| Brain Foods for Peak Performance
By Melanie McGrice APD
For those of us with desk jobs trying to manage
the hundreds of tasks on our minds each day, our brains are our most
Not only does our diet affect the performance of our body, it also
affects the performance of our brain.
Have you ever stopped to think about the benefits that
you might experience from eating to optimise your brain performance
rather than eating to fill your stomach?
With just a few dietary modifications consider these brain foods for
DHA, (docosahexaenoic acid) is a polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acid
which plays a significant role in the maintenance of normal
It is concentrated in the region of the brain that is responsible for
complex thinking skills.
Yet, one in every two Australians are not consuming an adequate intake
of polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids.
Fish is a rich source of DHA, however there are also a wide variety of
foods and supplements now available with added algal DHA to ensure that
we can easily meet our requirements.
Good choices include foods with added algal DHA such as fortified
yoghurt and supplements such as plant Omega-3 from Swisse.
Research shows that dehydration can also result in diminished energy
Yet, many people try to quench their thirst with caffeinated,
sugar-laden drinks which can accentuate the cycle of energy and
For enduring performance ensure you are well hydrated by sipping
regularly on water throughout the day.
Low GI foods
Like petrol fuels a car, food fuels our brain. You aren’t going to
perform at your peak if you skip meals and/or choose high GI foods
which break down quickly.
For sustained nourishment of your think tank, ensure refuelling at 4-5
Choose low GI foods for sustained energy release such as wholegrain
sandwiches, low fat yoghurts, chick pea salad or fruit smoothies.
Tips to ensure that you’re getting enough DHA
1. Eat at 2-3 (150g) serves of fish each week. Try smoked salmon on
toast for breakfast, add a can of tuna to your pasta or put some
sardines on dry biscuits for a healthy snack.
2. Take a plant based DHA omega 3 supplement daily.
3. Choose foods which are fortified with algal DHA eg. Milk or yoghurt
4. See an Accredited Practising Dietitian to ensure that you are
getting the amount of DHA that you need in your diet.
to ensure adequate hydration
1. Fill a 2 L bottle in the morning and aim to
have finished it before you go to bed
2. Drink a glass of water before each meal or snack
3. Keep a jug of water on your desk
4. To add some zest, flavour your water with wedges of fruit.
DHA the Facts
1. DHA, (docosahexaenoic acid) is a polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acid
which plays a significant role in the maintenance of normal brain
2. DHA is a critical nutrient for brain development and cognitive
function throughout life – right from childhood through to our later
3. Most people think that fish are naturally high sources of DHA
Omega-3. However, it is the microalgae in their food chain that makes
them a strong source of DHA.
4. There is a large and growing body of scientific evidence
demonstrating that people of all ages benefit from an adequate supply
of DHA omega-3 in their diets.
Scientific reviews have highlighted the importance of DHA omega-3 in
proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its
importance in cardiovascular health throughout the life cycle.
Related algal DHA Omega-3 research
The Memory Improvement with Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Study, or MIDAS,
was the first large, randomized and placebo-controlled study
demonstrating the benefits of algal DHA in maintaining and improving
brain health in older adults.
In the MIDAS study, healthy people with mild memory complaints who took
900 mg algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the
reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory
more about the study visit here.
Some new research that came out of the University of Oxford recently,
was the DHA Oxford Learning and Behavior Study that looked at a
population of 362 healthy children aged 7 – 9 years old, recruited from
mainstream state schools in Oxfordshire, U.K, that were underperforming
in literacy skills.
The active treatment intervention was approximately 600 mg of DHA from
ALGAE for 16 weeks.
The study found SIGNIFICANT improvement in reading performance among
the lower percentile of children who were underperforming in literacy
skills, based on the British Ability Scales.
So in other words, the children that need the most help with reading
and school work, find benefit from having DHA in their diets. Read more
About life’sDHA™ & DSM – Bright Science.
life'sDHA is a product of DSM, a global science-based company active in
health, nutrition and materials. life'sDHA is derived from a vegetarian
(fish-free) algal source of DHA omega-3 that is naturally free of the
risk of ocean-borne contaminants.
More information can be found at www.lifesdha.com.
By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials
Sciences, DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress
and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders.
The company is listed on NYSE Euronext.
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