I have discovered a very cool website (thanks to a comment on this blog…thanks Louisa!) called Lumosity which is all about your brain…and how to keep it working well.
For example, did you know there are certain foods that help it work better?
Research shows that eating to feed your brain can have significant benefits for psychological health. Here is what your head is hungry for:
Nutrients- As with any organ, the brain needs a constant supply of various vitamins, minerals and amino acids. These are needed in order to keep up with the ongoing process of repairing damage, maintaining every day functions and adapting to changing environments. Neurons specifically need a steady source of raw materials in order to produce the numerous neurotransmitters necessary for cellular communications.
Fats- Over 60% of the brain is made up of fats. In addition to being the basic building blocks of all cell membranes, fats play an important role in insulating neurons via myelin sheaths. Omega-3 fatty acids are a particular type of fat involved in regulating mood, protecting neurons, improving blood circulation, preventing stroke and reducing inflammation.
Anti-oxidants- Normal wear and tear combined with environmental sources of pollution create toxic molecules called free radicals. Radicals contribute to the biological equivalent of rusting by deteriorating and often destroying cell membranes. Anti-oxidants are compounds capable of neutralizing these radicals and thier potential for damage. The pigments which give fruits and vegetables their color are also often powerful anti-oxidants.
Water- Water is needed for the elimination of toxins, the production of energy, healing, growth and every single chemical reaction in the body. Unfortunately due to active lifestyles, diets containing caffeine, alcohol and high concentrations of protien, most people are chronically dehydrated. Lack of water results in cognitive deficits in attention, memory and processing speed. A general rule of thumb is to drink enough water to keep the color of your pee a pale straw color.
And for specific examples of foods to do this, see the chart on this page. What a great way to get your child’s brain working at its best!
What I am also enjoying is the games that help to improve Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility and Problem Solving! Your Brain Performance Index (BPI) is how you measure and track your cognitive performance in Lumosity. It is useful in tracking your improvement and comparing yourself to others.
I am just delving into it all, but wanted to share it with you so you can join in the fun! Will I see you in there?? I hope so!
Is there anything YOU do to optimize your brain power?? I would love to hear your comments!!
Photo credit: Muffet