With all of this fantastic warm weather you should be having a blast this summer; de-stressing and soaking up some sun!
All these lazy days, can settle our kids brains into a “lack of exercise”, and while the rest is fantastic, there are some fun ways to rev up their minds and prepare them for September. The best news is that its easy to do and and these ingredients will make your day at work easier too!
Here are 3 great summer brain boosters that you should include in your diet today:
Coconut: this tropical fruit is full of medium-chain triglycerides or MCT’s (aka healthy fats!) that are shown to improve cognitive function with people who are experiencing memory loss. The brain uses MCTs instead of glucose to compensate in people who have memory decline, making it the perfect choice for the elderly as well as the rest of us, including those with bad case of “mommy brain”.
Bonus: Coconut oil is ideal for athletes as well as those trying to lose weight! It can help dieters reduce caloric intake by increasing their feeling of fullness when taken before meals.
Athletes: It can help athletes perform at their peak for longer periods of time than those who don’t consume coconut oil. It’s a great energy source for high endurance athletes, and it also posseses immune system benefits.
Snack idea: Coconut milk makes a great base for homemade ice cream and popsicles. For dinners, mix it into a healthy thai curry with some lime drizzled on top!
The bottom line: Coconut is great for EVERYONE!
Berries: Raw, delicious berries in their natural state are the perfect summer snack that we all know is great for our bodies. But did you know that berries can help protect our brains against aging? That’s right, those summer strawberries and blueberries can help keep us sharper for longer. Scientists think that berries help increase levels of a protein in the brain can help keep older cells healthy and help new cells grow.
Bonus: Loads of antioxidants, which we know helps keep our skin radiant and glowing as well as fighting against inflammation and all of those nasty diseases (diabetes, heart disease, cancer) that are associated with it.
Athletes: Berries are one of the best fruits for athletes to eat, they are low-glycemic, meaning the energy they provide will last longer than most other fruit and won’t cause spikes in blood sugar. They’re also full of antioxidants that help with post-recovery muscle fatigue!
Recipe idea: Frozen berries add a splash of flavour to any drink! Purchase at peak season and freeze in ice cube trays at home. Add them to smoothies, salad and desserts, to increase the flavour and health benefits.
Oily fish: Salmon, mackerel, sardines: all of these fish contain the nutritional powerhouses of the brain: EPA and DHA. DHA makes up 97% of the omega-3 fatty acid content of the brain and helps us learn, as well as reducing the risk of depression, ADHD, and other neural issues. Think of fish as your ultimate happy food!
Bonus: fish are high in heart healthy fats!
Athletes: These types of fish contribute to mental sharpness, they help with recovery from training, reduce inflammation and help protect the body from injuries! If injured, they should be your go-to protein: they’re rich in vitamin D and calcium to help build bones back up, while also being high in omega-3 fatty acids to help fight inflammation.
Try: Are your kids turning their noses at salty sardines? Throw them into a sardine salad sandwich like you would with tuna. Or you can try baking salmon and top with a fresh fruit salsa. Take a look at the Whole Food Lifestyle Program for more great dinner ideas!