Drain for brains. “Just two glasses of red a day can improve cogniition,” says Dr Clinton Wright, assistant professsor of neurology at Columbia University, New York, who found moderate wine drinkers scored significantly higher on mental acuity tests than those who didn’t drink at all.
Raw does more. “Fresh foods as close to their natuural state as possible, like meat, fish, eggs, chicken, fruits and vegetabLes – preferably organic – optimise brain function,” says Dr Carolirie Leaf, Learning specialist and author of Who Switched Off My Brain?
Think green. Green beans boost the body’s naturaL vitamin B stores, which can be siggnificantly depleted through stress. “MentaL and physiical duress locks the action of the chemicaL acetyLLcholine in the brain, which wiLL adversely affect memory,” says Leaf.
Get your shutteye. “Eating vegetaables with your whoLewheat pasta wiLL aid sLeep,” says Leaf. “This wiLL then help the brain to consoliidate, refresh and prime its memory stores. Getting too little sLeep will lead to faded memory circuits,” expLains Leaf.
Drink to think “Fluidity of memory comes literally from sufficient water in the brain,” says Leaf. “Water speeds up brain function. When the brain dehydrates, it reLeases cortisol, a hormone that shrinks dendrites, the tree-like branches in the brain that store information and create memory.”
What are some quickfixes?
BEST FOR HEALTHIER BRAIN MATTER … FISHOIL. Omega-3s nourish the mind’s communication strands. The American Journal Df Clinical Nutrition recommends 400mg of fish oil capsules a day.
BEST FOR WRITING TESTS … CREATINE. “Creatine increases the amount of energy that is available to the brain for computational tasks, improving general mental ability,” says Dr Caroline Rae of Macquarie University, Sydney.
BEST FOR SHORT-TERM FOCUS … NICOTINE GUM. Studies suggest that chewing on a two milligram tab can fire-up electrical impulses between nerve cells that help focus attention.