Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA can give your mood a big boost. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through diet. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish. They are good for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general wellbeing.
Oily fish contains EPA and DHA in a ready-made form, which enables the body to use it easily. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. The best sources are fatty fish such as mackerel (Vanjaram), anchovies (Neththili), sardines (Maththi). When cooking fish, grill or bake rather than fry.
Vegetarians can get omega-3s from foods rich in ALA fatty acids, such as vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts), flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and tofu. However our bodies generally convert very little ALA into EPA and DHA, so you may not see as big of a benefit.
Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy – in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for ‘brown’ cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.