Your brain, just like any other organ in your body, needs adequate fuel in order to function properly. A whopping 20-25% of your total daily energy intake is consumed by your brain, so keeping it well-fed is important for maintaining function and mental health.
Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are needed by our bodies and brains in tiny amounts. Eating a balanced diet and focussing on achieving your 5-a-day is a great way to ensure you’re consuming a variety of vitamins and minerals needed for brain function.
Our brains are made up of around 50% fat, and the ‘good’ fats help to maintain brain structure and function. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are essential for a whole range of biological processes, including vitamin absorption. You’ll find these friendly fats in foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds and olive oil. If you’re concerned about the high calorie content of such foods, try to monitor your portion sizes.
With many of us now spending more time sedentary, and with heightened levels of anxiety, our gut may also be feeling the effects of Covid-19. Eating more fibrous foods such as pulses and beans, as well as including live yoghurts and probiotics, may help if you’re a little more irregular than usual.
If you’re struggling to sleep at night, it might be worth reconsidering that afternoon cup of coffee. Caffeine can stay in our system for more than 5 hours, with some people being more sensitive to its effects than others. Try switching to decaffeinated varieties in the PM and see if you notice a difference.