June 14, 2019

Great nutrition grows young thinkers

Nutrition

TOP FOODS FOR BEST BRAIN PERFORMANCE


Adolescent athletes not only need to fuel their bodies for great performance but also fuel their brains with nutrients to support great brain function. Whether it’s on the field, court, pitch, in the pool or on the wheels, all young athletes need to be great thinkers. Here are some top foods for great brain health:

- Fatty fish: salmon, trout, sardines, tuna

Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline.

- Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain ageing and improve memory.

-Broccoli

Broccoli contains a number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including vitamin K. Vitamin K is linked to better memory, remember?

- Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in many micronutrients that are important for brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.

- Dark chocolate

The flavonoids in chocolate may help protect the brain. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate could boost both memory and mood.

- Nuts

Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and plant compounds.

- Oranges and Lemons (and mandarins)

Oranges and other foods that are high in vitamin C can help defend your brain against damage from free radicals.

- Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of several B vitamins and choline, which are important for proper brain functioning and development, as well as regulating mood.

- Green Tea

Green tea is an excellent beverage to support your brain. Its caffeine content boosts alertness, while its antioxidants protect the brain and helps you relax.

STEP AWAY NOW…WORST BRAIN FOODS EVER!

- Sugary drinks e.g. soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juice.

May reduce brain function, impair memory, affect learning, reduce the formation of brain neurones, and cause inflammation in brain tissue

- High processed foods e.g. cakes, biscuits, high sugar cereals, high fat crackers (Jatz and Shapes etc), donuts, white breads and other white flour bakery products

High processed foods may impair memory and intelligence, as well as increase risk of dementia.

- Foods high in trans-fats

Trans fats may be associated with impaired memory and reduce recognition.

- Highly processed foods including those high in sugar, added fats and salt e.g. high fat takeaways, potato chips, lollies, muesli bars, instant noodles, processed meats, BBQ and tomato sauce etc

Highly processed foods are associated with brain tissue damage, lower scores in learning and memory, and brain inflammation.

- Aspartame – an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free products

Aspartame has been linked to behavioural and cognitive problems including depression and poor performance in mental tests.

And thats how we help you athletes to EAT THRIVE AND PERFORM. Feel free to ask us any questions or contact us if you are needing help with your young athlete’s nutrition. Let us help make your life easier .

Blog post by

Rachel Svenson

Working with junior athletes and those who support them from the kitchen and the side-lines has always been a favourite part of my work and an area I have built expert knowledge around.

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