Research shows the food you eat directly affects your mood and general health. More so, it has an influence on the way the brain works – its general tone, level of energy and how it handles tasks.

The benefits of regular exercise and a balanced diet are well known. Yet by combining essential natural super foods into your daily diet you can also boost your overall wellness, says Mary-Ann Shearer, author and lecturer on nutrition and health.

Some of South Africa’s best super foods include avocados which are good for metabolism, citrus fruit which provides protection against cancer and limits stress and chickpeas which regulate blood sugar levels.

The brain operates off oxygen, water and food. According to, for optimal brain performance it requires four essential groups of food:

Avoid red meat and opt for eggs and milk products instead. The body requires essential amino acids, which can be found in dried beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, fish, seeds and nuts.

The term “fats” usually sends women into a gut-wrenching panic, but fats need not set off alarm bells. Fats just need to be approached with caution – instead of eating processed trans-fats, choose the natural kind such as avocados, fresh coconut, fresh walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.
Products that are rich in omega-3 fats, such as sardines, salmon, tuna, herring, trout and mackerel, are an excellent form of brain-food.

The body craves carbohydrates for energy, but you should steer clear of processed carbs such as potato chips, pizza, pasta and white bread. To maintain adequate levels of glucose, eat corn, carrots, beets, potatoes, cereals and crackers.

Your brain needs a regular dose of vitamins and minerals to keep healthy. To ensure you get the right amount of micronutrients, you should eat as least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. A serving comprises of a small fruit, half a cup cubed fruit, a cup of leafy vegetables or half a cup cooked or raw vegetables. Eat a variety, preferable raw.

Simply supplement
To ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs, take a multi-vitamin such as Berroca, Eye Q or Ethos Endymion.

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