Head & Brain

Study, work, children: our brain is often in the tenth gear. Fortunately nature is full of vitamins and minerals for strong nerves and a lubricated memory.

And the best herbs for a healthy mind? Our ancient ancestors knew them by heart. So it is high time to refresh your memory!


mportant: you will find the best nutrients for our brain in organic or paleo foods. You can of course supplement these with individual vitamins and minerals, for example, magnesium and vitamin B.

Food to think (about)
Magnesium supports normal psychological function. It supports the brain and nerve functions that are involved in learning capability. Magnesium is mainly found in spinach, bananas and pure chocolate (72% cacao or more). Your brain is also able to handle heavy leafy vegetables such as kale.

Snack yourself smart
Walnuts and almonds are rich in magnesium. Eat a handful every day as a snack, unroasted and unsalted. They are also brimming with unsaturated (healthy) fats. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats will help to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Citrus fruits are also smart snacks: they contain vitamin C, which provides relief following mental exertion.

Caution: peanuts aren’t nuts, but legumes. They contain more unhealthy fats than nuts and are therefore not the smartest snack.

B stands for Brain
B vitamins, such as vitamin B12 are good for the concentration, memory, educational achievement and the frame of mind. The richest sources are salmon, beef and eggs. Algae and seaweed also contain a form of vitamin B12, but this vitamin is not absorbed in humans. That is why a vegetarian who lives healthily always opts for a high-quality B12 supplement.

A memory which is as strong as iron
Iron, iodine and zinc have countless functions in our brain: they contribute towards normal memory, concentration, intelligence, problem-solving capacity … For more iron, choose spinach and steak more often. Iron also helps to reduce tiredness, for example, if you are working long hours or have to study a lot.

Mental powerhouses
Kelp – a type of seaweed– is a true powerhouse as far as iodine is concerned: 100 grams contains 2,500 percent of the recommended daily dose. So just four grams of kelp a day is plenty. The best source of zinc is once again a seafood product: oysters. Just one oyster supplies ten times the daily amount. If you aren’t keen, a well-balanced multivitamin has a restorative effect.

Herbal facts
Within living memory ginkgo biloba has been used to foster a clear mind. It helps effective blood flow in the brain and tissues, which soon improves the ability to concentrate and the memory. Saint John’s wort is recommended – it helps support good mental balance and strengthens the nervous system when someone is despondent. Ginseng is another popular and trusted substance. It boosts mental vitality and maintains a good frame of mind.

And not forgetting: valerian and lemon balm. These plants are loaded with relaxing substances which ensure a calm mind, without causing drowsiness. They also help to promote good mental health and an astute mind.

Exercise yourself smart
Our mind only really feels great inside a healthy body. Recently it was even discovered that frequent exercise improves the IQ! So regularly do something that you enjoy: go dancing with someone, enjoy a swim or go the extra mile in the gym. Feel fit, relaxed and smart. Marvellous!

For more information about paleo food, nutrients and physical exercise for a healthy mind, go to www.naturafoundation.co.uk

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