Most people are aware of the effects of certain foods on the body when it comes to weight. Eat too much calorific junk and your body will become fat and bloated. Of course, the answer to pigging out on junk food would seem to be to exercise, but it’s not quite as simple as that if you want to be healthy.Food for thought

What most people don’t realise is that the foods we consume have a massive effect in our mental processing, so if you’re eating unhealthily, you’re likely to be thinking unhealthily, too. This can lead to bad choices in all sorts of areas of your life.

The most obvious example of food and drink having a profound effect on the mind can be seen from caffeine, which boosts concentration, or camomile tea, which has a calming effect. But there are many other meals and beverages which have either beneficial or detrimental effects on the way our minds work.

Refined sugar has been proven to make your thinking slow and sluggish, and too much of the sweet stuff can actually cause depression and has even been linked with schizophrenia. It’s strange, because most people think of a sweet treat as a pick-me-up, but in large quantities, it has completely the opposite effect, causing cloudy thinking and decreased wellbeing.

Meanwhile, pulses, whole grains and root vegetables have been found to have positive effects in preventing depression and mental ill health. A substance found in broccoli has been proven to promote mental sharpness, and could even stave off Alzheimer’s as you age.

Other foods that promote mental wellbeing and help you beat brain fog include anything containing vitamin B. So chicken, turkey, eggs and fish are all great for mental processing. Fish has the added benefits of Omega 3 oils, which improve concentration, too.

If you’re looking for the perfect potion, green tea is one of those almost magical drinks that both improves concentration and mental performance as well as helping you lose weight. Its secret ingredient is theanine, a unique amino acid that improves mental focus and promotes alpha brain waves.

So next time, before tucking into your dinner, know that anything you eat could have an effect on your thinking, your memory, and even your mood. It really is food for thought.

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