Eating healthy can help how we look and feel but health experts say certain foods can also improve how well we think.
Julie Cole, a dietitian with Lee Health, says it’s important to fuel your body and your brain with snacks like granola, nuts, dried fruit, and peanut butter. All will keep you nourished and energized throughout the day. “Our brains require over 400 calories a day just to function.”
She says it’s important to pick meals and snacks that won’t lead you to a sugar crash. “You want to avoid those donuts and go for an oatmeal that has whole grains with fiber that’s going to last you through the morning. Adding blueberries is a great way to add antioxidants and it’s great brain food because it will keep your brain boosted for up to five hours.”
If you enjoy coffee with your breakfast, Cole says pour another cup. Caffeine helps you concentrate and focus. Just make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day as well.
When it’s time for lunch, choose wisely. What you eat will have big impacts on how you feel throughout the afternoon. “One of the biggest changes we’ve made at Lee Health is getting rid of our fryers in the cafeteria. We no longer have that as an option. We have baked chicken, baked fish; those are much healthier options for our staff. Along with brown rice, whole grain pasta, we also have a lot of bean pastas like chick pea,” said Cole.
Eating a salad, a wrap, or fish will keep our body and mind charged. “It’s really going to help boost your brain function to help with memory, concentration, and even combats depression,” said Cole.
When it comes to snacks and meals it helps to plan ahead. Bad eating habits over a long period of time can lead to lifelong health problems. “If we have that midsection fat we are more prone to developing chronic disease. How we combat that is by incorporating more fiber, more protein, more plant based food like fruits and vegetables,” said Cole.
Keeping your body fueled with nutrition is key to keeping your energy and health.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.