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Breakfast for your brain

Food for thought

Would you like to prevent brain fog, poor cognition and increase your memory?

All you need to do is start your day with a breakfast containing key brain boosting nutrients.

It seems that everyone is too busy for breakfast with The Good Food Karma Index reporting that two in five Australians are skipping breakfast at least once a week, with half of them skipping breakfast most days. And it’s not only the adults, with a recent report from the ABS finding that one in seven school children are skipping breakfast or going to school hungry.

What happens when we skip breakfast? When we skip breakfast we are not getting a direct and constant supply of blood sugar, which makes us prone to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) which can lead to dizziness, lack of concentration, low energy, irritability, mood swings and poor performance.

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Here are some important reasons why from Nutrition Australia;

  • Breakfast breaks your overnight fast
  • Breakfast refuels your glycogen (energy) stores
  • Breakfast kick starts your metabolism
  • Breakfast provides us with the energy to keep us going throughout the day
  • In addition to the above the number one reason why we need to consume breakfast is for brain function.

The brain requires energy to function properly and when we do not get this we are prone to brain fog, poor cognition and memory. The brain requires 10% of our body’s energy for the neurons in our brain to communicate. These bio-electric signals in the neurons burn fuel like crazy as we are always thinking and we need to fuel this heightened metabolic activity for healthy brain function. The fuel we require is food that has a slow release of glucose and complex carbohydrates which are high in fibre with a low glycaemic index (GI). A study from the British Nutrition Foundation found a correlation between individuals with poor regulation of glucose, who found the tests of cognitive performance particularly challenging, may benefit from some improvement in mental function after a specific dose of carbohydrate.

For the best start to the day choose a healthy breakfast that has the right combination of low glycaemic index carbohydrates, fats and protein. Here’s some reasons why.

Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates which are low GI and give a slow release of glucose into the blood stream can be the answer to good brain function throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates are like “time release capsules of energy that will optimise our brains performance such as whole grains as in oat porridge which have fibre and a low glycaemic index. Baked beans are another source which can provide a steady source of energy (glucose) into the blood stream.

Healthy fats

The brain is 60-70% fat and for healthy cognitive function it requires good quality fats like omega 3 from fish oil, chia seeds or flaxseed. Fats will turn off the sugar cravings and are good for hormones.

Protein

Protein helps to balance blood sugar levels, stop hunger, improve immunity, hair nails and is important for neurotransmitters such as serotonin production that helps to improve mood.

Need some ideas? Try these:

  • ½ cup of low GI fruit such as apple, berries, grapes, pear and strawberries, then add ¼ cup of oats in the form of porridge or raw muesli and natural yoghurt with no added sugar.
  • 2 boiled, scrambled or poached eggs with vegetables or mix them together to make an omelette.
  • Homemade baked beans – try our Golden Door smoky baked beans with poached egg recipe click here.

Smokey Baked Beans Soft Poached Eggs-1_950 x 550

Sources
http://www.abs.gov.au/
http://mccrindle.com.au/
http://www.nutritionaustralia.org
https://www.nutrition.org.uk/

Peter Rule square

Article by Peter Rule, Natropath and Holistic Health Services Manager at Golden Door Elysia, Health Retreat and Spa

Please note: This blog is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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