How to improve your mental shape

Your brain is an extremely complex structure containing about 100 billion neurons with about a quadrillion connections between them.1 It is 10'000 more connections than stars in the galaxy! Many brain processes remain a mystery but people are slowly beginning to unravel them. Managing and controlling this amazing machine is a monumental task and systems and structures that make up the brain need your support to function properly. Because of the complex structure, the brain requires a large amount of energy to function effectively. Although it accounts for an average of only 2% of the total body weight, the brain uses about 20% of the calories absorbed by the body.2 That’s why you have to be mindful about the quality of foods3 and supplements you consume but also about your lifestyle choices. All of this can have a massive impact on your mental state and mental performance.

There are some ways of improving and keeping a good mental shape. These tips will help you achieve the best results during mental effort.

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Eat Well.

Food is essential in keeping a good physical and mental shape. Eating well can be associated with feelings of wellbeing. Your brain consumes a lot of energy, vitamins and minerals so it needs to be constantly powered through quality nutrition. Eating a brain-boosting diet can support both short- and long-term brain functions.4 Ideally, as an adult you should eat three main meals and two snacks every day. Through a balanced diet you provide your body with different nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water, each of which has a specific function in your body. However, even if you eat healthily, you can still be at risk of not providing your body with sufficient nutrients. Supplements like Supradyn Energy multivitamin tablets can help to fill in the shortages. It is a complete high dose formula which contains 13 vitamins and 12 minerals, for example zinc and iron, which contribute to brain health. Supradyn works from the first intake5 and can boost your alertness and concentration levels. If you want to support your brain during mental effort, follow this easy plan:

  • Morning – Eat hearty breakfast accompanied by fruits, which are a great source of vitamin B and vitamin C (both of these vitamins contribute to a better of brain functions). Fruits rich in vitamin B or C are: all berries, kiwis and oranges. Eggs, which are many people’s favourite breakfast choice, can be an effective brain food. They are rich in B vitamins (vitamin B2 and biotin) that may prevent brain shrinkage and delay cognitive decline.6 Dairy products will provide you with calcium, which is essential for the good health of your neurons.
  • Midday – For your lunch choose balanced, starchy foods (with a focus on whole grains), fruits and vegetables. Whole grains like: brown rice, barley, bulgur wheat, whole grain bread and whole grain.
  • Evening – You should again remember to keep the food balanced and not too heavy. For meat choose the least fat and for fish go for the most fat. These include: sardine, herring, mackerel, salmon or tuna. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can improve the structure of brain cells called neurons. A study has found that people with higher dietary intake of omega-3 have increased blood flow in the brain.7 An increased blood flow increases the essential oxygen supply to the brain. The researchers also identified a connection between omega-3 levels and better cognition, or thinking abilities8. Green vegetables are a good choice to accompany your evening meal. Broccoli, brussel sprouts or kale are all known as brain boosting vegetables. On top of that you shouldn’t eat too late in the evening. This can affect your sleep and a quality of sleep impacts your mood and mental shape.
  • For snacks there are some great choices that can improve your mental performance. Blueberry, pecan, and grapes contain antioxidants that are especially important for brain health. The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases.9 Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Almond, walnut and pine nuts are also good for your brain because they contain plenty of unsaturated fats and protein to keep a person's energy levels up throughout the day.
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Keep your body healthy.

An ancient saying claims that a healthy spirit lives in a healthy body. There is a lot of truth in this. If you want to take care of your brain, you should first take care of your body. By decreasing or even eliminating alcohol consumption, suppressing tobacco and limiting the intake of stimulating drinks (especially before bedtime), you can boost your brain function. Drinks like coffee, tea or soda can disturb your sleep. And sleep is important for keeping a good mental shape. That’s why you should try to stick to regular bedtime routine. Healthy lifestyle can help you stay sharp and improve your concentration skills. Regular physical exercise is also recommended to keep your body fit and to better oxygenate your brain.10

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In your busy routine you often forget to slow down and relax. However, it is important to find time just for yourself. Read your favourite book, go for a walk, pick-up a new hobby – all these activities for pleasure will help you feel good about yourself which will lead to better brain performance. It is especially crucial to relax and have breaks during stressful periods, like when you are taking exams. This will allow your brain to regenerate and recharge.

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Build relationships.

Connecting with the world around you stimulates your mind. That’s why it is important to have friends, maintain positive relationships in the office or play club sports. Diversifying your meetings and sharing your interests with others will help you sharpen your curiosity.

Eating a brain boosting diet can not only improve your mental performance but also provide many benefits for the entire body. In addition to balanced and nutritious diet, sleeping well, exercising and finding time for pleasure can greatly impact your brain functions. Supradyn Energy multivitamin tablets can also be a great addition to your daily routine and help you use your brain potential to its full capacity. The triple effect of Supradyn: reduces tiredness, replenishes deficient vitamins and revitalizes energy, can give you confidence of feeling strong and ready for everyday challenges.

1 Ackerman, S. (1993). Discovering the brain. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

2 Raichle, M. E., & Gusnard, D. A. (2002). Appraising the brains energy budget. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(16), 10237–10239. doi: 10.1073/pnas.172399499

3 Croll, P. H., Voortman, T., Ikram, M. A., Franco, O. H., Schoufour, J. D., Bos, D., & Vernooij, M. W. (2018). Better diet quality relates to larger brain tissue volumes. Neurology, 90(24). doi: 10.1212/wnl.0000000000005691

4 Gómez-Pinilla, F. (2008). Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(7), 568–578. doi: 10.1038/nrn2421

5 Kennedy DO, Stevenson EJ, Jackson PA, et al. Multivitamins and minerals modulate whole-body energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow during cognitive task performance: A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016;13:11.

6 Kennedy, D. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. doi: 10.3390/nu8020068

7 Patan, M. J., & Jackson, P. A. (2016). Shining a light on the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the brain: The relationship between cerebral blood flow parameters and cognition. Lipid Technology, 28(12), 197–199. doi: 10.1002/lite.201600052

8 Rest, O. V. D., Wang, Y., Barnes, L. L., Tangney, C., Bennett, D. A., & Morris, M. C. (2016). APOEε4 and the associations of seafood and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids with cognitive decline. Neurology, 86(22), 2063–2070. doi: 10.1212/wnl.0000000000002719

9 Cobley, J. N., Fiorello, M. L., & Bailey, D. M. (2018). 13 reasons why the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress. Redox Biology, 15, 490–503. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2018.01.008

10 Mandolesi, L., Polverino, A., Montuori, S., Foti, F., Ferraioli, G., Sorrentino, P., & Sorrentino, G. (2018). Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00509