Oil your thinking
Brain cells need ‘oiling’ with unsaturated fats if they are to communicate properly with each other. Eat oil-rich fish, such as mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, salmon, two or three times a week. Try adding a few nuts and seeds into your diet. A daily fish oil (or linseed or hemp oil) food supplement will also boost levels of brain-enhancing omega-3 oils.
Drink 6-8 (1.5 – 2 litres) glasses of pure, filtered water daily and stay hydrated. Dehydration affects your ability to think clearly and concentrate
Protein foods contain the building blocks for brain chemicals that influence how you think and feel. Eating protein also helps to control fluctuating blood sugar levels. Include protein foods such as lean meat, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, egg or cheese with every meal and see if you notice the effect.
Control your cravings
Cravings for ‘white’, refined, starchy food, sugary snacks, chocolate and other stimulants can be a sign of dipping blood sugar levels. Eat slow energy releasing foods such as wholegrain cereals, brown rice, oats, whole fruits,nuts and seeds. Notice if this reduces irritability, poor concentration, fatigue or depression triggered by low blood sugar.
Too much caffeine (which is different for all of us) has been linked to anxiety, cravings, nervousness and depression. If you feel worse for not having your regular cup of coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate bar then this may be due to caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Avoid or reduce your caffeine intake from coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, and see how you feel after any withdrawal symptoms have passed. You should soon feel noticeably better.
Fruit and Veg
Eat at least five (preferably 10) portions (about a handful each time) of fruit and vegetables daily, and notice how you feel in your body-mind. Aim to eat a rainbow of colours every day for a balanced diet of essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Check labels for artificial additives. Notice if you feel better if you avoid colouring such as tartrazine (E102), flavour enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG or E621), artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (E951) and preservatives such as sulphur dioxide (E220) and BHT (E321). Go slowly, changing one thing at a time and monitor the effects.