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Brain Foods Series: Beans, Beans good for your...Brain?

For the month of August, we’re focussing on foods that fuel your body’s powerhouse: Foods for the Brain.  

Research has shown that the right food, or the properties found in certain ingredients, can enhance mental capabilities. 

Eating the right foods can help you concentrate, keep you motivated, improve memory, speed reaction times, diffuse stress and perhaps even prevent brain ageing.

Where have you bean? 

Have you ever had the experience (usually at 3 in the afternoon) where you’ve drifted into autopilot and missed the last 15 minutes of your life? 

You know the feeling; it’s hard to concentrate after a big lunch and all your energy has been sucked from your brain and sent to your stomach to where it’s focussed on digesting your food. Not very helpful when there’s work to be done is it?

Fear not old friend, for there is an explanation for this and it could be the foods’ your choosing that contribute to distracting you from that really important project at work (the one you’ve been putting off for 2 and a half weeks now). 

Beans are Brilliant

The ability to concentrate and focus requires a steady supply of energy to the brain. 

Carbohydrates (and in particular low glycemic grains such as wholegrain rice, quinoa, buckwheat or brown-rice pasta) are great options for this as they release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day.

Sugars and high-glycemic foods however have the opposite effect. In the brain, excess sugar impairs both our cognitive skills and our self-control. For many people, having a little sugar stimulates a craving for more and even a single instance of elevated glucose in the bloodstream can be harmful to the brain, resulting in slowed cognitive function and deficits in memory and attention. 

Beans

Beans (or legumes) and lentils are great forms of low glycemic carbohydrates that release energy slowly and as a plant-based protein source, they keep you fuller for longer. 

Beans, Beans good for your... Brain!

Beans and lentils are packed with B-Vitamins which makes them excellent brain boosters! 

The inclusion of B vitamins in our daily diet is so important as they are water soluble so our bodies can’t store them. 

Our cells are chatty little things, wanting to communicate with each other all day. B vitamins can aid our cells in producing energy to talk to each other and helping make the neurotransmitters that pass signals between nerves.

So why not give beans a go! 

Most of our meals contain beans and/or lentils to help you live your best (fast-paced plant-based) life, making it easier to eat a variety of goodness in your daily diet.