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We’ve all been there where our days have been so busy in work and in life that we suddenly stop and realise we haven’t eaten yet, or we’ve eaten so little all day that we get those night time hunger pangs. This can have a huge impact on our body and energy levels and have an effect on our performance in and out of the workplace. We’ve also probably heard that it’s not good to eat too late in the evening or close to bedtime but never really understood the reason for this. 

Here nutritionist Laurann O’Reilly and owner of Nutrition by Laurann explains why we need to avoid the night time eating, the effects it has on our bodies and ways to curb those late night food cravings. 

What The Research Says: A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that eating dinner later in the evening could cause weight gain, as well as increasing one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 

Effects On The Body: If you’re a person who is prone to midnight munchies, then here are some of the ways it can impact our bodies and overall health.

- Heartburn & Acid Reflux: When you eat close to bedtime or even lying down on the couch, you may also experience problems like heartburn and acid reflux due to the position of your body. This is because when you lie horizontally with a full stomach you lose the effect of gravity that helps to keep the contents of the stomach down. Instead, you experience backflow which may result in problems such as indigestion, heartburn/acid reflux, gas, bloating, or abdominal pain. 

- Impaired Digestion: Following on from the last point, as gravity is needed for food to travel through the digestive tracts, the lying down position doesn’t do us any favours. Not alone that but our bodies are meant to go into a state of starvation whilst we sleep, we should be repairing and not digesting. That’s why breakfast is called ‘break-fast’. 

- Weight Gain: When we think about it, it makes sense to consume most of our calories (energy) during the day, when our bodies are more active and we’re able to burn most of the calories from meals to generate body energy. Many studies have shown that when we eat a significant portion of our total food intake in the evening, we are more likely to be overweight or obese. One reason for this is because many people simply don’t have the energy to cook up healthy nutritious meals late in the evening and instead may opt for high calorie convenience foods such as chocolate, crisps and biscuits which can lead to weight gain. 

-  Increased Inflammation: Much research has been done into sleep and the metabolism of food. One such paper has found how the timing of eating may influence biomarkers of inflammation. The study discovered when people eat more in the evening, they have higher markers of inflammation. For example, they found for each 10% increase in total calories consumed between 5 pm and midnight, there was a 3% increase in CRP (a major marker inflammation in the body). The same study discusses how a longer night-time fasting duration was associated with an 8% lower CRP (only among women who ate less than 30% of their total daily calories in the evening). These findings suggest that eating more frequently, reducing evening energy intake, and fasting for longer nightly intervals may lower inflammation, however more research may need to be done in this area. 

- Blood Sugar Imbalances: Not only does eating sugar late at night overstimulate us but snacking or eating a late dinner can result in a post-meal glucose spike leading to high blood glucose levels, this is particularly important for individuals with type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Researchers suggest avoiding high sugar foods in late the evening to help maintain blood sugar balance (with the exception of individuals with Type 1 Diabetes who may need to correct low blood sugar levels)

- Effects Cholesterol & Triglyceride Levels: A research paper in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that eating out of sync with our natural body clock (circadian rhythm) can impact the way the body metabolizes lipids. This can lead to increased levels of both triglycerides and cholesterol. 

- Impact On Sleep: Sleep can also be negatively impacted by late-night consumption of sugary snacks, which will send blood sugar levels soaring. This reduces the quality of sleep, by reducing our deep sleep.

How To Avoid The Late-Night Eating 

1) Identify the cause: To get to the bottom of nighttime eating it’s important to understand why we do it. 

- Eating Very Little All Day: Many people restrict their food or don’t eating much during the day, either intentionally or due to time contraints, as a result they end up overeating their dinner, eating most of their food late in the evening or having food cravings during the night. Unfortunately, the body needs a minimum amount of energy just to function before we even carry out any activities, if we don’t meet this energy requirement during the day this can result food particularly sugar cravings later in the evening.

- Boredom or Habit: It may be worth asking yourself if you are actually hungry or if you’re reaching for food as something to do. We can also eat late out of habit, the biscuits with the tea or the chocolate with the tv programme. Remember you’re in control, whilst you may have got into the routine or habit of eating unhealthy snacks late in the evening or at night, it’s also possible to break the habit by replacing it with a healthier alternative. 

- Emotional or Binge Eating: Very commonly many people turn to food as a source of comfort, even in cases where they’re not necessarily hungry. If you feel this is the case, please contact your GP who can assist and support you. 

- Night Eating Syndrome: This is where individuals often to graze throughout the evening and wake up during the night to eat, consuming at least 25% of their daily calories at night. Again, if this applies to you, please contact your GP for support. 

2) Create A Schedule: I’ve mentioned previously how much the body loves routine, from your sleep body clock (circadian rhythm), to exercise to your eating schedule. 

- Meal Schedule: Creating a lunch and early dinner schedule can have huge benefits to your health as it not only encourages you to fit in your meals during the day, but it also ensures that your body is repairing and not digesting whilst you sleep. Note: Although the recent study and some previous research has highlighted the benefits of eating an earlier dinner, that doesn't mean you need to skip a meal if your schedule has you running into the evening.

- Having a Set Bedtime: We often confuse our hunger with tiredness, so those late-night cravings may just be your body telling you that it needs some rest.

3) Meal Planning: You’ve probably seen this one come up quite often, this is because planning your meals in advance of your busy week ahead is the key to healthy nutrition. This is particularly helpful if you have long and busy days in work as having your meals and snacks pre-prepared not only saves time but also prevents us reaching for high sugar and convenience options. 

Download my free meal planner here: https://nutritionbylaurann.ie/your-meal-planning-guide/

4) Meet Your Energy Requirements Earlier: It’s important to consume our energy throughout our waking hours whilst we can utilise the energy for physical and mental tasks as well as biological processes. Make sure you are eating enough earlier in the day to prevent getting overly hungry at night. Eat breakfast within 1 to 2 hours of waking. Check in with your hunger every 3-4 hours for your meals and snacks. 

5) Last Meal Timing: Do try to avoid large meals within a few hours of your bedtime and where possible eat dinner as early in the evening as your schedule allows. Ideally, it’s best Try to leave at least 2 hours between your last meal or snack and bedtime. If you often have nighttime heartburn or digestive issues, it’s best to stop eating 3-4 hours before lying down.

6) Light Snacking: Obviously it’s best to minimise your nighttime eating to avoid the negative effects of eating at night. If you feel hungry later in the evening and need a snack, choose a small, high protein snack like nuts instead of something carbohydrate heavy. Also keep in mind the size and contents of your nighttime snack or meal, particularly if you have digestive issues as bigger meals take longer to digest than light snacks

Suitable Light Snacks Could Include 

7) Avoid ‘Passive’ Eating: Late night eating is also usually uncontrolled. Eating in front of a TV, phone or laptop can make you lose track of how much you’ve eaten as our senses are removed from the eating experience. Instead try to savour your food and avoid distractions whilst you’re eating. 

The Exceptions

- For Shift Workers: If you have to be awake at night, as with shift work, try to stick as close to regular mealtimes as possible. I will cover the topic of healthy eating for shift workers in a separate column so stay tuned for this one.

- Medical Conditions: For those with specific medical conditions, such as reduced appetite or if you have enhanced energy requirements, it’s important to fit in your meals and energy where possible.

- Athletes: For individuals who have heavy training regimens, sufficient energy is crucial to recovery so eating later in the evening may be necessary.

For information on corporate nutrition talks, healthy eating workshops and workplace wellness programmes contact me here

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In this fast paced world where we need to balance work, life, chores and family, it can sometimes begin to take a toll on our health. We may often compromise our sleep and even our nutrition by skipping meals, eating on the go and using stimulants to keep ourselves going. Unfortunately this can often catch up with us, resulting in the dreaded ‘burnout’ and as leadership and business strategist, Greg McKeown says “burnout is not a badge of honour”.

Here nutritionist Laurann O’Reilly and owner of Nutrition By Laurann guides us through her top nutrition and lifestyle strategies to keep our bodies strong during these busy times.

- What Is Burnout: Burnout is the state of mental, emotional and physical exhaustion that occurs when you experience long-term stress. Feeling overwhelmed and drained can easily lead to burnout and cause you not to perform well in your day-to-day activities (Forbes)

What Are The Signs of Burnout? Whilst there may be various signs of burnout, occupational (work) health researcher Diane Belanger-Gardner defines burn out as the following: 

- Physical: Includes, persistent fatigue/tiredness, lowered immunity, frequent headaches, back pain, or muscle aches, changes in appetite or sleep habits.

- Emotional: Can include self-doubt, feeling helpless, detachment, decreased motivation, increasingly negative outlook, decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.

- Behavioural: Withdrawing from responsibilities, isolation, procrastination, the use of food, drugs, or alcohol to cope, taking out frustration on others.

What Are the Consequences of Burnout? Whilst we may not see the signs initially, when we experience any of the following, which Belanger-Gardner describes as the consequences of burnout, it may be worth contacting your GP or healthcare provider: Sleep deprivation, changes in eating habits, increased illness due to weakened immune system, difficulty concentrating and poor memory/attention, lack of productivity/poor performance, avoidance of responsibilities and loss of enjoyment

Preventing Burnout - Lifestyle Strategies

- Look For The Early Signs: Early recognition of burnout and related consequences can play a huge role helping you access the care and help you need to recover more quickly. If you notice any of the above signs, please contact your GP who can assist you. 

- Self Care: It’s important to schedule time for self-care and to attend to your own needs. Include daily enjoyable “timeouts”, such as a brisk walk, yoga, a hobby, meditation or even a 5-minute breathing technique (whatever works for you)

- Get Organised: Evaluate a typical weekly schedule and reduce or eliminate unnecessary tasks. Schedule time not only for work tasks but also for family, social life, fun activities and self-care, this can help make the juggle a little easier.

- Regular Exercise: Not only is exercise a great way of clearing the head and relieving stress it can also help to release valuable endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ which lift our mood, whether it’s a walk, run, cycle, swim or gentler form or exercise. Tip: Why not explore and find which one or combination suits you and add it/them to your daily routine. 

- Up The Sleep: Many of us sacrifice sleep and burn the candle at both ends as a means of staying on top of our busy lives. Remember food is our fuel and sleep is our battery, it’s important to get a good night sleep to repair and recharge.

- Build Up Your Support System: It's so important to talk, the smallest stress when bottled up can become the biggest problem and you'll often find when you've said it out loud it's not as bad as you think it is. If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know there are plenty of confidential helplines (in Ireland call Samaritans on 116 123 or Aware on 1800 80 48 48) for full support.

Preventing Burnout - Nutritional Strategies

We're all aware at this stage that we get our energy from food. But it's important that the food we consume is also nutritious and provides us with sustainable energy which can help us manage stress, repair our bodies and keep our immune systems strong. I always say “every meal is an opportunity to nourish”

- Carbohydrates: Are our main source of energy but it's about choosing the correct types. 1) Avoid High Sugar Foods: These contain empty calories with little or no nutritional value. These include sugary treats, white breads, white pasta and sugar sweetened beverages - these can cause our blood sugars to crash and lead to sugar cravings. 2) Include Low Sugar & High Fibre Foods: These foods include brown and wholegrain foods such as wholegrain/brown bread, pasta and rice which slowly release sugar into our bloodstream and keep our energy sustained for longer (this is particularly important for any diabetics too and a key to stabilising blood sugar levels).

- Protein: Just like we need our carbohydrates for energy we need a variety of good quality protein for recovery and repair. In fact, virtually every cell in the body is made up of different protein combinations such as muscles, hair, skin and bones at a basic level and hormonal function, immune health, metabolism and oxygen transport to name a few. Tip: The key here is to get a wide variety of protein to meet all the different functions. Animal Based Sources: Include lean meat, turkey, chicken, oily fish, dairy products, cheese as well as eggs (one of the most bioavailable sources of protein). Plant Based Sources: Include lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, rice, oats, soy products and Quorn.

- Healthy Fats: Again, we need some fats in our diet to absorb our fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K. Tip: Include nutritious fats in your diet such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, grains, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocados. These nutritious fats are not alone great for hair, skin and nails (which often suffer with stress) but also circulation, concentration and joint health, an allrounder for supporting your health.

- Load Up On The Fruit & Veggies: We can often underestimate the importance of fruit and vegetables in our diets. They contain valuable and essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) as well as antioxidants which protect our cells against damage as well as helping to keep our immune systems strong, which is particularly important during times of stress. 

Nutrition Supplements

There may be times where our diet may be lacking or we’re feeling a little more challenged and nutrition supplements may be required to support us.

- B Vitamin Complex: The B Vitamins play an important role in the production of energy in our body as well as maintaining a healthy nervous system. They’ve also been shown to improve memory and concentration! Tip: Dietary sources of our B Vitamins can be found in meat (especially liver), seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, leafy greens, seeds and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast. Recommendation: I like the Solgar Vitamin B complex, however your pharmacist can help you choose the best version for you. 

- Vitamin D: As our bodies produce vitamin D from sunlight, our levels of this vitamin can seriously decrease during the dark winter months. Vitamin D plays an important  role in regulating the production of serotonin (our happy hormone). Recommendation: The current recommendation based on Oireachtas report released earlier this year is that the entire Irish Adult population should take a supplement of 20-25 μg/day or 800-1000 IU/day, whilst children should take 10μg or 400IU/day

- Magnesium: Can play a major role in combating stress. Many of us underestimate the importance of this essential nutrient. It plays an important role in energy metabolism and has also been nicknamed 'the chill pill' or 'natures natural sedative' as it's been shown to help with anxiety, depression, irritability, headaches, sleeping issues and muscle cramps to name a few. Tip: Dietary sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Recommendation: Magnesium can also be purchased in supplement form in your local pharmacy or health store. I like both the Pharma Nord BioActive Magnesium and the Terra Nova Magnesium Complex 

- CoQ10: If you’re feeling stressed and low in energy this can give you a helping hand. CoQ10 something we make within our bodies which plays an essential role in converting our food energy (calories) into energy our body can use (ATP), without this we can't make energy, so it's kind of important. Unfortunately, our production of CoQ10 reduces as we get older resulting in a reduced metabolism (making of energy) and increased fatigue. It’s also a powerful antioxidant which can help to protect our cells from oxidative damage. Recommendation: I like The Pharma Nord CoQ10 due to its’ great absorption levels.

- L-Theanine: This unique amino acid (protein building block) which can be found in green tea. It helps to support mental calmness by increasing dopamine and GABA in the brain. It also assists the alpha brainwaves associated with relaxation and may help to reduce anxiety.

Recommendation: L-Theanine is also available in supplement form, I like the Solgar L-Theanine which is available in some pharmacies and health stores. 

- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An important nutrient for those who deal with anxiety and stress as it can help to nourish the brain and nervous system. Recommendation: According to the INDI the recommendation for adults is 250-500mg per day of pure omega 3 (unless instructed otherwise by your GP or health professional). Food Sources: Oily fish (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines), nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts) and plant oils (such as flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and rapeseed oil). Supplement Sources: Omega 3 can be found in fish oil supplements or plant-based omega 3 supplements which can be found in your local pharmacy or health store. 

- Workplace Wellness Education: As many people lead busy work days with many juggles outside of the workplace. A recent survey by Forbes found that “77% of employees have experienced burnout, especially at work. And with more people working from home, the stresses from mixing work and home life don’t help”. Workplace wellness education can be a powerful tool to help employees understand how to manage stress, build resilience, improve productivity, keep their immune system’s strong and to teach them how to eat well. You can find information on workplace nutrition workshops and talks here:  https://link.nutritionbylaurann.ie/corporatenutrition

For information on corporate nutrition talks, healthy eating workshops and workplace wellness packages contact me here

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We use it every day, it processes our information, thoughts, memories, beliefs and through it we experience dreams, the brain is something that we can often take for granted. We all want our memory and concentration to function as efficiently as possible but there are times when we can’t quite think of that word, remember that name, where we put the car keys or the answer to that question. Lapses in the memory can play havoc in the workplace too, whether it’s a complex project that you’re working on or if you need to be firing on all cylinders for that important meeting or presentation. 

The good news is that nutrition and healthy eating can play an important role in improving and maintaining our mental clarity.

Here Laurann O’Reilly Nutritionist and owner of Nutrition by Laurann discusses how to boost your brain, improve your memory and concentration through nutrition.

Probiotics & Prebiotics - I’ve previously mentioned the gut-brain connection in terms of mood but the same goes for memory and concentration. It’s important to understand that everything we eat or drink can influence our brain, either positively or negatively. Our digestive system is responsible for not only providing the body and the brain with key nutrients from food and drink, but it also produces key hormones that influence the brain and have an impact on our memory and cognitive function. Remember by feeding the gut we are in fact feeding the mind, so maintaining a healthy gut is essential. Tips: 1) Balance your good gut bacteria with a probiotic supplement, particularly if you have been on antibiotics (doing this for 3 months sufficient), 2) Nourish your body with a daily probiotic foods, such as yogurt or sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha 3) Include prebiotic foods (they feed your good gut bacteria) such as wholegrains, bananas, onions, garlic and soybeans

Omega-3 fatty acids - Have been shown to improve memory as they play an important role in brain function, structure as well as maintaining healthy blood flow. They’ve also been proven to improve brain activity and performance.  The most effective of these are ‘DHA’ and ‘EPA’. As our body is unable to synthesize these it is essential that we get these through the diet.

Sources: Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, linseed, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and plant oils such as flaxseed oil. If you don't eat fish you can get omega 3 supplements in your local pharmacy or health store. 

Tip: Aim for 2-3 portions of oily fish a week.

Coconut Oil - Contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) may also have added benefits to our memory. The MCTs in coconut oil break down into ketones, which can be used by brain cells for fuel. The idea is that supplying the brain with some extra fuel might make it run better. These ketones produced from MCT Oil metabolism have also been shown to enhance the regulation of brain cells as well as protect our brain’s neural connections, powerful stuff!

Tip: Use coconut oil in cooking, baking on top of porridge or add to your tea or coffee. 

Wholegrains - Carbohydrates are our main source of fuel but we need the right type for our body and brain to work efficiently. Wholegrain carbohydrates are low-GI, which means they slowly release their energy (glucose) into the bloodstream, keeping our blood sugar levels stable and allowing you to mentally alert throughout the day. Tip: A diet high in sugar and white carbohydrates may lead to that dreaded sugar crash so opt for ‘brown’ wholegrain cereals, granary bread, rice and pasta instead.

 Eggs - Can be an effective brain food as they are a good source of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid which are essential nutrients for healthy brain function. Tip: Such a versatile ingredient you can have boiled/scrambled or poached eggs for breakfast, hard boiled eggs as a snack or added to your salad. 

Soybean - Is rich in a particular group of antioxidants called ‘polyphenols’. Studies have also found that suggest that the consumption of soybean in diet may not only improve memory but also reverse the memory deficits. Tip: Try including some soya products such as milk, yogurt, butters and tofu to your meals.

Broccoli - Helps the body to produce compounds called ‘isothiocyanates’ which reduce oxidative stress that can damage the brain. Broccoli also contains vitamin C and ‘flavonoids’ and these antioxidants can also protect and improve brain health. Tip: Include as part of salads, with your dinner, in soups our blend into a juice with some apple, celery, lemon and kale. 

Berries - especially dark ones such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries are a rich source of antioxidants called ‘anthocyanins’ that may support memory function. Due to their antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties, they are not only protective but can improve brain-cell signalling, making them especially beneficial for good brain health. 

Tip: Give your meals a berry brain boost through adding them to your cereal, yogurts, smoothies and salads.

 

Grapes - Contain ‘resveratrol’ an antioxidant which has been shown to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, protecting the brain from damage as well as 

boosting memory. Tip: Have some red grapes as a snack, in yoghurt 

Watermelon - Is high in ‘lycopene’, which is another powerful antioxidant that provides protection to the brain. It also regulates genes that influence inflammation, making it a powerful brain protector. Tip: Chop up watermelon and keep in the fridge for a healthy brain boosting snack 

 

Walnuts - Are well known for their positive impact on heart health but have also been shown to improve cognitive function. Walnuts contain more antioxidant and protective properties than any other nut. Their anti-inflammatory properties are also brain proactive and have even been suggested to prevent age-related memory loss. Tip: Add them to your cereal or yogurt, snack on a handful of walnuts to satisfy midday hunger, add to a salad for that extra crunch or mix them into a vegetable stir-fry for that extra protein boost.

 

Beetroot -  Is rich in nitrates, which are natural compounds that can dilate blood vessels to allow more oxygenated blood to reach the brain. Studies have found that eating beetroot has been associated with improved motor control, cognitive functioning, emotional health, and other brain functions Tip: Add beetroot to your salads or blend beetroot with some spinach, cucumber and ginger for the perfect brain boost juice.

 

Cocoa - Raw cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants and also contains protein called ‘arginine’, which improves blood flow. A recent study by Harvard Medical School found that drinking two cups of cocoa daily for a month can improve blood flow to the brain and result in higher performance in memory tests. Tip: Add raw cocoa powder or nibs to your porridge, yogurts or mixed with warm drink. You may need to add a little honey to sweeten.

 

Sesame Seeds - Contain an amino acid (protein building block) called ‘tyrosine’. This helps produce dopamine (a reward chemical) responsible for keeping the brain alert and memory sharp. Sesame seeds also are rich in zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B6, other nutrients involved in memory function. Tip: Add a little sesame seed to your cereal, in yogurts or smoothies.

 

Rosemary - Has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, improving concentration and memory. The smell of rosemary can also significantly improve prospective memory or recall, which is our ability to remember to do something. Tip: Add a little rosemary seasoning to your meals and you can burn rosemary oil in an oil burner. 

Peppermint - Has been proven to be beneficial to our brain health. A study from Northumbria University found that peppermint tea can improve both long-term memory, working memory and alertness in healthy adults. The aroma has also been found to enhance memory, this is because menthol stimulates the Hippocampus area of the brain which controls mental clarity and memory. Tip: Why not try some peppermint tea or burn some peppermint oil when you need that extra focus.

 

Vitamins

The B Vitamins - Vitamin B12 is important for information processing and memory, it’s also required to create our red blood cells which carry oxygen in our body. Vitamins B3 and B6 have been shown to help protect against age related cognitive decline and improve brain function. Vitamin B9 also known as ‘folate’ plays an important role in protecting the brain and nervous system and improving brain function Sources: Meat (especially liver), seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, leafy greens, seeds and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereal and nutritional yeast. It may also be helpful to take a B Complex supplement which can be found at most pharmacies and health stores.

Vitamin C - Being a powerful antioxidant, it helps to protect the brain. It also plays an important role in brain structure and the nervous system. Sources: Citrus fruits (such as orange, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit), berries and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and peppers. If you feel your diet is lacking in these foods you can also take Vitamin C in supplement form. Note: Caffeine can impair your ability to absorb Vitamin C, so avoid coffee or tea close to eating or if taking a supplement.

Vitamin D3 - Plays an important role in the memory and learning process, whilst also protecting the nervous system. Sources: Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified dairy products and cereals. Our main way of producing Vitamin D is through exposing our skin to the sun (when it comes out), also with many of us indoors, covered up, wearing sun protection or make up it can be extremely difficult to produce enough. For this reason, it may be helpful for both adults and children to take a Vitamin D supplement which can be purchased in your local pharmacy or health store. 

Vitamin E - Another potent antioxidant which protects the brain and nervous system. Studies have also found it to improve memory performance. Sources: Plant oils such as extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed, sunflower oil, nuts, seeds, and wholegrain cereals. It’s also available in supplement form from your local pharmacy and health store.

Magnesium - Magnesium has long been considered a key mineral for optimal brain function. Studies have also found that magnesium helps to  improve learning abilities, working memory, short and long-term memory. Sources:  Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. This can be taken in supplement form also, speak with your pharmacist to see if this is suitable for you.

Zinc - Is necessary for memory formation and learning processes in the brain and plays an important role in brain signalling. One study found that a combination of both magnesium and zinc demonstrated resulted in increased academic performance. Sources: Shellfish, meat, poultry, beans, nuts, wholegrains and dairy products. This is also available in a supplement form from your local pharmacy or health store. 

Vitamin K - In particular Vitamin K2, plays an important role in forming structural components of the brain and regulation and processing of memory. Studies have also found Vitamin K to have anti-inflammatory properties which may be protective of cognitive function and memory. Sources: Kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli. You can also get Vitamin K2 as a supplement from your local pharmacy, please consult with your pharmacist to ensure it is suitable for you.  

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About Us 

Laurann has an Honours BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Nottingham, a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin, is an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society London, a professional member of the Celiac Society Ireland, is registered with the Institute of Public Health Ireland and fully insured.

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