New Research Prompts Experts to Develop Tips to Improve Brain Alertness

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New research* finds 85 percent of all Australians suffer the effects of feeling ‘brain dead’, tired and low in energy at least once a week promoting leading health experts to develop tips to help us take charge of our brain health, keeping it active and alert.

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Nutrition plays a key role in helping our brains to perform well, including fighting off mental fatigue. In fact research shows that we can change our brains and develop new cell connections by eating well, exercising our bodies, exercising our brains and reducing stress.

New research* finds 85 percent of all Australians suffer the effects of feeling ‘brain dead’, tired and low in energy at least once a week promoting leading health experts to develop tips to help us take charge of our brain health, keeping it active and alert.

Brain health expert Mimma Mason from Brain Resource reviewed the findings and commented, “Nutrition plays a key role in helping our brains to perform well, including fighting off mental fatigue. In fact research shows that we can change our brains and develop new cell connections by eating well, exercising our bodies, exercising our brains and reducing stress.”

The research revealed:

  •     25 percent of all Aussies suffer from feeling ‘brain drain’ on a daily basis
  •     71 percent of the population reach for quick-fix stimulants such as coffee, chocolate or sugar-packed lollies when feeling ‘brain dead’, tired and stressed the exact opposite of what they should be doing
  •     Only 12 percent of people recognise that nutrients in food play a key role in helping them to stay alert and think clearly
  •     41 percent of people are more concerned about food choices that help keep their weight down rather than healthy foods which will help keep their brains alert and active

Leading Dietitian Susie Burrell commented, “Nutrition is not top-of-mind when it comes to ‘treating’ a tired brain. Australians need to understand that the brain and body are highly connected – what you do for one can benefit both.”
To help Australians get the best from their brains, Susie Burrell and Brain Resource have collaborated to develop practical and scientifically sound tips to help us take charge of our brain and body health.
For more information visit http://www.brainresource.com/features/index.php?id=210

1.    Feed your brain
Choose nutrient-rich foods, such as red meat, to ensure adequate levels of nutrients for optimal brain functioning including iron and zinc, B vitamins, omega-3 and amino acids. Common symptoms of iron deficiency include feeling tried, irritable and finding it hard to concentrate

Get the right mix of healthy fats each day from foods including oily fish, olive and sunflower oils, nuts and seed and eat plenty of fruit and brightly coloured vegetables every day.        

2.    Train your Thinking AND Feeling - Neurons that fire together wire together
Your brain can change with training. Try new, challenging activities like learning a language or recipe, completing a crossword or Sudoku. Train your feelings too by focusing on what works for you rather than magnifying your weaknesses. Train yourself to tune into positive thinking by playing games like “e-Catch the Feeling” (http://www.brainresource.com)
3.    Get moving to generate new brain cell connections
Add periods of strength and intensity training (reaching 85% of your maximum heart rate) to your regular exercise routine to increase blood flow and generate new brain cell connections

4.    De-stress every 90 minutes
Reset both your body and your brain throughout the day by taking 2 minute breaks. Try ‘4,3,7’: breath in to the count of 4, hold your breath and count to 3 and breath out to the count of 7

5.    Set realistic goals you can achieve in three months or less
Your brain will react to genuine personal goals which are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound

*The research was commissioned by Meat & Livestock Australia and conducted online by Galaxy Research in January 2010 among 620 Australians aged between 18- 64 years.

Issued on behalf of Meat & Livestock Australia and in conjunction with Brain Resource

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Rosemary Biggs
MLA
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