Teaching students full-time is a cognitively challenging vocation. Throughout the workday, an educator needs to make all sorts of decisions, present different topics in an understandable manner for all students, answer all kinds of questions coming from the students, and deal with all types of unexpected situations in the classroom.
Despite that, they are working a high-energy job. So there is no doubt that packing lunch bags for school with healthy meals is not their top priority, at least not for most teachers.
The truth is many teachers bring lunch bags to work, but instead of healthy foods, they are usually packed with so-called convenience foods featuring saturated fats and foods high in sugar. The thing with those types of foods is that they are low in nutrients, which means they can’t sustain the needed energy levels.
So, if you are like the many teachers who love processed foods and sweets, then there is a good chance that you are no stranger to terms such as “brain bonk” and how awful that happens during class.
Well, if you want to avoid such unpleasant situations, here are a few nutrition tips so that your energy levels stay optimum.
The brain has an appetite on its own
The brain, on average, consumes 600 calories per day. Therefore, some of the best foods that support and may enhance proper cognitive functioning include non-starchy fruits, vegetables, nuts, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, eggs, fatty fish, tea, coffee, etc.
On the other hand, foods such as refined starches and foods high in sugar create only a temporary surge of energy. That surge almost by default vanishes and is followed by lethargy and tiredness.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids support brain functions, and that’s proven through numerous studies. Some foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are tuna, salmon, yogurt, soy beverages, canola oil, walnuts, chia seeds, sardines, etc.
Regularly consume dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed with nutrients that can boost brain function. That includes antioxidants, caffeine, and flavonoids. Unlike regular milk chocolate with 10 to 15% cocoa, dark chocolates contain 70% or more cocoa. The cocoa brings all those power-boosting compounds and makes dark chocolate a great snack.
The flavonoids found in dark chocolate are the key ingredients that have to do with memory and learning. More than 900 people participated in the research. They compared the mental capacity of people that ate dark chocolate regularly with those that didn’t eat dark chocolate. The study suggested that dark chocolate eaters were much better at a series of mental tasks than their counterparts that didn’t eat dark chocolate.
There is even a study saying that dark chocolate is a mood booster. But the study couldn’t tell whether that is because of the ingredients in the dark chocolate or because people like eating chocolates, which makes them happy.
Oranges are great for the brain
One medium orange can get you all the vitamin C you need for one day. According to a few studies, vitamin C supports brain health, improves memory, and helps with focus and decision speed. In addition to oranges, a great source of vitamin C are foods such as guava, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and strawberries.
Green Tea and Coffee
The caffeine found in both green tea and coffee is a brain booster. Both are known to improve alertness, focus, memory, and performance. However, green tea has a few advantages over coffee, making it a healthier option. One of them is L-theanine, a compound known to make you relax and decrease anxiety.
If you want to stick to a healthy diet long-term, meal planning can help t avoid packing your lunch bag with fast food. Replace all the foods with added sugar, processed meat, sugary drinks, and other unhealthy foods with some of the foods mentioned above for a day full of energy. Plus, what’s good for your brain, is suitable for everything in your body. So that’s the best bet not to experience “brain bonk” ever again.