Nutrition for mental health

Do you live a busy lifestyle? Do you have a lot of meetings or deadlines? Perhaps you have exams coming up or lots of homework to do?

Your nutrition can play a huge role in your mental performance. To be at your top shape at work or university, you need the right types of food to perform. By ‘performance’ I don’t mean exercise performance only, I’m referring to work performance as well. Things like focus, concentration, decision-making and problem solving abilities, reaction time and mood can significantly be enhanced by feeding your brain with the right types of food.

I always like to use the analogy of a car and petrol when explaining the benefits of nutrition on the mind and body. A car needs petrol to run smoothly. Fill up a car with low-quality petrol and it won’t drive as efficiently or for a long period of time. Fill up a car with high-quality petrol and the car will drive smoother and for long distances. Think about foods and fluids as the same why. If you provide your body with nutrient dense foods (patrol), you will think clearer and perform better at work, university/school and the gym. Skip meals or eat unhealthy foods and you won’t provide your body with nutrients needed to boost mental performance.

So, what are some foods you can feed your brain to boost your mental capacity? Here are some:

  • Oily fish (i.e. salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Turmeric
  • Mixed berries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coffee

If you’re the type of person who tends to skip meals because of stress, anxiety and/or other emotions and still performs well, imagine what your performance would be like if you were to eat more nutrient-dense food and stay hydrated! Afterall, don’t associate food with the body, only. Think of food for the mind.

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