Eating Tips to Improve Your Memory and Focus
Melanie Jatsek for College Candy
If I were to tell you that eating certain foods in the right combination will make you more alert and focused, would you give them a try? How about if I told you that some of your food choices are literally draining your brain power? Would you think twice before chowin’ down on them?
The bad news – it’s true! The good news – you don’t have to completely overhaul your diet in order to get results.
Three factors influence what I like to call your “brain power”: meal composition (the foods that make up your meal), meal size and meal frequency. Allow me to break it all down for you:
Seratonin, the chemical in your body responsible for calmness and sleep, is triggered by carbohydrates. A meal or snack high in simple sugars will produce more serotonin and sedate your brain. Not exactly what you need when you’re trying to study for that big exam, is it? Another reason to limit the sweets: they enter your bloodstream at a rapid rate, leaving you “crashing and burning” within the hour. Simple sugars include foods like: cake, candy, cookies, frostings, fruit drinks, syrups, sodas, sweet tea, table sugar, etc.
Stick with “brain building” carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, low fat milk and yogurt. They digest nice and slowly, delivering a steady stream of glucose (your brain’s preferred fuel source) to your brain.
Hint: If you are really craving something sweet like a piece of candy or cake, eat it after a meal to weaken the serotonin effect.
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