacy skills around the world, those who are lucky enough to be in school need proper food in order to succeed. Indeed, the right foods for your brain will keep it clean and fully energized!

First, let's look at key foods for your brain (although various sources will give you slight differences, the ones listed below are good to know):

  1. For short term memory, drink coffee, NOT energy drinks, you don't want to mess with your mental computer!
  2. For long term memory and cognitive processing, eat FRESH blueberries, ripe berries don't contain as many nutrients. If they're out of season, buy them frozen!
  3. To think faster, eat salmon or mackerel, NOT full-fat ice-cream. High levels of fat clog the blood vessels and are just plain not good for your brain, or body!
  4. To energize, eat a high-protein salad with vinaigrette, NOT pancakes or bagels. Avoid eating a high amount of carbs when you need to wake-up, that's what puts you to sleep!
  5. To calm down, eat low-fat yogourt or mixed nuts, DON'T drink soda. A study shoes that people who drink 2 1/2 cans of soda each day are more likely to be anxious and depressed.
  6. To concentrate, drink peppermind tea, DON'T eat candy. In the long run, sugary foods cause highs and lows of sugar, causing fuzzy states of mind.
  7. For good moods, eat aragula or spinash salads, NOT white chocolate. If you're going to go for the chocolate, grab the real deal (the darker the better) as white chocolate does not contain the euphoria-inducing mood boosters that real chocolate brings (because of the lack of cacao).
(Other brain stimulating foods can be found here)

Having said that, breakfast is the most important brain energizing meal of the day! Make sure you have a good breakfast before leaving the house in the morning (or bring it with you at work). It'll keep you alert all day long!

While the discourse around illiteracy is often centered around developing countries, many Canadians still have low levels of literacy and many children still do not get a proper breakfast in the morning. As such, le Club des Petits Dejeuners in Quebec aims at giving kids a proper breakfast in order for them to succeed. I think it's a step in the right direction and definitely one that could help raise levels of literacy in school.

Other organizations such as 1Goal aim to raise levels of literacy around the world! If you know of any organizations or good brain stimulating recipes! Leave a comment on this post! :)


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