A couple of years ago, I watched an episode of “Child Genius”, on which a 9 year old was mercilessly boasting about his brilliance, after sailing through a particularly difficult MENSA test, his crowing also included the demise of the other contestants, who he claimed, had all swotted and he had done nothing to revise, he was just immeasurably and naturally marvellous. The camera then cut to his mother, who very dryly replied “ I read, when I was pregnant, that if you ate oily fish during pregnancy, you were more likely to have an intelligent child. I ate a can of sardines nearly every day. I don’t think I’d do that again”.
So, OMG, Omega 3, was it the fish or was it just in the genes. Well evidence does suggest that fish is brain food, fish contains high levels of fatty acids that enhance learning ability and mental development. The logic follows with the swathes of intelligencia living here, by the sea, in Hastings. So with erudite precision, I continue forth. Fart, jelly, bum, willy.
Is it me or are eggs a bit smug? They’re a very self contained unit of nutrition, annoyingly comprehensive and neat. Egg yolk contains Choline, a nutrient that promotes memory and is a key component in the molecules that make up brain mass. They don’t have a sense of humour though, half a dozen dullards please.
Coffee stimulates brain power and activates your short term memory. It has also been shown to stave off Alzheimer’s, if drunk regularly throughout your life. Good news to those of you that like a cup of bone shaker.
Researching this article had led me to Sage, which is the superhero of herbs. Unlike eggs, it’s full of dynamism and flamboyance. It’s no coincidence that the word also means a wise person. It’s really good for your brain and nervous system, especially when made into a tea. It sharpens your senses and can be used as an antiseptic. Sage-man wouldn’t cut it though. He would be a green version of the pied piper of Hamlyn and he wouldn’t be able to fly but he could probably help you with your homework. Pffft.
Yuck. Walnuts. They look like little brains and taste horrible. Again, they contain essential fatty acids that are important for brain function. Yuck. Coffee and walnut cake is nice though, if you have to. If you’re a weirdo and actually like them, just eat them.
Granny Smith’s contain antioxidants that are supposed to delay brain ageing. Maybe that’s why they are called Granny Smith’s , she ate them all the time and never stopped talking, everybody had to listen to her endless tales because it was disrespectful not to. It was a shame that the fitness of her brain didn’t correlate with how interesting she was, so they named an apple after her because the apple-eating was the only thing that stuck in their heads. All true.
Cocoa contains huge amounts of antioxidants and a compound called epicatechin. There is research to suggest that a combination of exercise and a diet high in epicatechin can promote functional changes in the part of the brain that supports learning and memory.
So, coffee and eggs in the morning and cocoa when you go to bed and some of the other stuff in-between. Also, as always, boringly, boring, boring, bums, drink lots of water.
By Kim Batty