Top 6 Brain Boosting Foods for Exam Season

We all use up a lot of energy and we know that fuelling their bodies is so important to keep them healthy and going all day. Fuelling our minds is just as important particularly when studying or doing exams. The brain uses glucose as an energy source so the correct foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet will make sure we stay focussed throughout the entire day. Here are some foods to include at meal times which I like to call brain superheroes!

1. Wholegrains– these are a low glycaemic index food which means that when they are eaten they release glucose slowly throughout the body. This is good for our brains as it means we avoid a sharp burst of energy and focus and then a slump and the inability to focus. Try to choose mostly wholegrain sources of breads, cereals, rice, pasta etc for meal times to maintain levels of concentration. Perfect for keeping us going during school, study time and at home!

2. Omega 3 fatty acids– these are essential fatty acids which cannot be made in the body and must be obtained from the diet. EPA and DHA contained in oily fish are super brain boosting foods and can be used very easily by the body. Essential fatty acids can also be obtained from plant foods like flaxseeds, soya beans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. If you do not like the taste of fish and do not fancy any of the other plant foods listed consider an omega 3 supplement.

3.Green Veg: You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: EAT YOUR GREENS! Broccoli contains vitamin K which can help to aid concentration and brain function so these little green powerhouses are brilliant for our mind.

4. Blueberries – beautiful brain boosting berries! These yummy little superstars have been shown to help delay short term memory loss. Who would have thought?! Add them to cereal, yoghurt and salads or as a tasty sweet snack in lunchboxes

5. Nuts and Seeds– these contain excellent vitamins and minerals that help boost memory and thinking function. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are especially powerful as they contain the mineral zinc which has been linked to a positive brain function

6. Avoid foods high in sugar and fat -or those which are highly processed as these will cause a sharp rise in energy levels followed by a slump. Swap the biscuits, chocolate bars and jellies for unsalted nuts and seeds, fresh and dried fruit and vegetable sticks. Of course we can all have a treat now and again, we are human after all!!

Check out our fabulous recipes page for some inspiration when planning meals for all of the family plus some quick, simple and HEALTHY lunches for school and work! Now go and ACE them exams!! 

 

Should you eat before a workout?

Achieving your fitness goals can be hard and sometimes even knowing if you should eat or WHAT to eat before a workout can be difficult! No one wants a stitch half way through a run but we don’t want to be starving either. Let’s chat a little bit about what to snack on before a workout.

Not eating something before a workout isn’t something I recommend however it may just suit some people particularly if they are early risers and get that gym session in at 6am!  For others it can leave them feeling dizzy, nauseated and tired. It can also affect our performance as our muscles need that energy to work to their best ability.

Carbohydrates provide energy in our bodies and our muscles store carbohydrate in the form of glycogen for times when we need it. Eating carbohydrates before training can allow us to use this energy in the form of glucose to fuel our workout. It also saves the glycogen stored in our muscles for other times we may need it. It’s a good idea to eat a bit of protein before training too as it allows repair and building of muscle cells which are damaged when we workout.

Make sure to drink water!! Water is essential for any type of training. Sip on it before and during your workout for optimal performance.

Examples of carb and protein snacks to have before a workout:

  • some fruit and unsalted mixed nuts or seeds
  • a slice of wholegrain toast and peanut butter
  • low-sugar oatmeal bar/granola bar
  • dried fruit and Greek yoghurt
  • chicken/turkey/pitta on wholegrain crackers
  • scrambled/boiled eggs on wholegrain toast
  • milk
  • apple/pear and nut butter

Ideally we should be eating a pre-workout snack about an hour before a workout but this may not work for some people and that is FINE! Find what works for YOU and GET MOVING!

Don’t forget our Good4U snacks are great sources of pre-workout carbohydrates and have that extra protein boost to keep us going! Grab a snack NOW! 

The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Health benefits of pumpkin seeds

Health benefits of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkins are just for Halloween right? Wrong! Pumpkin seeds have an array of health benefits and are the perfect snack to have on their own or add to yoghurts, salads or soups! Continue reading “The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds”

Top 10 Foods To Boost Your Immune System

10 Immune Boosting Foods

‘Tis the season- for colds and sneezin’
As the weather begins to get colder, your immune system is weakened, people are more prone to sore throats and runny noses. The cold and flu season generally begins in September, it can last right through to April and we all usually experience the nasty symptoms at least once during this period.
Continue reading “Top 10 Foods To Boost Your Immune System”