KEY 1 NUTRITION Refuelling smart

‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.’

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Think of your brain as a car and your body as a highway. Would you prefer to be driving a brand new Ferrari, or a rust bucket leaking oil and coughing smoke all over the road?

If your brain was a car, and you knew it needed fuel, what sort of fuel would you choose? Premium high octane, economy or diesel? What sort of car would you drive? Would you look after it, washing, waxing and cleaning it on weekends, or would you be one of those people who smoked on the way to work and left lolly wrappers and food crumbs all over the seats?

Substitute your brain for the car. How well do you fuel your brain? Are you eating clean, or is every night a frenzy of fast food and fizzy drinks? Then there's alcohol …

Paleo, Pritikin and Pizza Hut aside, we now know from years of nutritional research that our choice of foods can influence:

  • our memory
  • our general cognitive skills
  • our mood
  • our mental health
  • our ability to perform well in the workplace
  • even our potential risk of brain disease.

We eat because we are hungry, because we are bored or to be social. We eat for pleasure or because we are miserable. We sometimes even eat because we are forced to (remember those dreaded cold brussels sprouts from childhood?).

What we are often blissfully unaware of however, is the influence that the many different physiological, psychological, social and environmental factors have ...

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