How to Beat Baby Brain- It is possible.
When women sign up to having babies, we accept the risk that our body will never again be the same. But how about our memory? Why does that go to pot as well? Lucky for us, a whole-food nutrition program during and after pregnancy can help ensure that your memory is the one thing that is fitter than ever.
FEED YOUR BRAIN HEALTHY FATS
An easy way to help support brain health is to eat a diet rich in healthy fats, such as salmon, pumpkin seeds, flax meal & sardines. Our brain and nervous system are totally dependent on healthy fats to work optimally. Pregnant mamas happen to need more than usual because they are using these fats for making their baby’s neural pathways and nervous system as well!
HAVE A NERDY BREAKFAST
A boiled egg is extremely rich in choline, a super important phospholipid that is key for memory. The problem during pregnancy is that the fetus needs a bucket load of choline to make nerve and brain cells, so poor mama can easily find herself in a deficit. Shrimp, scallops, cod, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts & cauliflower are also great sources of choline that you can incorporate into your other meals of the day.
DON’T FORGET YOUR B’S
The B-complex group of vitamins is essential for brain power but unfortunately, are easily flushed out of the body because they are water soluble. Eating foods rich in folate and B-vitamins can help boost memory function, attention span & feel more clear-headed and energetic. Protein sources that are high in B-vitamins include trout, pork chops and chicken. But you can also source your B’s from avocados, mushrooms, beans, asparagus & squash.
FORGET THE SUGAR
Researchers at MIT found that the higher the intake of refined carbohydrates (i.e. sugar), the lower the IQ. Sugar reduces our ability to concentrate and it depletes our body of essential vitamins and minerals which are crucial for energy production, immunity and overall health & wellbeing. In fact, too much glucose can damage nerve cells and slow down brain communication. So make sure to trade in the refined sugar for a rainbow selection of fruits & vegetables and healthy fats.
DID ANYONE SAY BLUEBERRIES?
Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, a kind of flavonoid that support memory function. But you don’t need to stop there. All purple, red and blue pigmented fruits & vegetables can help. Now that summer is coming, it’s time to indulge in those berries, cherries, plums & make some great slaws with red cabbage! And don’t forget to pop a few berries into your kids’ meals too for those good school grades!
Here’s my favourite “Braniac Morning Smoothie” full of healthy fats & all you need to banish baby brain!
Braniac Morning Smoothie
- 1.5 cups of hemp milk
- 1 tspn cinnamon
- ½ cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 scoop of your favourite collagen or protein powder
- 1 tspn of coconut oil
- Splash of vanilla
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and whizz!
So, don’t despair lovely mamas! Baby making need not impair your memory powers. Eating a solid, whole-food diet, rich in the nutrients details in this article will support your mental and physical health during pregnancy and beyond.
Baby brain who? Not me!
Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. She helps stressed out moms get their mojo back. Check out her TEDx talk “Sleep Love Poop” and reach out for a private consultation: [email protected]