YMCA Healthy Living Magazine YMCA summer 2020-21 - Page 8

SIMONE AUSTIN , APD Simone Austin is an Advanced Sports Dietitian who has worked with elite sport for the last 25 years . Simone ’ s book , Eat Like An Athlete is a great resource for people looking to boost their performance and energy through nutrition . Learn more via www . simoneaustin . com . au and follow her on Instagram @ simone _ austin


A dietitian ’ s guide to the best brain foods .
We all know the importance of a healthy diet for the prevention of cancer , heart disease and to fuel ourselves for exercise . However , do we think about keeping the organ in charge of our body , the brain , fuelled and healthy ?
There are some foods that influence our brain health more than others . Let ’ s take a look at caring for this vital organ ( literally food for thought ).
Eggs offer a powerhouse of nutrients . The yolk is packed with goodness , including choline , which is necessary for the creation of memory cells ( so forget about those egg-white omelettes !). Eggs also contain protein ( important for growth and development ), iron ( needed for cognitive function ) and vitamin A ( important for memory and brain neuroplasticity – the brain ’ s ability to change ).
Eggs are so convenient for a healthy meal or snack , you can hard-boil eggs for lunchboxes , fry them for breakfast , or scramble them with vegetables on wholegrain toast for dinner . It doesn ’ t get easier than that !
Consider eating fatty fish , such as salmon , sardines and tuna . They contain the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA , which are important for brain development , particularly for developing a baby ’ s brain . Studies have looked at pregnant mother ’ s intake of fish and the scores on intelligent tests of their children . Eating more fish showed better infant cognition ( as long as mercury levels were not high ). Omega 3 ’ s are important for our memory and studies are looking at their involvement with Alzheimer ’ s and depression .
Fish omega 3 fatty levels vary . For example , salmon and sardines have more fatty acids than tuna . Try swapping the tuna sandwich for a salmon one , make salmon patties or salmon pasta bake , or try sardines on the barbeque or on toast . Read the labels on tuna to check the varied levels of omega 3 fatty acids .