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Food for Thought

Foods that help the brain function
Did you know that an apple gives your brain the same boost as a cup of coffee in the morning?

This article may seem like a divergence from our usual advice, but hear me out. Your day is stressful and hectic, and I’m willing to bet that you aren’t getting the proper nutrition to help your brain work at full capacity. Often, people with a lot on their figurative plate don’t take the time to put enough of the right foods on their literal plate. Below are some brain-friendly foods to help give your mind the boost it needs to power through your day.

For example, did you know that an apple gives your brain the same boost as a cup of coffee in the morning? Like apples, many other fruits can help stimulate brain function, says a lifehack.org article called “Brain Food – Eat For Productivity.”

“Instead of a short burst of energy, these carbohydrates have long chains of sugar molecules that the body breaks down gradually, releasing glucose to fuel the brain over time. If you’re strapped for time in the morning, as we all tend to be, a bowl of fruit is a much better energy source that will start the brain working. Mental exercise drains glucose, so feeding your glucose level throughout the day with fruit is a great way to keep energy levels up all day. Watery and crunchy fruits are low in calories and can be eaten all day, any time. Berries and citruses are highest in complex carbohydrates and also antioxidantswhich reduce the risk of cognitive impairment,” the study says.

Eggs and other proteins are also great for sustaining energy throughout the day. Since proteins keep you fuller than carbohydrates for a longer period of time, snacking on hard-boiled eggs, nuts and other protein-packed foods is a great way to curb those afternoon nod-offs.

Now, I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time for this, I grab my cup of coffee in the morning and I am out the door.” However, there a few ways that a busy professional like yourself can integrate better brain foods into your daily routine.

1. Skip the Donuts

Many offices have a snack table, full of pastries and other treats packed with sugar and lacking nutrients. Talk to management about replacing some of the pastries with fruit and veggie platters. If you are management, check into reducing the amount of pastries — you may even save some money.

2. Bring Your Lunch

Going out to eat every day, or even skipping the meal altogether, will not only deprive your body of the things it needs to function properly, but will also empty your wallet. Pack a lunch the night before with a sandwich and some fruit, and skip the fast food.

3. Just Eat

Nothing is worse for your brain than not eating. Your brain cells metabolize twice as fast as the other cells in your body and need fuel. So, don’t skip meals. If you have to eat at your desk or in your car, do it. Don’t go hungry.

A busy schedule is a great indicator that you are doing a good job at work, but it can also mean you aren’t taking care of yourself. Use these tips to help your brain keep up with your hectic schedule. A little bit of brain food goes a long way.